26 Nov 4:30 pm: Rey
Director: Niles Atalla
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Once upon a time, a man travelled to the end of the world. There, at the tip of recently independent South America, he founded his kingdom. It was 1860 and this French adventurer, Orélie-Antoine de Tounens, was perhaps a little crazy. Armed with a constitution penned by himself and a new flag, he fought his way through the rugged wilderness on horseback. After arriving he managed to unite the natives and was chosen to become their ruler. At least, that’s one version of this true story.
In Rey, the problems of history and memory are emphasised by the degradation of image and sound. This impressively designed adventure film is also a powerful textural experiment featuring sections of half-decayed celluloid; director Niles Atallah shot some segments in 2011, then buried the 35mm, 16mm and Super-8 film in his back garden. What does time do to a story? The results of these burials recur throughout the film – as deteriorating memories and the king’s wild visions.
Atallah also experimented with puppets, masks and stop-motion animation. Everything culminated in this delicate work of art: an ode to film and a fascinating fairy tale. Winner of the Special Jury Award at International Film Festival Rotterdam.
Spanish with English Subtitles.
Photo credit: Niles Atallah
Produced in: Chile
Running time: 90 mins