Above and Below
(Nicolas Steiner, Switzerland/Germany/US, 2015, DCP, 118 min)
Wednesday, Jul 13 at 08:00PM
Immersed in the lives of five outsiders living on different fringes of society, Nicolas Steiners cinematic documentary Above and Below tells their human and emotional stories through powerful images. Five individuals inhabit a set of apocalyptic landscapes: a couple and a man living in the flood channels under the Vegas strip, a man living alone in the desert to find respite, and a woman and her team of astronauts that train in the Utah desert to one day go to Mars.
Steiner, a Swiss filmmaker, considers himself a hunter-gatherer in the way he works outwardly from images: My concepts and ideas initially overflow. Then I set about filtering them. I search for contexts that are only visible at second glance. At the same time, simple processes fascinate me. The more archaic the better."
The unfamiliar settings of Above and Below give us a glimpse into the corners of society most have not seen or experienced. But despite their unfamiliarity, the souls we encounter there are perhaps not that different from our own.
Above and Below lingers on silences and reveals its subjects through moments of quotidian behavior. As such, a solitude amasses that forms a network of its own and maps these forgotten souls that Steiner, as cartographer, brings into vibrant being. Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine
The Northwest Film Forum (View)
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