Evoking the still photographs that mysteriously punctuate his feature Two Years at Sea, Ben Rivers’ Phantoms of a Libertine is an enigmatic portrait (channeling Marcel Broodthaers as much as Raymond Depardon) of a lost friend, told through two sets of photographs — professional and private — and the objects that remain. –TIFF
Ben Rivers (born in 1972) is a contemporary experimental film maker and artist based in London. His work has been shown in many film festivals and galleries throughout the world, and won numerous awards. His work ranges from themes about exploring unknown wilderness territories to candid and intimate portrayals of real-life subjects.
Ben Rivers’ practice as a filmmaker treads a line between documentary and fiction. Often following and filming people who have in some way separated themselves from society, the raw film footage provides Rivers with a starting point for creating oblique narratives imagining alternative existences in marginal worlds. Rivers uses near-antique cameras and hand develops the 16mm film, which shows all the evidence of the elements it has been exposed to – the materiality of this medium forming part of the narrative. More recently the film works have developed to incorporate installation.
He has been the recipient of a number of commissions and awards… read more
An in-depth preview of TIFF 2012’s program.