Meet our featured FIXers, who all bring great films to the Fandor library this week!
This newest group of featured FIX filmmakers have all released works into the library this week — over fifteen and counting — that use micro and macro-cosmic lenses interchangeably, with profound and affecting results. Let’s get to know them better:
In Empire of the Moon, this directing duo takes on Paris, deconstructing the city’s timeless romantic pull through the repeated actions and routes of its many tourists. In Tokyo Waka, their newest collaborative film in the Fandor library, they shift to a different city. While in many ways it is the epitome of contemporary urban bustle, Tokyo is not immune to nature’s inexorably encroachment — here, shown in the intelligent nuisance that is the city’s infestation of crows — and in one poetic, tightly crafted hour, Samuelson and Haptas explore the tension and symbiosis between two populations.
Director, juror, educator and experienced experimentalist Mark Street has been making a diverse body of film work, from formalist forays to nuanced non-fiction, for over two decades. Hasta Nunca, Street’s feature about contemporary Uruguay, reflected through the life of a talk radio host, is brand new to Fandor. A docudrama filmed in close collaboration with a Uruguayan cast and crew and shot in cinema verité style, it’s a movie that paints a very real experience of Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital city. Nine of Street’s shorter works, including a few collaborations with fellow FIXer Lynne Sachs, are also available for viewing.
John’s of 12th Street is a subtle yet stirring documentary effort from Vanessa McDonnell, who also produced and edited the incomparable Go Down Death. The film is a slice-of-life view of the titular East Village Italian restaurant and its longtime employees (none of whom are Italian, but some of whom have been working there for decades). McDonnell, who lives and works in Brooklyn, captures both an institution and a remnant in the midst of a rapidly changing neighborhood and city.
Talk about a filmmaker who isn’t afraid to be vulnerable: Zahedi is often the subject of his own films, and he is often confessing, under the influence or both. From attempts to re-create a divine experience (I Was Possessed by God) to the testing the limits of creative expression (The Sheik and I) to psychedelic dérives with Bonnie “Prince” Billy (Tripping with Caveh), Zahedi is a director who will really “go there.” We are releasing tons of his short films into our library over the next few weeks, and this first batch includes five of his “video letter” films (some to other FIXers, like Jay Rosenblatt) and The World is a Classroom (pictured), his allegory about 9/11 filmed while teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute.
From sociological study to deeply personal diaristic record, these FIXers are all invested in invoking shared experiences. Give any of these films a try, and you’ll soon be seeing the world in a new way. Happy viewing, and stay tuned for our next FIX feature in a few weeks!