Capital Celluloid 2023 — Day 24: Tue Jan 24

Two Years At Sea (Rivers, 2011): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.45pm

This 35mm presentation was chosen by director Mark Jenkin as part of his 'The Cinematic DNA of Enys Men' season at BFI Southbank. Full details here. (Jenkin and Ben Rivers will take part in a Q&A at the other screening in the season on Janusry 14th. Details here.

Time Out review:
Much online debate has arisen around the optimal screening conditions for this extraordinary new feature from British film artist, Ben Rivers. Photographed with old Bolex cameras and using artificially scuzzed monochrome 16mm film, when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival it was shown off of a digital print and many took understandable umbrage: the visual grain and the texture of the film are as much what it’s about as its enigmatic subject, a bearded hermit living in the wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. Like Henry David Thoreau’s ‘Walden’, Rivers’s film is about the philosophical imperatives that come with a lonely existence on the outer fringes of society. But this is much more than a simple portrait of outsider eccentricity, as it also offers that rare thing in cinema: a vision of true happiness. David Jenkins

Mark Jenkin introduction:
It’s the aesthetic, the grain, the flicker, the texture that draws me in. But it’s the complete lack of backstory that ensures I keep returning to this enigmatic masterpiece. What’s not to love about a Bolex-shot, 16mm black and white, hand-processed genre-bending portrait of personal contentment?

Here (and above) is the trailer.

No comments: