In 2008, Jesse Richards wrote The Remodernist Film Manifesto, which calls for a new authenticity in cinema, a collective embracing of our flaws, a mass turning inwards. The inspired response from filmmakers all over the world sparked the idea of bringing a selection of them together to each make a short film that would all be combined to make a joint feature with no common theme except the inspiration sprouted from Richard’s 15 point message. Seven filmmakers from The Netherlands, Ireland, Iran and America each created work that was distinctly unique yet connected, creating not a narrative, but the unfolding of a collective essence. The final product is a unique cinematic experience; transfixing, beautiful, meditative and at times deeply personal.
The filmmakers are: Heidi Beaver (US), Christopher Michael Beer (US), Dean Kavanagh (Ireland), Roy Rezaali (Netherlands), Rouzbeh Rashidi (Iran/Ireland), Peter Rinaldi (US), Kate Shults (US)
“…In an age where digital technology has given rise to a proliferation of filmmakers with nothing but commercial dreams in their heads for their moribund creations, this Remodernist group of filmmakers is dreaming and believing in something else. And actually doing it… In Passing is an intriguing and exquisite work…"
–Bill Mousoulis from Senses of Cinema
Rouzbeh Rashidi (born in Tehran, 1980) is an Iranian independent filmmaker. He has been making films since 2000 when he founded the Experimental Film Society in Tehran. Since then, he has worked completely apart from any mainstream conceptions of filmmaking. He strives to escape the stereotypes of conventional storytelling and instead roots his cinematic style in a poetic interaction of image and sound. He intentionally rejects scriptwriting, or any other form of written pre-planning.
His films are inspired by and constructed around images, locations, characters and their immediate situations. The stylistic elements that make up his distinctively personal film language include the use of natural light, non-professional actors, slow paced rhythms, abstract plots, static shots and minimal dialogue. He employs a wide range of different formats and devices to make his films, including video, Super-8mm, webcam and mobile phone cameras. His consistently low-budget work is entirely… read more
At first a bit off-putting, but slowly transfixing. Slowly, as scenes transition and things become all the more abstract, it reaches a purely visceral level of hypnotism. I'm not quite sure I gathered all the pieces, but it's a delicate piece of filmmaking - and thoroughly perverse in its resonance.
The main reason omnibus films fall short is when they try to create a theme or a piece of content that will supposedly make the film a whole. The truth is theme/content is not enough to make an omnibus film work; the filmmakers taking part have to be compatible cinematically or share a cinematic ideology. In Passing never feels like separate films, but a continuous journey through different conscious worlds. I like!!