Moments is part of Monographs 2020. The video essays will be on AFA’s Vimeo channel from 7 December 2021.
Moments is composed of eight essays which foreground private narratives and lived experiences in relation to the filmic. Collective, familial and personal memories enter new circuits of meaning in relation to film history and archives, as the essayists position themselves as embodied presences in the very production and interpretation of images. Rather than viewing the camera, archive, or essayist as a silent observer, the essays in this section discard the dichotomy between subject and object to expand the limits of a cinema that is ephemeral as much as it is shared.
Casting a Spell to Alter Reality by Pam Virada
Weaving together folk tales from Hou Hsiao-hsien’s coming-of-age trilogy with her grandfather’s supernatural encounters and memories, Pam Virada delineates the routes of the Chinese diaspora through mysterious tales passed down over generations.
Raya Martin examines the fraught history of Philippine cinema through tracing the figure of the spirit and enlisting archives, apps and AI to work against the colonial gaze. A requiem for his two uncles and aunt who passed away from COVID-19, the work reclaims the colonial archive through locating mysticism and collectivism within these clips.
Having grown up in a film studio, Maung Okkar marries his family’s personal story of making films in 1980s Myanmar with a reflection on the broader political conditions against which creatives struggle.
A Weirdo Never Fever Overry by Arnont Nongyao
Arnont Nongyao combines fragments of personal history with a dissonant sonic world to tell the story of losing oneself to ‘unconscious colonisation’ in his offbeat travelogue across the Mekong.
100 Years and 98 Minutes: A Portrait of Myanmar’s Film Industry by Myint Myat Thu
Freelance cultural journalist Myint Myat Thu paints a portrait of the film industry and socio-political situation in Myanmar through the satirical film Money Has Four Legs (2020), whose production process bears uncanny resemblance to the story that resides within its frames.
A Car Rumbles in the Distant, Iranian Night by Anuj Malhotra
Critic, curator and archivist Anuj Malhotra intertwines diarystic vignettes of an evening in Tehran with moments in Iranian films to create a tapestry of voices each treading complex boundaries of public and private within a repressive regime.
The Haunting of Covid-19 House by Amir Muhammad
Amir Muhammad documents a call for entries of horror and thriller short films made by Malaysians during the pandemic, and observes recurrent themes within the films, each embodying the spontaneity of independent filmmaking.
Bringing Independent Cinema to the Mountains: The Story of Dharamshala International Film Festival by Tenzing Sonam
Filmmaker and founder of the Dharamshala International Film Festival, Tenzing Sonam reflects on his personal journey of starting a small independent film festival in a Himalayan town with his partner, Ritu, while also contemplating the role and changing mode of the festival amid the uncertainty of the pandemic of 2020.