Sea of Vapours, 15 min, 2014
In Sylvia Schedelbauer’s Sea of Vapors, soft black-and-white images—both archival and original—flicker at more or less a constant rate before slowly dissolving into other images, the overall effect enhanced by the varying discernibility of shots, as well as by slight camera movements within them. Beginning with an image of the back of a woman’s head as the camera moves in, the film ends with a shot of what we assume is the same woman, raising to her lips, and then draining the contents of, a cup whose luminous round base conceals her face. Despite the teeming flow of images juxtaposed and superimposed in between—eye to mountainscape, face to fingernails, flowers to lips, rocks to sea, forest to child—we are struck less by associative or metaphorical links than by the sense that, with her simple gesture, the woman engages the phenomenal world, drinking in nothing less than the universe conjured throughout. – Tony Pipolo
Sylvia Schedelbauer’s films transform fragmentary found footage into hallucinatory landscapes merging large historical actions and evocative solitary gestures. Subtly using rhythmic montage and overlays of sound, Schedelbauer creates unsettling experiences in which seemingly familiar moments from the past become haunting reflections on the present. Compelling, resonant and sensually rich, these films brilliantly enrich a classic experimental film tradition. Schedelbauer was born in Tokyo and lives in Germany. Her elusive bi-cultural family history has been and continues to be the driving force behind her artistic vision. – Redcat
Screening co-presented with the Canadian Filmmaker’s Distribution Centre.