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MAMI Film Festival: Art In 36 Frames Per Second via MAMI

After the nuclear disaster in Fukushima in 2011, Philippe Rouy downloaded hours of surveillance footage from a live-cam available on the Tokyo Power Corporation’s website. He also accessed feeds from drones and robots that were sent into the disaster site, a place hazardous to humans. This “toxic footage” was assembled as the Fukushima Trilogy by Rouy and indicated that seeing is not enough for believing when it comes to disaster sites like these.

Rouy’s trilogy is now showing at the on-going MAMI Film Festival in Mumbai, in a section called The New Medium curated by Shaina Anand.

Paris-based Rouy focuses mainly on video-art but his filmography includes documentary and essay films. The Fukushima Trilogy, composed of this accessed footage, challenges our conventional notions of what filmmaking and the role of the director are. Furthermore, works like these, and others, blur the line between artwork and experimental film.

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What’s more important to note, he says, is the lineage and influences on artists and filmmakers. “Experimental cinema in India follows a specific lineage that includes the looming figure of Mani Kaul and Kumar Shahani. Here, one might include Avikunthak, Kabir Mohanty, Shumona Goel, Shambhavi Kaul and, even Nikhil Chopra. Then, there is a whole swathe of video-artists and filmmakers working in the country who are solely influenced by Western video art, such as the works of Bill Viola. Both lines are as credible as each other,” he says.

Read more at MAMI Film Festival: Art In 36 Frames Per Second 

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