Andrea Luka Zimmerman
& the Island Dwellers
of Google Minus’
The Liberated Film Club is a celebration of lost, suppressed and impossible cinema. Its first major iteration was held over the month of July in 2016 at Close-Up Film Centre in London.
Each event was introduced by a different guest, who were not told anything about the film they were to introduce. These introductions were in addition introduced by video-link by the absent curator, and are published alongside the transcripts of the words which followed.
Google mistakes when confronted by Liberated Film. Think Murnau’s Faust on holiday in Buñuel’s Spain with an Argentinean José Gaspar, a giant bouncy ball, and the command internal eternal (insert: ________________________________).
I don’t know if any of you have a dog? It doesn’t matter if you don’t. Ella (in attendance) was a rescue dog, and she would’ve been put down.
I made a film about street dogs in Istanbul called Taşkafa, and I was working with John Berger on the issue of co-existence, asking: how does power work? Power works amongst those who can’t defend themselves, those who have no voice.
The film for me was a way to explore how we have this relative freedom in Istanbul, and Turkey, where dogs are allowed to roam the streets in peaceful co-existence with the human population, whereas here we put them down . . . there were a few screenings in the Picturehouse Central where dogs were allowed. Ella went. It was crazy and amazing . . .
We need unconventional ways to tell stories, and we need to ask the questions that aren’t asked. History is not conventional. It is not straight-forward. My work is very often low budget to try to maintain the freedom my manifesto explores: freedom of the filmmaker, the person, and of co-existence. Its title is Manifesto for Coexistence in Film and Life (grand titles are a prerequisite of the medium).
There are ten points which I’d like to read to you now.
1. Life is a work in process: unfinished, provisional and uncertain. Film must reflect this or it has no purchase on reality.
2. A work seeking internationalist reception—through content, form, aesthetic or technology—without a specific grounding in the lived experience of people and place, is not internationalist.
3. All filmmaking that is worth the name, regardless of its apparent construction, is a process of making through community; on screen, behind the camera, and in the intention of all its makers. There is such a thing as society.
4. The budget and production structure of a film should always be in proportion and humane relationship to its protagonists, its theme, and its intention. It should be modest.
5. The most productive form of filmmaking today, regardless of its outward expression (fiction, documentary, etc) is the sketch, the essay, from the French, essayer, to try.
6. Heightened realism in filmic expression is both desired and the making manifest of what is latent in the material, waiting. Sometimes metaphors need to be expressed literally.
7. Braudel identified three strata in time—the personal, the social and the natural. The fourth dimension is empathy. Film is this fourth dimension, gently held.
8. All films must feature animals. Without them, it is like a camera without tape, without a reel. It ignores the majority world. It is not legitimate.
9. In the same way, a world—and a film—without hope, is invalid. Hope is the thing.
. . . the 10th is for you to decide. This is how things come together. Ella is rolling around.