Since his start in early 1970s London, Chris Welsby has spent his career searching for a compromise between nature, technology and the passage of time. A retrospective screening of his work at the Cinémathèque Québécoise this weekend in association with Double Negative will look at some of his best-known 16mm shorts from his early years, tackling the filmmaker’s relationship with the natural world.
Jean-François Laporte has scarcely put down his tools in the last decade and a half as he refines the sounds he’s making. The instrument inventor and composer uses PVC tubes and balloons, plastic tie wraps and compressed air in search of the limits to the noises that can be made from one object striking another. “I just go by the sound,” Laporte said. “It’s an intuitive process. I see what a sound tells me and go from there.”
Hundreds of sheep flock around a dead monk. Blood – or is it bright right red pomegranate juice? – oozes onto a cloth. Three aging men dressed in officers’ uniforms slowly remove their boots and shuffle around a nearly empty room. Sergei Parajanov’s films are full of visual puzzles like these.