June 2022 Shorts Part 1: Camille Henrot

One long-weekend in June, I watched a bunch of shorts, beginning with a bunch by New York/Berlin artist Henrot. Currently separated from my issues of Cinema Scope so I can’t revisit the article that first put her on my radar.

Million Dollars Point (2011)

Movie kinda fades in and out, as if showing excerpts. Hawaiian Christian on the soundtrack, preaching and singing. the visuals alternate between touristy Hawaiian dance scenes rephotographed off an SD TV, and beautiful undersea nature over the dumping grounds of human vehicles.

Strife of Love in a Dream (2011)

Manufacturing pharma – Atarax – but playing doom-drone music instead of KG+tLW’s “Ataraxia.” Long line of people winding up a mountain towards some event that involves fire and military control… an ornamental theatrical performance… and flash shots of snakes, which eventually take over the film, snakes in all forms, in life and art.

Grosse Fatigue (2013)

I loved Strife but this still feels like a huge leap forward. Narrator/singer rapidly goes through the history of the universe, the gods, mankind, as the visuals spring from a simulated mac desktop, windows overlapping, heavy on animal images. About 200 more dead birds in this than I would’ve liked, but still kinda great.

Saturday (2017)

No dead birds here except in the news ticker, but they’re replaced by close-up medical body-horrors. Fun experiments in rotoscoping, certain footage elements remaining in the foreground of the news ticker (which multiplies, its news becoming less informative) or breaking through the letterbox bars. The main topic is televised/radio call-in religious shows and baptism.

Film Spatial (2008)

“You have to learn not to understand everything.” She’s interviewing an older artist while camera roves around a busy house or studio in closeup. Lot of partially seen artworks and books, frequent visits to the dog on the floor. “In a really good film, it’s not just the content that’s important, it’s the visual impact … The content, in a way, is the pretext.”