Previously at the ICA - Films
3 Aug 2018 – 21 Aug 2018
Influenced by the Sensory Ethnography Lab’s advocacy of innovative combinations of aesthetics and ethnography, El Mar La Mar sits between experimental anthropological essay and imagistic film poem. The 16mm footage deliberately overwhelms with open space, massive skies and landscapes shimmering in deathly heat. The meticulous sound design focuses on desert winds and the nocturnal sounds of venomous insects, deadly snakes and predatory mountain lions. At times, migrants’ and residents’ voiceover emerges from a completely black screen, telling of getting lost, discovering a body or taking in a shivering migrant. Other voices chillingly describe the desert in dark, psychedelic terms or invoke mythical monsters. The desert’s distortion of reality can be fatal; migrants often lose their way and wander in circles until they are picked up by border patrols or die. Captured on screen, El Mar La Mar’s building dread attempts to drive home the horror of a five-day desert crossing undertaken on foot.
El Mar La Mar, Dir. Joshua Bonnetta and J.P. Sniadecki, USA, 2017, 95 mins
The screening on August 2 will be followed by a Q&A with director Joshua Bonnetta.
Alongside the theatrical cut of El Mar La Mar the ICA will also be screening a new sound and video version of the work for the first time as it was originally conceived as an installation work installed in the ICA Theatre from August 2nd – 9th.