FunCulturalA cinema more than human: new possibilities to expand...

A cinema more than human: new possibilities to expand life in images

{if your bait can sing the wild one will come} Like Shadows Through Leaves is a short film that brings up a fundamental theme: the plurality of life. In times of eco-social crisis, the cinema can emerge as an aesthetic tool that resizes and reimagines the politics of care.

At the beginning of May, the 67th edition of the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival was brought online. The FIPRESCI award from international critics went to the short film {if your bait can sing the wild one will come} Like Shadows Through Leaves , a co-production between Singapore and Finland. This short film reflects on those forms of life more than human that murmur their secrets in the cinema.

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A silhouette is drawn on the wall. The whistle expands and measures the territory in decibels. A kind of omen is revealed in the cinema: ecological and poetic phantasmagorias of the biosphere. {if your bait can sing the wild one will come} Like Shadows Through Leaves is a project directed by Lucy Davis and carried out in collaboration with the Migrant Ecologies Project collective. In this piece we are invited to a journey that, as an ecological cartography, reviews those more than human activities that have given voice and echo to Tanglin Halt, one of the oldest urbanizations in Singapore. For 50 years, this space has housed 105 species of birds seen so far.

This short film creates a visual and sound exploration that generates a perceptual experience in which concerns related to ecology, life and cinema come together. Dumping the cinema in function of an affective reorganization from which we can speak of the ecology of the gaze, allows us to make films a portal that opens up to the existing relationships between the image and nature. The initial sequence of this short film weaves the stories of the inhabitants of the place together with the songs of the birds. The images focus on microscopic planes of feathers and a man walking through a forest at night. This short film constantly puts human activities and animal activities in parallel, creating a reciprocity between the cinema and the ecosystem. The relationship between the different biological presences takes on an important value in the cinema, which makes the image a space to reimagine the politics of life. The camera becomes a microscope and explores all those polyphonic existences with which we cohabit: animals, plants, cells.

The camera is a device that captures light, a kind of trap that stores fragments. {if your bait can sing the wild one will come} Like Shadows Through Leaves expands on what the camera is taught to see: it turns it into an investigative and speculative device that constantly asks about life, giving rise to thoughts that transcend the human . As spectators, we walk a path that embraces our bodies and invites us to pierce the linear time of human history. How to pierce the cinematographic temporality of the Anthropocene? The potentialities of this project respond in different ways: it is not only a short film but a whole investigation into the relationship between humans and birds, and the creation of different exhibitions and interactive sound maps. As the short film progresses, we see different shadows of birds, small details that blend into the soundscape. The animal sounds and reflections seem like a spirit that lives in the cinema, as if timeless rumors envelop this piece in a halo of beauty and mystery. Shadows shaped like birds invite us to think about biological realities that become ghostly reflections. The advance of capitalism destroys life, to the point that it reduces it to a ghost, a shadow or a song heard from a distance, like the sounds of birds.

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In {if your bait can sing the wild one will come} Like Shadows Through Leaves , the songs of the birds live in the people. On different occasions we see men replicate the song, invoke that life that coexists with ours. To think of a political ecology of cinema is to think of the emergence of a biospheric consciousness that makes the profession of cinema a profession of life, a cultural biology and an ecological-visual thought. A political ecology of the cinema is to replicate the songs of the birds in ours.

{if your bait can sing the wild one will come} Like Shadows Through Leaves is a short film that brings up a fundamental theme: the plurality of life. In times of eco-social crisis, the cinema can emerge as an aesthetic tool that resizes and reimagines the policies of care, allowing us to intuit that perhaps images and sounds are a possibility of observation and a gesture of healing of those species with which we cohabit the world, a kind of curandería of life through the dialogue that comes from the cinema. It is the photomolecular magic of an art that translates the movement of light into images, which in turn are omens.

In times where life seems to slip out of our hands, cinema can be a respite that allows us to think about expanding what is alive, embracing our territories as centers of listening, thought and resistance.

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