A Spell To Ward Off Darkness
(Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, 2013, Estonia/France/Germany, DCP, 98 min)
Director Ben Russell in attendance!
With introduction and Q&A moderated by film critic Jay Kuehner!
Saturday, Nov 15 at 07:00PM
The first major collaboration of celebrated film and media-makers Ben Rivers (Two Years at Sea) and Ben Russell (Let Each One Go Where He May) proposes a different dialectic for artistic partnership. A mysterious loner roams across three movements: a commune on a small Estonian island, the majestic wilderness of Northern Finland, and a black metal concert in Norway. The lead performance by Brooklyn-based musician Robert A.A Lowe fuses the psychedelic, mystical threads of Russell's work and the dedicated nomadism of Rivers'.
Oscillating between fiction and nonfiction worlds, A Spell To Ward Off Darkness explores and blurs the borders between documentary, art, and cinema, raising questions about cinema's transformative potential in our present moment.
Don't miss a program of Ben Russell shorts at the Grand Illusion on November 17! A Spell to Ward Off Darkness ticket holders receive $1 off tickets at the GI.
THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS: THREE FILMS BY BEN RUSSELL
Ben Russell / 20122014 / 70min / HD video
at the Grand Illusion Cinema
Taking its title from a 15th century Hieronymus Bosch triptych in which the pleasures of Eden are conflated with the torments of Hell, this new trilogy of (mostly) non-fiction works by artist-filmmaker Ben Russell and occasional collaborator Jim Drain examines the ecstatic limits of utopia in the present. Moving from a documentary portrait of Atlantis to a vertiginous inquiry into immortality to a post-colonial vision of Melanesian cargo cults, these films take a visceral, embodied, and ethnographic approach towards their subject (which is also us). From Malta to Greece to Vanuatu to Miami to Seattle: utopia is now! Or, in the words of Samuel Beckett, "What do we do now, now that we are happy?"
Northwest Film Forum (View)
1515 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122