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September 26, 2008

TTFF at SFC III

Screenshot from Paradise Omeros.

Isaac Julien isn’t your ordinary filmmaker; his films are not your ordinary films. If you come to an Isaac Julien film looking for conventional story, plot, action and characterisation, you will undoubtedly be frustrated. If, however, you engage an Isaac Julien film as an artistic experience – in much the same way you would experience a painting or other work of visual art – and in particular, if you experience it in the multi-screen installation form that many of his films take, you may find the experience much more rewarding.

Screenshot from Fantôme Afrique.

Last Thursday evening at the StudioFilmClub, a large crowd turned out as the second of two evenings of screenings of Isaac Julien’s films took place, as part of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. (The first was dedicated to a screening of Derek, Julien’s feature-length biopic of the late Derek Jarman.) This second evening was dedicated to a selection of Julien’s shorter works – Paradise Omeros, True North, Fantôme Afrique, Western Union: Small Boats, and Baltimore. They were shown in single screen format, not their original multi-screen versions; they were also screened one right after the other, giving the viewer less than ideal amount of time to properly digest what she or he had just seen (but how much time is ideal, anyway?).

Screenshot from True North.

Yet the five films almost all had overlapping themes and concerns – journeys and travellers, the plight of the migrant – and a number of them had at least one recurring character, giving them a palpable thread. They were also undeniably beautiful to watch: some of the images are still replaying themselves in my head over a day later. What all these images add up to, however, is something that cannot be said from a solitary viewing. Isaac Julien makes films, but he also makes art, and like the best art, they need to be experienced and re-experienced to be fully appreciated.

Isaac Julien.

Che Lovelace and Peter Doig, founders of StudioFilmClub.

Emilie Upczak, Associate Director of the TTFF, and Marina Salandy-Brown, Executive Director of the TTFF.

Sterling Henderson, journalist, and filmmaker Edmund Attong.

Artist Tessa Alexander.

Artist Dean Arlen makes a comment during the post-screening Q&A.;

Artist Mario Lewis.

Christopher Mendes, owner of the Reader’s Bookshop.

Isaac Julien and Judy Raymond, editor of the magazine Caribbean Beat.






 
ttff entries:
 

 
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Call for volunteers for ttff/14

The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) wants you! We are looking for volunteers for the ninth edition of the Festival, which takes place from 16-30 September 2014. We welcome people of all ages who love movies and who share a...
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Amnesty International and ttff establish new human rights prize

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Free talk on early history of cinema at film festival office

The ttff, in collaboration with the US Embassy, is pleased to host an informal talk on the early history of cinema and the appreciation of film at its offices at 199 Belmont Circular Road, Belmont on Tuesday 17 June at 6.30pm. ...
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Screening of Calypso Rose documentary for Street Arts Festival

When Calypso Rose visited West Africa several years ago, admiring audiences gave her the name “the Lioness of the Jungle”. Eventually that name would work its way into the title of a documentary film being made at the time ...
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Call for applications for RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion 2014

RBC Focus: Filmmakers’ Immersion 2014 Presented by ttff + RBC Royal Bank 23–27 September 2014 Application deadline: July 11 The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff), in association with RBC Royal Bank, invites applications ...
by Jonathan
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