directors lounge screenings
urban research special
topophilia landscapes and harbours
Thursday, 30 June 2016
Two shorts and one feature about the interference of the technical world of shipping and oil with landscapes and the city. Twice the Port of Los Angeles is the starting point for visual exploration. One goes up north along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, the other examines the harbor at night. The harbor of Veracruz on the other hand is the place for a histographical reconsideration of the Mexican harbor from a very personal point of view.
Topophilia by Peter Bo Rapmund surveys the 800-mile length of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, and travels alongside the conduit as it bobs above and underground from the Prudhoe Bay oil fields to its terminus at Valdez. The extreme linearity and continuity of the pipeline acts as a pivot point to reorganize the landscape and offers new and idiosyncratic ways to visually reconsider topography. The film confronts the extreme beauty of the North-American landscape with the seemingly safe infrastructure of oil transport.
Veracruz Without Ship by Teresa Delgado & Jakob Kirchheim. A documentary melodrama with privatizations and without lovers. A poetic walk through Veracruz, port of European exiles and Mexican oil, of melodrama and of the rhythm danzón.
Since 1938 Lázaro Cárdenas government offered political asylum to thousands of Spanish republicans who were fleeing war and persecution. They arrived to the port of Veracruz, unreachable paradise for the defeated who could not leave Spain. We revisit this myth of the grandparents and confront it with the present in 2014. In this year the PRI government is opening the doors to private investment of multinationals in a natural resource which Mexicans consider their own: oil. Oil plays an important role in the Gulf of Mexico and Mexican oil was nationalized by Cárdenas government in 1938.
Port Noir by Laura Kraning. Within the machine landscape of Terminal Island, the textural strata of a 100 year old boat shop provides a glimpse into Los Angeles Harbor's disappearing past. Often recast as a backdrop for fictional crime dramas, the scenic details of the last boatyard evoke imaginary departures and a hidden world at sea.
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