STAGE 3: Status of Acts 1 through 5
Key points for Stage 3 assembled by Odilonvert
Storyboard Page 1 from Santropez' segment
The Ergodic Cinema Project hosted by MUBI Garage is a unique experiment in cinematic form, exploring the potential of international collaboration in the age of the internet. Inspired by the implications of literary ergodicity and its relation to the cinema, the Ergodic Film Project seeks to invent a system which imparts upon the spectator an experience of contextualization and re-contextualization of narrative information akin to the following of information on the internet from hyperlink to hyperlink. Individual film segments represent possible deviations and varying avenues of a collective narrative. Our "key" segment takes place in the late 1960’s Rio de Janeiro, focusing on the life of a woman and her search for a political activist who has recently gone missing. Subsequent films may be followed by theviewer in any number of combinations, the essential problematic of the "key" segment unfolding in different ways through different films.
The Ergodic Cinema Project collaborators live in different countries, speak different languages and have radically differing stylistic concerns. All have come together through the internet. We utilize avenues of cyber-communication to produce this project which has for ultimate aim the creation of a film in cyberspace, one which echoes the very experience of moving through that same cyberspace. ________________________________________________
List of collaborators to date:
The following components are described in greater detail in Production Note 1:
Structure, Theme, Length of Segments, Equipment, Shooting Schedule and General Details (use of actors, language and subtitles, music).
Status of Act 1 (Dandara):
Dandara will be moving into production during the last week of March following some troubles with financing which are still in the process of definitive resolution. A new actress for the lead role (Maria) has been found and a suitable camera. Dandara will also be sharing some footage of Rio de Janeiro to help subsequent segments visually connect to her story.
Missing: is about a woman named Maria, gone in search of a political prisoner who recently disappeared. With the exception of the last scene, this segment takes place in the mid 1970’s Rio de Janeiro. The search for his grave is interspersed with dream sequences in which she experiences the torture, terror and anguish of his disappearance. Maria finally creates her own grave for him where she buries his jacket and one of her own personal belongings, a necklace. At the end of the segment, there is a leap in time to the present day where an older, more emotionally composed Maria, who does not seem to have any outward psychological connection to the younger Maria, appears in the cemetery.
Dandara, on her segment:
Search, death and rebirth: a woman pursues a missing loved-one in the aftermath of the Brazilian military dictatorship. Born only weeks after the proclamation of Institutional Act 5 in 1968 and the criminalization of political opposition, Dandara creates a film to honor the political prisoners whose bodies were never discovered.
My motivation to explore the theme of our project came to me as my grandmother’s health failed and I, in the distance, could not make sense with her approaching death. The language barrier lead me to compose a "mute" film script, so I could communicate with all Filmmakers involved in the Ergodic Film Project’s forum threads. I focused on assigning dramatic charges to objects that could travel across cultures, baring various uses and meanings.
In terms of my segment’s content, I was touched by memories related to Hamilton Coutinho, the "uncle" (my father’s brother by heart) who invited me to MUBI and, by doing so, opened to me a new way to experience and make film. He went through psychological torture during the Dictatorship; the legend of this episode is a vivid memory of my childhood. We are now developing a documentary film about him and other (living) torture victims.
Working in the total absence of financing was something I had no intention (or means) to do. But abandoning the Project wasn’t a choice either. So I chose to face it by creating a test scene, which requires detailed planning but no cuts. All I have is a loaned camera, an assistant photographer and an actress. I’m getting ready to shoot in a cemetery, here in Rio, Saturday March 26th, if all goes well. For the documentary I will do just the interviews.
The test scene, and some footage of Rio, will be my contribution to the Project’s new phase. And a tool to add the missing funds and partners to Act 1 Production resources.
Original photography from the film can be found here.
Status of Act 2 (Ryan):
Currently in production.
For No One: is about a stranger who takes on the identity of another woman. The film opens with a couple sitting silently together. The house is immaculate and as the relationship of the couple, there are no signs of warmth within. As the wife prepares for bed, she is accosted and murdered by a stranger whose face is bandaged. The murder weapon is a necklace. The stranger takes the wife's face and identity, sitting down happy and completely unnoticed next to the husband in the living room.
Shadowy Figure, by Odilonvert
Status of Act 2 (Odilonvert):
In production. Test scenes to be shot the week of March 21.
Odilonvert on her segment:
Letters is about mistaken identity and purposeful deception. An unknown woman picks up a letter that drops out of another woman's notebook as she walks down the street. She proceeds to write the author of this letter, impersonating that woman, who signs as "Anisette." The author of the letter, "Chartreuse," becomes suspicious, but then eventually comes to trust that the writer of the letter is indeed Anisette. He attempts to visit her to console her over her grief regarding a missing man, but then goes missing in the process. The woman receives a letter from a third party going by the name of "Chambord," who states that Chartreuse has been found dead, and advises her not to look for him. After she has burned her correspondence because this news (the game has become dangerous), she receives another letter from "Chartreuse," implying that an unknown man is now playing the very same impersonation game with her.
Still from Odilonvert's script Letters
Letters was inspired my observation of tentative friendships that exist on the internet, as well as the identity games that people play by using false names in place of their real ones. It seemed to me that the premature and misleading trust assumed by people in internet relationships, followed by an unexpected betrayal of that trust, tied in well to the theme of politics gone wrong in Dandara's segment about Brazil in the 1970s. Letters also builds on a style of filmmaking I have been recently exploring that focuses on writing, either the actual action, or the image of the words on the screen.
Status of Act 2 (Santropez):
Currently in production.
Santropez' script: as of yet nameless, is the story of a boy who wakes up in another life. Unable to find a hobby that interests him, he receives an invitation to a soccer game where he overhears a conversation on Russian film and their "weight" compared to that of a cow, measured in Playstations. In an effort to understand the significance of this "weight," the boy attempts to gather 20 Playstations but is discovered by his father and punished. Later during the visit to a farm, he attempts to pick up a cow but instead blacks out and wakes up in yet another life.
Status of Act 3:
Pitches for Act 3 by members Tremolo, Roboko and TheGamgee have been approved and can be read in the "Ergodic Film Project Submissions" thread.
Tremolo's script has been submitted and can be found here.
TheGamgee’s script has been submitted and can be found here.
Roboko’s script is pending submission.
Status of Acts 4 and 5:
Following the submission and approval of the Act 3 scripts, PolarisDiB will begin a pitch for Act 5. Act 5 must be approved and finalized before Act 4 pitches are to be submitted.
Funding: We are currently looking into methods of funding for this project. Both Kickstarter and Indiego-go are being considered at this time as are other options. Although limited funding for segments may become available at some time in the future, contributors are strongly encouraged to work under the assumption that budgets will be restricted to their personal finances. Please contact our Financial Officer (PolarisDiB) for details.
Film Festivals: We do plan on running the festival circuit, showing the body of our work in its entirety. Although the submission of individual segments to festivals is not restricted, it is highly encouraged that contributors credit the Ergodic Cinema Project and its affiliation with Mubi Garage.
Photograph showing neglected and hidden path, by Odilonvert
Recruitment: Please introduce yourself on the "Ergodic Film Project Communications" thread and let us know in what way you would like to contribute.