How does one tell a life story in film when no film material about the protagonist or the stations of life important to the narrative is available? Tall Buildings tells the story of a family tragedy revolving around a suicide in the distant past as a sudden resurfacing memory bound to architecture. Iranian revolutionary leaders detested cinemas as decadent, western institutions; the most devastating attack on a film theater cost almost 400 lives. Thicker than Paint Thinner links the story of the attack, the attackers and the film that was showing in the cinema, into a complex, contemporary portrait. The homage CB is based on a séance with the novelist Charlotte Brontë (1816–1855) that the filmmaker connects with scenes from a Hollywood film and the protagonist’s letters. In The Terrace, the artist reconstructs childhood memories of a house in Nairobi where her family lived for several years. Together with other works, for example Haukka-Pala, shown at last year’s transmediale, the outcome is a family story that extends over and beyond individual works in the tradition of the autobiographical family novel.
Tall Buildings, Cordelia Swann, uk 1992, 2 min
Thicker than Paint Thinner, Babak Afrassiabi, nl 2011, 29 min
CB, Doug Ischar, us 2011, 12 min
The Terrace, Laura Horelli, fi 2011, 24 min