LOS ANGELES—Filmforum welcomes Armenian-Canadian filmmaker Gariné Torossian for her first Los Angeles screening with her beautiful animation and experimental films. Torossian has a varied and extensive filmography stretching over 25 years. Working originally in rich hand-manipulated 16mm to explore Armenian identity and tradition, she has added other film approaches and explorations to investigate personal identity, memory, the subconscious, and the legacy of past imagery.
One film, “Shadowy Encounters,” specifically pays tribute to the Brothers Quay, while her most recent work, “An Inventory of Some Strictly Visible Things,” utilizes live-action photography and a series of staged moments. Her feature documentary, “Stone, Time, Touch,” (which we won’t have time to screen) won best documentary at the Warsaw International Film Festival in 2007.
The screening will take place on Sunday, July 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028.
Tickets: $10 general; $6 students (with ID)/seniors; free for Filmforum Members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets online, or at the door.
Girl From Moush (1993, 16mm, color, sound, 5 min.)
“Girl from Moush” is a poetic montage of the artist’s journey through her subconscious Armenia. It is not an Armenia based in a reality, but one that appears, like the mythical city of Shangri La, when one closes one’s eyes. Rooted in what Jung may call a “communal consciousness,” her Armenia appears on film as a collage of myth, legend, experience, and immigration.
“Inspired by the film “Sayat Nova” (“The Color of Pomegranates,” 1969) by the great Armenian director Sergei Parajanov, whose face can be detected in many of this film’s dissolves, Torossian creates a sensuously surreal realm of images about a sense of diaspora and of longing for one’s cultural roots.” – Berlinale, Panorama 40th Anniversary Screening, 2019
Drowning in Flames (1995, 16mm, color, sound, 25 min.)
“Drowning in Flames” uses an astounding palette of image processing techniques to address the artistic process in both subject and form.
Sparklehorse (1999, 16mm, color, sound, 9 min.)
With “Sparklehorse,” Gariné Torossian returns to the collage style of filmmaking explored in her earlier films, “Visions,” “Girl From Moush,” and “Drowning In Flames.” “Sparklehorse” subtly conveys, with characteristic poetry, the ways in which people communicate with and value each other in a world of spiralling meditation.
Babies on the Sun (2001, 16mm, color, sound, 5 min)
“Babies on the Sun” offers nostalgic, weathered images of “childhood” inspired by the song of the same name by the band Sparklehorse. The textured and layered style of the film gives the impression of blurred memories floating in the subconscious mind. The images, half visible, are abstracted through a process of visual degradation, suggesting the effect of time on memory, and mystified through collage, revealing the non-linear configurations of memory where images dwell in interesting and emotionally cumulative juxtapositions.
Shadowy Encounters (2002, 16mm, color, sound 15 min.)
An extraordinarily provocative film which draws the viewer in with its strange mesmerizing beauty.” – Brothers Quay
The film “Shadowy Encounters” is an homage to the work of the Quay Brothers. The film is a synthesis of collaged moving and still images taken directly from the Quay Brothers’ 35mm films and recontextualized in order to metaphorically and responsively capture and reframe the Quay’s films’ qualities. The resultant richly textured and layered imagery delves the labyrinthine and secret realms of the Quay Brothers’ world.
An Inventory of Some Strictly Visible Things (2017, digital, color, sound, 6:53)
“An Inventory of Some Strictly Visible Things” was part of an exhibition curated by Hrag Vartanian titled “Fixed Point Perspective,” that investigated the afterlife of Ottoman photography.
Come Around (2007, digital, color, sound, 4 min.)
Poem by Louise Bak. Music by Peter Scherer.
Gariné Torossian is an Armenian-Canadian filmmaker. Her works include Stone, Time, Touch which won best documentary at the Warsaw International Film Festival in 2007. Her films have screened at MoMA, the Telluride Film Festival (Colorado), Lux Cinema (London), the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Warsaw International Film Festival, Berlinale, and a host of cinematheques, including those in Berlin, Edmonton, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Her debut short, Visions (1992), was part of a retrospective at Centre Pompidou when she was 22. Her subsequent shorts were screened at New York Museum of Modern Art Cineprobe when she was 25. Torossian’s work has been broadcast on Arte France, Documentary Channel (Canada), Bravo Canada, Sundance Channel (USA), SBS (Australia) and WTN (Canada). Her films focus on notions of memory, longing and identity, underlined by her diverse and comprehensive filmography.
“Girl from Moush” (1994) was awarded best short at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Torossian was commissioned by the American indie rock band Sparklehorse to produce a music video. The resulting short film,”Sparklehorse “(1999), received commendation at the 2000 Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival. Her short film featuring the music of “Sparklehorse,” “Babies on the Sun” (2001), received the Panorama short film prize at the Berlinale, the Berlin International Film Festival. “Hokees” won a gold prize for drama at the Houston Film Festival (2000) and best short at the Los Angeles AFFMA Film Festival (2000). Torossian’s “Stone, Time, Touch” (2007) is a feature-length documentary filmed mostly in Armenia. It was awarded best documentary feature at the Warsaw International Film Festival (2007).
For more information: Visit the website, or call 323-377-7238.