Ben Russell's 'Let Each One Go Where He May' [The Experiment: Serials]
The Experiment 2012 is dedicated to experimental documentaries that encompass a serial nature. The filmmakers selected explore recurrent thematic and audio-visual qualities through both singular works and successive chapters.
"Let Each One Go Where He May"
(Ben Russell, 2009, 16mm, color, 135 min)
Let Each One Go Where He May is Russell's stunning feature debut, a film that both partakes in and dismantles traditional ethnography, opts for mystery and natural beauty over annotation and artifice, and employs unconventional storytelling as a means toward historical remembrance. A rigorous, exquisite work with a structure at once defined and winding, the film traces the extensive journey of two unidentified brothers who venture from the outskirts of Paramaribo, Suriname over land and through rapids, past a Maroon village on the Upper Suriname River, in a rehearsal of the voyage undertaken by their ancestors who escaped from slavery at the hands of the Dutch 300 years prior. A path still traveled to this day, its changing topography bespeaks a diverse history of forced migration. Shot almost entirely with a 16mm Steadicam rig in thirteen extended shots of nearly ten minutes each, Let Each One Go is strangely taut as it absorbs the rhythms and sounds of life, landscape and legacy. The camera acts as a third character, observing but also engaging in a deft dance with the two young men, following one then the other, circling, pursuing, leading, pausing, with sometimes disarming intimacy.
About Ben Russell:
An itinerant media artist and curator whose films and performances have been presented in spaces ranging from 14th Century Belgina monasteries to 17th Century East India Trading Co. buildings, police station basements to outdoor punk squats, Japanese cinematheques to Parisian storefronts, and solo screenings at the Rotterdam Film Festival and the Museum of Modern Art. A 2008 Guggenheim award recipient, Ben began the Magic Lantern screening series in Providence, Rhode Island, and he currently teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Part of The Experiment, a quarterly series at the Maysles Cinema examining the common ground between documentary and experimental/avant-garde modes of cinema. Curated by Lorenzo Gattorna and Peter Buntaine.
Maysles Cinema (View)
343 Lenox Ave.
New York, NY 10027
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