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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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Film festival heads to Havana to present showcase of Caribbean cinema

For the third year in a row, the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) is set to present Caribbean Calling, a showcase of Caribbean films, at the Havana Film Festival (HFF) in Cuba. The showcase comprises four feature-length and...
by Jonathan
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MovieMaker magazine acclaims ttff among coolest festivals in the world

The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) has been named one of the 25 coolest film festivals in the world. This accolade has been bestowed upon the Festival by Movie Maker, an American magazine dedicated to the art and business...
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Film festival selections screen as part of Art Society exhibition

The ttff is pleased to be collaborating with the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago in screening several films as part of the society’s November group exhibition. This Wednesday 19th September at 7.00pm, two films will be...
by Jonathan
0

 

 
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ttff/13 selection about Grenada Revolution to screen in Tobago

Forward Ever: The Killing of a Revolution, a feature-length documentary about the 1979 Grenada revolution and the murder of prime minister Maurice Bishop four years later, will have its Tobago premiere at the Kariwak Hotel on S...
by Jonathan
0

 
 
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Film festival hosts cinematic tribute to Geoffrey Holder

The trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) is pleased to host a screening of the award-winning documentary Carmen and Geoffrey, next Friday, 31 October, at its office at 199 Belmont Circular Road in Belmont. A tribute to the acto...
by Jonathan
1

 



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