Previewing the films, music and art at this season's Future Shorts Seoul event.
This weekend the awesome team behind Future Shorts Seoul return with another instalment of the regular exhibition of international short films. While not explicitly stated, this events 5 riveting selections have an overlapping theme – the trials and tribulations of people living in lower classes. All of the offerings here range in style and subject matter but they can all be described as raw, naturalistic or even gritty.
On top of the excellent films being shown, Future Shorts have put a lineup of musicians and artists to offer a multi-media evening. Here, we preview the various things on offer.
Bikini Words (2016 – Dir. Nils Claus)
This short documentary explores the effect of rapid industrialisation of South Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. By exploring factories and the living quarters of those who worked in them, the film hopes to create an image of what life was like for these people. This film examines the grim reality of the oppressed men and women bound by poverty and hard labor during modernisation. The Dickensian documentary is underpinned by a haunting score and an excellent narrator who offers poetic insight to the life she led.
The Blaze – Territory (2017 – Dir. Benjamin Loyseau)
The music video for French electronic duo The Blaze is a gritty, real-world take on the lives of young men living in Algeria. The video was directed by photographer Benjamin Loyseau and examines modern masculinity and the effects it has. The film aims to show a human side to its characters and invites a feeling of empathy from the viewer. Visually, the film is extremely well crafted; jumping in and out of rhythmic syncing to the incredibly well suited audio.
Les Miserables (2017 – Dir. Ladj Ly)
The title of Les Miserables was selected because the movie is set in the same place where Victor Hugo wrote the famous novel. In many ways this is a brutal, modern reimagining of that story, with similar themes occurring in both. Here, we see the the tribulations of inner city life shown without apology or explanation. We follow Pento, the latest recruit to the local anti-crime brigade. Immediately thrown into his new role, he's placed in compromising positions by crooked colleagues and shown the full extent of the hardships faced by the people he's being persuaded to view as enemies. This film shares similarities 1995's La Haine and even the HBO series The Wire; it's unflinching pursuit of the truth offering its viewer no easy answers.
Batrachian’s Ballad (2016 – Dir. Leonor Teles)
Batrachian’s Ballad is an experimental Portuguese film by award-winning director Leonor Teles. Here, the irreverent filmmaker takes a fairytale style approach to a less-than-magical subject matter. Using a frog parable, Teles examines the role of xenophobic, anti-immigration rhetoric in contemporary Portugal. As well as blending modern-day Europe with this allegorical world, Teles weaves a strand of her own personal experiences in too.
Rocknrollers (2016 – Dir. Daan Bol)
Rocknrollers is a documentary by Dutch filmmaker Daan Bol about a group of teenage boys who start their own psychedelia band. Things take a turn for the worst when the eldest of the three boys falls under a severe spell of depression which adds strain to the relation between him and the other members. This film aims to show the role music plays in young people’s lives as well as the effects depression can have, particularly on teenagers.
Seoul-based musician Akimbo is one of the most unique artists on the local scene. He’s well known for mixing traditional Korean instruments with a very modern house style. This creates a weird juxtaposition in textures between the crisp, contemporary electronic sounds and the substantive, visceral sound of instruments that have been around centuries. Watch this space for a full write up on Akimbo soon.
We’ve already raved on our huge amount of love for the music Grey Watson produces. Suffice to see his 2016 album Ruins is one of our favourites from last year. His smart, melodic take on indie rock mixes influences from blues, folk, country and even more avant-garde inspirations.
Miniprint are an alternative zine publishing and screen-printing operation focused on helping visual artists get their work out there. The awesome duo of Rori and Albert are always on hand to lend their expertise in the world of print-media and help you manifest your vision. As well as working in screen-printing they also offer workshops in technique and art theory. They’ll also be selling exclusive Future Shorts prints at the event.
Graphic-artist Da-iN produces bold, colourful designs. Her well-known creations draw on the artist’s interest in movies as well as her love of tropical colours and her mix of Aztec aesthetic Africa-inspired imagery. She’s an incredibly prolific creator and has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions.
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