Viennale Erste Bank Film Award Screenings: Eve Heller (October 16th/17th)

Viennale Erste Bank Film Award Screenings: Eve Heller (October 16th/17th)

Viennale Erste Bank Film Award Screenings: Eve Heller (October 16th/17th), © Copyright: LMU-NYU Research Cooperation

04.10.2023 - Article

On the occasion of the awarding of the Viennale Erste Bank Film Award to Singing in Oblivion in 2022, Anthology Film Archives, Erste Bank, and Deutsches Haus at NYU are pleased to welcome Eve Heller, in person, to present a program surveying the majority of her film works at Anthology Film Archives.

Join us at 7:30pm at Anthology Film Archives for a 90-minute foray into some of Heller's most exciting, ethereal, and thrilling works. This screening will include Heller's latest short film, Singing in Oblivion (2021), along with Creme 21 (2013), Self-Examination Remote Control (1981/2009), Ruby Skin (2005), Behind This Soft Eclipse (2004), Her Glacial Speed(2001), Astor Place (1997), and Last Lost (1996).

Eve Heller’s films have established her as one of the great contemporary practitioners of the found-footage genre. Her work exemplifies cinema’s capacity for recording traces of experience, conveying fragments of history, and conjuring the psychological, visual, and emotional textures of dreamlike states. Her moving image works—constructed from educational movies, newsreels, and her own cinematography—engage with personal and shared histories and exist at the crossroads of the intangible and the tactile. These films are suffused with the immediacy of lived experience—attentive to the physical reality of people, animals, and objects represented in the imagery—while equally sensitive to the materiality of the film medium itself, channeling an elusive, inscrutable domain of memories and emotional echoes. Heller fractures, juxtaposes, and distills her source materials such that new, more evocative and resonant meanings and ideas emerge from the colliding fragments.

Heller has demonstrated a continuing commitment to working with 16mm and 35mm film, a choice that transcends a fetishistic or nostalgic attachment to the analog medium by emphasizing and making use of film’s unique ability to convey a palpable trace of the sensible world. Heller’s latest film, Singing in Oblivion, is emblematic of this commitment. It uses a variety of techniques—observational photography, found imagery, photograms, and rich sound design—to conjure a meditation on death, memory, and transience. Centering on a Jewish Cemetery in the Vienna district of Währing, which was partially destroyed by the Nazis and today exists in a state of decay, Heller combines her own ghostly footage of the site with photograms of organic material, as well as fragmentary imagery reprinted from glass negatives she discovered at a flea market in Vienna. Like so many of Heller’s works, the film itself becomes a kind of photogram: a physical object on which now-vanished lives have left their imprint, speaking equally to presence and absence.

“The best of Heller’s films…are as mysterious and subtle as their titles, weaving ghostly, mainly black and white 16mm visions in which time seems suspended. At once ethereal and almost cloyingly vivid, these oneiric works linger in the mind long after viewing.” –Maximilian Le Cain

Date and Time: Monday, October 16th, 2023, from 7:30 PM-9:30 PM

Tuesday, October 17th, 2023, from 7:30 PM-9:30 PM

Location: Anthology Film Archives; 32 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

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