This programme explores the psychology of the encounter, the performance of situational power, and how the production of narrative can be the ground where those tensions operate. If Greaves’ In The Company of Men produces an arena where hierarchy and racism in the corporate workplace are challenged through a transformative encounter involving role play and the dramatic articulation of the unspoken, James N Kienitz Wilkins’ Special Features and Tester examine voice as the mechanism for the delivery of uncertain testimony – a dream, a found VHS tape – destabilizing the speech act, disrupting the production of authority, and questioning the reliability of personal representation through a midpoint between the material conditions of the image and the emergence of meaning.
ARTISTIC DIFFERENCES proposes a monthly series of film programmes, study groups, and public dialogues that can be joined from all over the world. Organized by UnionDocs with programmer Cíntia Gil, this collection of programmes brings together focused pairings of films and filmmakers with an intellectually adventurous writer or critic for an expansive conversation.
Programmes are built collaboratively with inaugural partners DokuFest, Open City Documentary Festival, DocLisboa, Ficvaldivia, RIDM, Cineteca Madrid and Taiwan International Documentary Festival.
James N Kienitz Wilkins | 2014 | USA | 12’ | digital | English spoken
The first piece of the ANDRE TRILOGY, this film – or a lo-fi fragment from an unnamed video production – seems to explore the codes and roles involved in a filmed interview: a playful short-circuit between the act of reading and the act of telling, breaking continuity and crossing the boundaries of subject, story, enunciation. A man is multiple men, a lived experience is a dream, an interview is a performance, playing with our place as viewers with our own assumptions.
James N Kienitz Wilkins | 2015 | USA | 30’ | digital | English spoken
Built from the footage from an old BetaSP found on a VCR recorder bought on Ebay, TESTER is one of several experiments of the filmmaker with monologue and narration. In contrast with the precise and obsessive verbal construction, the film eludes control over what could constitute a centre or a subject to it, and rather plays with the asymmetry between what is perceived and how meaning is shaped, and the intersection between private and public.
In the Company of Men
William Greaves | 1969 | USA | 52’ | 16mm (digital transfer) | English spoken
Produced for Newsweek and shot in an auto plant in Atlanta as a project to tackle racial friction between white managers and hardcore unemployed black workers, this was the first experiment with sociodrama in film. With the psychodrama-trained actor Walter Klavun, the film is built from moments of improvisation among managers and workers, creating a complex piece that questions both documentary form and the contradictions inherent to the corporate production of visibility and representation.
Followed by a conversation with James N Kienitz Wilkins
“Each party to an encounter has a profound impact upon the other and both will be changed as a result of the meeting.”
– J.L. Moreno