Back on the last Wednesday of the month, the Femme Sessions will once again been screen at Maus Hábitos, under the heading Cinema à Mesa, and once again highlight cinema made by women!
For this 40th session we invite you to join us in a pre-session of the 4th edition of the PORTO FEMME FILM FESTIVAL, to watch a program of animation shorts that are part of a selection that comes to us from Austria, in a cooperation between the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Film Festival.
This program, entitled “On Traveling, Matters of the Heart and Peripheries”, aims to make the diverse work of women animated film artists even more visible abroad. This screening of animated films presents a wide range of different films and techniques. However, all these films have one thing in common: they have their finger on the pulse of time, capture moods and emotions and express an inner view that is perhaps only found in women.
Austria/Germany | 3’17’’ | 2019
Direction: Maya Yonesho
Maya Yonesho’s Linzer Lust starts of course with culinary delights: The camera is pointed at a large, juicy red Linzer tart. A hand holds a drawing into the camera, on which there are squared images of Linz. The squares become dots, become green and blue—like the new, real background, a beautiful building in Linz. And so it cheerfully continues in Maya Yonesho’s stop-motion film, because the drawing hows the way through the city—or is it the city that sets the pace and defines the drawing?
MEASURING THE DISTANCE
Austria | 7’00’’ | 2019
Direction: Susi Jirkuff
The project explores urban edges as they correspond with the marginality of social groups who inhabit them. Distance, the anonymity of the architectural setup, decay, but also movement and interaction are subjects of a raw sketch that seeks to integrate discussion about space and segregation into the discourse of the Common Good. The audio-visual language of the film uses a transparency and starkness of approach to reflect its subject matter. The fusion of architectural lines with sound through unexpected correspondences and synchronizations aims to generate a new kind of intermedia proposition.
Austria | 5’00’’ | 2018
Direction: Ani Antonova
With her documentary animation film The Outlander, Ani Antonova tells the tale of the long and arduous journey undertaken by Süleyman, Vienna´s first elephant.
It was in the 16th century that the animal initially voyaged from Ceylon to Lisbon, before being sent on a month-long journey as a living royal gift to Vienna under Maximilian II.
Over 5,000 individually drawn images render the animal in relentless motion, sketching the strenuous path taken across the Alps by the adolescent Suleiman—named after the Osman Sultan and arch enemy of the Habsburg monarchy—in the company f its courtly retinue. Ani Antonova interweaves historical sources into her film, including images from the time of this extraordinary procession.
SHAUL AND IVAN
Austria | 09’50’’ | 2019
Direction: Rebecca Akoun
“Let my boy sing a dance tune for you, this will make you jump for joy”. This is how Talmud scholar Baal Shem Tov praises his disciple Shaul in front of the drunken, secular folk festival community. And indeed: Everybody is dancing right away to the catchy Klezmer piece and Shaul’s “Nanana” oblivious of all the other people around. One boy dances especially hard and keeps shouting “You Shaul, I Ivan”.
Austria | 03’50’’ | 2019
Direction: Veronika Schubert
“I’m really excited to try that out ... I’m going to put my finger here“... The world of make-up tutorials on YouTube and influencers is endless—and the vocabulary used there (like often the content) is interchangeable and limited. Veronika Schubert has extended the research process of collecting, which is characteristic for her animated films, to this world, found various phrases and reassembled them as an audio collage. The animation thus seems almost like a make-up, like a game of disguise, perhaps even like a hiding place entirely in public space.
Austria | 08’00’’ | 2019
Direction: Sabine Groschup
A man is holding a letter, he is looking at it longingly, smelling it, touching it. We hear the percussion as a heartbeat that becomes faster and faster. He is slowly opening the letter, and the words are becoming images on the letterhead, transforming into new images overflowing with intimacy.
Austria | 13’35’’ | 2020
Direction: Beate Hecher und Markus Keim
In the field of tension between work and private retreat, the downfall of an administrative officer is sketched who is no longer up to his changing environment and who finally succumbs to it through his own disappearance. As an administrative employee of a corporate group, the protagonist experiences always the same stations of his monotonous everyday life. Quite casually and at first unnoticed by him, his surroundings begin to change and deform until one morning he finds an empty office and is confronted with the fact that this everyday life no longer exists. What remains is a social structure without a human face in a deserted architecture... a city minus people in its poetic and cruel beauty.
WHO’S AFRAID OF RGB
Austria | 08’20’’ | 2019
Direction: Billy Roisz
Who’s Afraid of RGB plays with references to colour field painting, abstract expressionism, minimal and conceptual art (specifically Barnett Newman’s series of paintings “Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue”), but also to genres of popular culture such is cinema in general and horror film in particular, and most specifically to Disney’s cartoon Three Little Pigs and the film adaptation of the black comedy Who‘s afraid of Virginia Woolf— self-referentiality of the artwork/medium, thus also to the self-referentiality in the viewers themselves, references to other artworks, genres and to scientific fields such as here to the field of psychophysiology.
IN HER BOOTS
Austria /UK | 06’02’’ | 2019
Direction: Kathrin Steinbacher
The hiking boots are the ground under your feet, the certainty that you exist. At least for Grandma Hedi. That’s why she never takes her boots off, even though they’re already full of holes - and sometimes she escapes with them into the world of memories. The villagers turn up their noses at the broken boots, but not her granddaughter, who can laugh about it with her grandmother when she walks around the flat naked or thinks her granddaughter is a fried egg. Kathrin Steinbacher’s In Her Boots is an incredibly tender, humorous and respectful look at the older generation, especially at those who suffer from dementia. However, the film does not hide the painful aspects. Steinbacher stages the emotional story between the inner and outer world with the help of different camera angles from long shots to close-ups and from breathless tracking shots to still images.
THE GLASS WALL
Austria | 02’07’’ | 2017
Austria | 02’00’’ | 2017
Austria | 01’40’’ | 2018
Austria | 01’45’’ | 2018
Direction: Anna Vasof
Revealing the secret of (animated) film and preserving the magic and wit of the medium: In Anna Vasof’s films everything always takes place at the same time. In The Glass Wall, she uses a photographed sequence behind small stacked glass bricks, which the viewers see as single frames through her camera, to show how movement arises—and only through her own tracking shot does it become clear that the sequence of movements captured there shows herself stacking the single frames. In Shaping Waves, she distributes blue sheets of paper that are crumpled up by a group of people—and which, edited one after the other, create a whole sea of different waves. In Explosive Speech, she works New Year’s Eve firecrackers into mouths of clay, which then smoke and explode. And in Cardiograph, she holds a magnifying glass to a cardiogram at the rhythm of her own heart. Thus, Anna Vasof shows not only the “finished” illusion, which we know as stop-motion animation (and which she herself describes as non-stop stop-motion), but also the creation of moving images, which she always stages performatively as a protagonist acting in the film with the seriousness of a scientist during laboratory experiments. In addition, there is the linguistic level: The film titles are often standard or proverbial wordings that Anna Vasof takes quite literally in her films as if it were the most normal thing in the world. Through this reversal of the perception of reality—absurdity as the new normality – Anna Vasof’s films also pose the question of whether it is not rather our “normal” everyday life, which consists of umpteen routine (speech) acts, that represents the actual absurdity.