rites of resistance
a film poem by Miki Ambrózy
source formats: 16mm, 8mm, video
production format: 16mm
distribution format: 16mm, color and BW, optical sound
The buddhist master Dōgen writes: “When bearing a child, do parent and child emanate together? (…) You should study and penetrate how the time when parent becomes child is the practice and realization of bearing a child.”
My transformation from child to parent was like an endless cycle of resistances, including going from digital filmmaking into the underworld of laboratory based work. Every obstacle possible came my way and I embraced them all.
The writing that accompanied me on this journey ended up becoming the film itself: writing as film/film as writing, image as text/text as image. The relentless flow of life passing through…
technical notes, credits
All of Rites was developed and assembled in Labo BxL (artist-run lab in downtown Brussels), L’Abominable (collective lab for preserving heritage formats, La Courneuve, Paris), MTK Grenoble (hosted by Etienne Caire), and L’Atelier de la Senne (Brussels).
Original formats: BW 16mm reversal film, BW and color 16mm print film, 16mm color negative film, DV video, 8mm color negative
Projection format: 16mm, optical sound, BW and colour
Produced by Visualantics
Photography, printing and text - Miki Ambrózy
Edit - Fairuz, Miki Ambrózy
Editing advisors - Els Van Riel, Andreas Hannes
Negative cutting - Mariette Michaud
Photochemical engineering - Etienne Caire, MTK Grenoble
Typography - Salome Schmuki
Sound design - Boris Debackere, Miki Ambrózy
Composer - Kostas Chanis
Sound camera - Guillaume Mazloum
Technical support - Boris Belay
Susan Sontag: Against Interpretation (1966) © London : Penguin Classics, 2009
Internegatives and effects
Etienne Caire (MTK Grenoble)
Guillaume Mazloum (L'Abominable Paris)
Miki Ambrózy (LABO BxL)
Color by DeJonghe, Kortrijk
Produced by Brecht Debackere
Produced with the financial support of the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF)
Fascinated by the pulsing, running nature of projected film, I begin to assemble traces of words, objects, meanings and impressions and print them onto film. Hidden within these gestures lies my wish for a state of serenity. The pieces of film pass through my hands: in search of balance between word and image. They move along our obsolete machinery in the filmlab. Even when I resist, the traces keep generating.
Written over the period of two years, Rites of Resistance is based on a loose collection of autobiographical poems. Through a method of distillation, I have been driving towards a minimum of language that would satisfy my self-imposed criteria for a sincere text, one that manifests without self-consciousness about matters of the everyday. I used 16mm experiments with film to feed my desire to re-print text, meaning and image in a simple, direct form, without the paraphernalia of narrative construction. When I give no intention to my words, something starts moving inside the text.
As every artist working with celluloid knows, film commands its own time of making - I believe this is a force more decisive than the often mentioned fragility of celluloid. Rites is a handmade film which feeds on the never-ending joy of watching an image materialize, of viewing a strip of film straight out of the dryer, of evaluating a result in the light of experience. A pulsing, running experience - on the path of looking for solutions that lead to new problems.