Program 3: Letters from Home

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Last Chance to Rent Sep 30, 8:00 PM ET

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Featuring Luis Arnías’s Malembe, Alexandra Cuesta’s Notes, Imprints (on Love): Part I, Ute Aurand’s Glimpses from a Visit to Orkney in Summer 1995, Carla Simón & Dominga Sotomayor’s Correspondence, Ayo Akingbade’s Claudette’s Star, and Mathilde Girard’s Episodes - spring 2018.

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Program Features

Shorts Program 3: Letter From Home Intro

An introduction by Eugene Hernandez and Aily Nash.


Luis Arnías, 2020, Venezuela/USA

Through its rhythmic montage and mix of observational and surreal imagery, Malembe forges oblique linkages between the United States and Venezuela, conveying the strange dissociation of being uprooted, of living between places. As a knife cuts through sky, through snow, and through fruit, quasi-ethnographic footage—with its conventional markers of music, food, ritual—joins with home-movie auto-portraiture of a New England winter, communicating a sense of dislocation at once vertiginously queasy and absurdly comic.

Notes, Imprints (on Love): Part I

Alexandra Cuesta, 2020, USA/Ecuador

Alexandra Cuesta’s film collects sketches, texts, and minor epiphanies. Summery landscapes, lakeside reveries, desolate construction sites and diners, blighted strip mall suburbia, sunny autumns—these fragments accumulate into a portrait of domesticity and love that nonetheless betrays a quiet unease, with the camera becoming a tool for the exorcism of specters.

Glimpses from a Visit to Orkney in Summer 1995

Ute Aurand, 2020, Germany

In Aurand’s signature diaristic form, roses in bloom, farm animals, Orkney landscapes, and scenes of the late filmmaker Margaret Tait having tea are rendered through expressive Bolex movements as well as the director’s active camera, and punctuated by abstract swaths of saturated and shifting colors. The film is an homage to Tait, whom Aurand visited in Orkney.


Carla Simón & Dominga Sotomayor, 2020, Spain/Chile, In Catalan and Spanish with English subtitles

In patchwork epistolary form, a correspondence between two filmmakers unfolds in images, sounds, and words, as they report on their lives, exchange pictures, and describe their dreams. The recent deaths of elder relatives raises the question of maternity and the futures of their families, their countries, and their art. Is it possible to make films and have children?

Claudette's Star

Ayo Akingbade, 2019, UK

The young artists portrayed in Ayo Akingbade’s _Claudette’s Star _map trajectories between the UK, Nigeria, and India and ponder myriad divergent artistic forms—the Black British artist Claudette Johnson’s portraits; the late baroque and neoclassical works at London’s Royal Academy—while a decelerated version of Derrick Harriott’s reggae hit the “The Loser” plays on the soundtrack. What emerges is a euphoric portrait of artists contemplating art and navigating a route between tradition and innovation, creation and interpretation.

Episodes - spring 2018

Mathilde Girard, 2020, France, In French and Spanish with English subtitles

The episodes in Mathilde Girard’s film assemble a group of Parisian twentysomething artists and students into a kind of musical round: a loose harmony of dreams, concepts, memories, and conversations. Each of these links one character to the other through a set of common references—Schopenhauer, Pasolini, Serge Daney—as well as shared spaces, political affiliations, and physical and emotional experiences.

Shorts Program 3: Letter From Home Q&A

A conversation between Aily Nash and directors Luis Arnias (Malembe), Alexandra Cuesta (Notes, Imprints (On Love): Part I), Ute Aurand (Glimpses From a Visit to Orkney), Dominga Sotomayor, Carla Simón (Correspondence), Ayo Akingbade (Claudette’s Star), Mathilde Girard (Episodes - Spring 2018). Interpreter Nicholas Elliott.

Bonus Content

58th New York Film Festival Trailer
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