Wavelengths 5: Une Catastrophe 
The Secret School, Une Catastrophe, Le Streghe Femmes Entre Elles, A Letter To Uncle Boonmee, Abbreviation For Dead Winter
Personal expressions of historical and collective memory confront spectres from the past throughout this programme.
With The Secret School (Greece), Marina Gioti delves into one of the most contentious nationalist debates in Greece: the existence of illegal “secret schools” allegedly operating under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Church during the Turkish Ottoman rule.
While the world eagerly awaits his new feature, Jean-Luc Godard’s Une Catastrophe (Austria) has its Canadian premiere in Toronto. Returning to the essayistic style that has come to define his extensive post-Nouvelle Vague body of work, the film brings a flash of the director’s prosody, complete with the grunting sounds of a tennis match, a dash of German melodrama and his signature epigrammatic wordplay.
Despite the loss of his filmmaking partner and wife, Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub has been steadfast in his filmmaking. The international premiere of Le Streghe, femmes entre elles (France/Italy), like last year’s heartrending Le Genou d’Artemide, is based on Cesare Pavese’s Dialogues with Leucò. Nature’s splendour, as Straub has always filmed it, pulses with everlasting energy throughout this delicately profound chimerical intersection of im/mortality.
The North American premiere of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s equally masterful A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (Thailand/UK/Germany) is a segment from his multi-platform project Primitive (see also his single-channel installation Phantoms of Nabua, presented as part of Future Projections). Filming in Nabua in northeastern Thailand, site of a bloody 1965 battle between communist farmers and the totalitarian government, Apichatpong employs a roving, floating camera and incantatory omniscient narration to simultaneously evoke the dangerous cycles of violence and repression, and the hope of perpetual rebirth and remembrance.
David Gatten’s Abbreviation for Dead Winter (USA) from his Invisible Ink series, captures passages from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species as they are lifted from the page, resulting in residual ink spots and fibres that evoke metaphors of migration and distances.
2009 Screening Schedule