Renowned for his exquisitely photographed land- and cityscapes, Peter Hutton’s latest film is an epic story of the birth, life, and death of the modern container ship. Shot over a period of three years, At Sea opens on a hyper-modern South Korean shipyard, where supertankers loom over the workers who build them, then journeys through the swells and storms of the North Atlantic, and closes on a maritime grave in Bangladesh where ship breakers scrap the beached leviathans piece by piece under medieval conditions. Beautifully shot and keenly observed, Hutton’s film showcases the environmental and human dramas that play out in the life cycle of this invisible engine of globalization and modern-day Noah’s Ark. —conversationsattheedge.org/
Peter Hutton (b. 1944, Detroit) is one of cinema’s most ardent and poetic portraitists of city and landscape. A former merchant seaman, he has spent nearly forty years voyaging around the world, often by cargo ship, to create sublimely meditative, luminously photographed, and intimately diaristic studies of place, from the Yangtze River to the Polish industrial city of Lodz, and from northern Iceland to a ship graveyard on the Bangladeshi shore. This comprehensive retrospective of eighteen films reveals an artist dedicated to reawakening a more contemplative and spontaneous way of observing and envisioning the world.
Whether seeking remembrance of a city’s fading past or reflecting on nature’s fugitive atmospheric effects, Hutton sculpts with time; each film unfolds in silent reverie, with a series of extended single shots taken from a fixed position, harking back to cinema’s origins and to traditions of painting and still photography. “Like the haiku of Bashô,” the scholar Tom… read more