Pandemic on film – part 2


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A Plague on All Our Houses

A Strange Season


Pandemic on film – part 2

Trapped in your home, with the camera as your audience.”

— Gerard van den Broek, documentary curator

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, May 6, 2021 / — Covid-19 has made its mark on this year’s festival like never before. Last year we were in the middle of the pandemic and therefore did not have a live festival, everything was online. This year we have another real physical festival at the Producer’s Club on W44th Street. But unlike last year, when most films dealt with other topics, covid-19 is now the main subject of many films, both documentaries and narrative productions.

The number of dance films is striking. During the pandemic, dancers, like many performing artists, were almost literally trapped in their homes. Performances were canceled, theaters closed, the public was inaccessible. Still, you have to train, keep your body in shape, keep sharpening your technique. So why not a performance in-house? The camera is the audience. At the NYC Independent Film Festival we see different examples of that. A PLAGUE ON ALL OUR HOUSES by New York choreographer Tamar Rogoff who has four veteran dancers bring body and soul to the screen. She whips up her dancers by Zoom, who are in their homes in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Or THE GREAT INDOORS where we see Israeli dancer Eli Cohen inside her home and AND FINALLY SEARCHING IN TIME with same formula in Italy.

C19 is a dance project on film where two dancers play lovers who are trapped by the lockdown in different parts of the world. And MOVING ISOLATION is a collection of short films of different choreographers.

A lot of films at the NYCindieFF festival with covid-19 as a subject are dealing on the psychological part off the pandemic. How do we cope with the lockdown, with our fears, with our loneliness? Some filmmakers do it in a more poetic way, like in 2020 FUORI MODA, FALSE PROMISES or COVID-20, films that are mere soulseeking efforts. But more interesting it gets when Turkish filmmaker Burak Oguz Saguner shows us A STRANGE SEASON, in which a man gets plagues by paranoia over the pandemic and ruins his marriage that spans over half a century. Or CUEBALL in which a couple is estranged from each other despite living on top of each other in their small apartment.

Loneliness is a recurring theme in films this year. How to keep yourself company in LIVING WITH YOURSELF; or the search for love that cannot be found in isolation in MY QUARANTINE IS THE EXILE. In CLOSE YOUR EYES AND SEE PURPLE STARS a father writes la etter to his son in the pandemic. And SUDDENLY VULNERABLE explores our vulnerabilities and the importance of loved ones.

Downright poignant is the film LITTLE BEAN, however short: a mother loses her baby to the covid-19 virus and all that remains are the memories, however brief.

Dennis Cieri
Cieri Media International Corp
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