The Limits of Cinema
A limit, on the one hand, makes it possible to mark the boundaries of an object or territory, to know its shape, its scope and its specific range of action. But it is also the space where the object dissolves and blends with its context until it becomes indistinguishable from it, from its surroundings and even from its most radical opposites.
The films presented in this series materialise in this space. The main characters in Juventude em Marcha (Pedro Costa, 2006) are real and are playing themselves, inhabiting the spaces of their daily lives. But the film is a work of fiction in how it shows its subjects with their history, their past lives and world, without ever overstepping the forms of the present.
Los materiales (Los Hijos, 2009) is a work that is tense and problematic as a piece of fiction and equally so as a documentary. A mixture of voices turned into subtitles, writing, vague images and rough footage become the pure documents of a particular task: that of framing, focusing and filming background footage. In the words of Daniel García, “it rebels against a type of cinema that it constantly evokes.”
Eva Koch (Frederiksberg, 1953) uses the camera like a chisel to remodel what happens around her. In Evergreen (2006) she makes an documentary observation, recording what surrounds her, settling her gaze on features that may be completely invisible at first glance, revealing and giving physical form to what she films around her. In Approach she shows a crossroads between languages, while in NoMan (1998), a mystery unfolds around a trail of human figures walking along a pier fraught with danger, where waves constantly crash, sweeping over the pier and the walkers.
Manuel Asín, in Siete vigías y una torre (2004), uses his camera to record some public sculptures created by Jorge Oteiza (Orio, 1908-San Sebastian, 2003), using a simple static shot. But he alters the time and movement in the shots, and perhaps thanks to this movement, he produces portraits of the sculptures. The question arises, then: in film can there be a documentary insofar as there is time, fiction and movement? Or does it all come from the mistaken idea that documentaries are ways of seeing and fiction is voice, that one is a portrait and the other a representation?