As has been previously reported, Traveling Light, the fantastic second feature by filmmaker, editor, critic and Notebook contributor Gina Telaroli, is seeing an unusual country-spanning roll out this month. Playing in theaters in New York (last weekend at Anthology Film Archives), the Cleveland Museum of Art, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, the Cinemateca Portuguesa-Museu do Cinema (in a program also featuring films by David Phelps), and more, Traveling Light is also getting a simultaneous worldwide month-long run by our friends at the online Spanish cinema journal Lumière. Especially notable is the unconventional, grassroots nature of this exhibition process, which is being organized by the participating individuals after an online appeal calling for DIY screenings.
In other words: there's no way not to discover Telaroli's beautiful movie. If you want to see it in a theater, here are the theatrical dates and locations. If you want to turn your home or office or mobile media device into a cinema, here is where you can watch this wonderful movie online. Finally, the filmmaker has assembled a marvelous, playful and varied page of what is modestly called "supplements" to Traveling Light, which among other delights includes Telaroli's trains-across-cinema video essay and Traveling Light quasi-companion piece, 4’8 1/2”.
Here are some choice words about Traveling Light:
- At The L Magazine, an interview between Gina Telaroli and David Phelps, who describes the movie:
"A narrative abandoned twice—first when the cast and crew were halted by a snowstorm halfway through their journey and forced to split; later when GT eschewed all narratives at the editing table to figure only their traces—Traveling Light plays as erstwhile fiction and erstwhile documentary, a travelogue of nothing more than the conditions of it’s making. Deceptively simple, a kind of found piece of concrete dialogue between track sounds and a dwindling light that halfway through turns the movie from half-representational to half-abstract, it’s one of the only recent films, narrative, avant-garde, or otherwise, that seems to have sacrificed itself to its subjects to determine its course."
- Glenn Kenny at Some Came Running:
"Telaroli's scheme to cast friends as minimally-defined characters and have them improvise around a scenario set during a train journey from New York to Cleveland was scotched when a snowstorm made completion of the journey impossible. Telaroli reconceived the film as a non-narrative work, something she said she might have subconsciously had in mind in the first place. What she's come up with is a film that sometimes so convincingly simulates a train journey that it's kind of lulling. But this is no aimless impressionistic assemblage. As langourous and naturalistic as it can often seem, it's also quite noticably modular, and actually builds to an acknowledgement of the fact that you're watching something that could conceivably be interpreted as a salvaged by-product."
- Tom McCormack at Altscreen:
"Trains have long served as a metonymy for cinema—a tradition that dates back to Lumiere’s famous short films—but Telaroli’s conceit underscores their phenomenological similarity: sitting still while observing motion. Telaroli restages the dissolving of space into light and texture. Her movie taps into a variety of natural and found rhythms, from the thoroughly rationalized timetable of arrivals and departures to the cosmic ebb and flow of seasonal and circadian cycles."
- B. Kite at the Moving Image Source:
"Gina Telaroli's Traveling Light...maintains a remarkably composed comfort in its rhythms and objects of attention. A train trip from New York to Pittsburgh under brown mid-winter skies, past tract houses, snow scabs, and those deeply unmysterious piles of concrete somethings that always seem to crop up in the blank, functional spaces of America. It's hard to say whether the hanging melancholy is a state of mind or just an expression of the weather, but it rests at the center of the film and exerts a steady sweet-sad pull until the trip finally comes to terminus in one of the loveliest shots I've seen in digital."