“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”
Ever since the audience ran away from a long-departed train projected for the first time on a screen by the Lumière brothers, the passage of time has been one of the film’s fundamental issues. The presence of the camera captures and preserves something that is always, by necessity, already past. On the other hand, projection on a screen brings the past back into the present. Behind their respective machines, the director, the camera operator, and the editor can shape and distort the representation of the past and the audience’s experience of the present.
The films proposed by fARAD this year are, each in its own way, meditations on the documentary as a time machine, as a play on presence and evanescence, as a means for constructing parallel realities in the present and re-assessing a partially accessed past.