July - Black Sun -St. Paul's, Monday 1st
July's film from British director Gary Tarn is Black Sun (2005).
Tickets: free to members / £5 for everyone else.
Back at St. Paul's on Monday 1st July5
WFC’s July’s offering will be Black Sun (2005) by filmmaker Gary Tarn, a visually stunning and thoughtful meditation on the nature of seeing. It’s a documentary centring on artist Hugues de Montalembert who was tragically blinded in a random New York City mugging and his subsequent journey in adjusting to the loss of his sight. Taking its cinematic queue from other great Art documentaries such as Chris Marker’s masterly San Soleil (1983) Black Sun tells us a true tale but in a highly individual and poetic way, it is more cinematic essay or visual poem than traditional documentary.
Premiering at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival and produced by Mexico’s finest Alfonso Cuaron, Gary Tarn’s first feature is quite the calling card. A stunning mixture of images, textures, a lyrical treatment of de Montalembert’s narration and an original haunting score by Tarn himself, ensures that the film becomes as much a visual and emotional experience for the viewer as it is a recapitulation of de Montalembert’s own experiences. Black Sun never seeks easy illustration of its subject’s journey, physical or otherwise: rather it catches the luminous materiality of the seen as a means to the most searching spiritual enquiry. Never seeking to dwell mawkishly or sentimentally on the dreadful event, the film is rather ‘more interested in his [de Montalembert ] enduring artistic impulses than in any clichéd "testament to the human spirit”. Victoria Segal - New Statesman
For a film on blindness it is conversely incredibly visual, making the viewer really look and meditate on the gift of sight, on the actual and the abstract qualities of looking. It also manages to heighten our other senses. Ultimately though Black Sun is not just about blindness, but ways of seeing — anatomical, neurological, philosophical, spiritual, and cinematic. At once an excellent tribute to the extraordinary de Montalembert, as well as a sensory treat for the viewer and a moving portrait of the human experience and its extremities, it is a work for all places and times, for anyone who seeks to fully live, to engage, it is indeed essential viewing. It is simply a wonderful film; unique, dazzling and thought provoking; the film lingers on in the mind long after viewing and we can’t wait to screen it!
Don't miss it, watch the trailer
‘Narrated with moving simplicity and without a hint of bathos, this account of his struggle has been exquisitely illustrated by director-composer Gary Tarn, whose use of light, colour and shape challenges the subjective nature of reality and turns New York into a place that’s at once terrifying and wondrous. Rarely have the concepts of identity, memory, faith and hope been explored with such poetic courage.’ David Parkinson - Empire
The film is free to Worthing Film Club members (£30 a year - email Caroline at email@example.com to join) or £5 for a ticket, cash on the door. For more details on membership, see here