|10:45PM||Q&A with director Oskar Alegria|
|11:30PM||After Party sponsored by New Amsterdam Spirits|
(Roof and Courtyard)
on the roof and courtyard
232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
F/G to Carroll St. or R to Union
NY Premiere. In 1926, the Surrealist artist Man Ray created an experimental film titled Emak Bakia, shot along a forgotten stretch of the Basque coast. Today, a filmmaker retraces Man Ray’s steps by foot, using chance and the wind to guide him in this poetic, indefinable documentary.
The Search for Emak Bakia (Oskar Alegria | 84 min.)
The direct translation of the Basque phrase “Emak Bakia” is “leave me alone,” yet in The Search for Emak Bakia this simple phrase and what it represents taunts filmmaker Oskar Alegria. The saying is emblazoned on a house belonging to the celebrated artist Man Ray and is the subject of his 1926 experimental film by the same name. The “search” refers to all aspects of “Emak Bakia,” as Alegria is more interested in the journey, not the destination. The film creates room for wonder, adventure, and invention as he splinters the title into a multitude of cinematic visions and peaceful explorations.
Following Man Ray’s elliptical path of coastlines, columns, sculptures and sleeping eyelids the film inspects the art in the artifacts along the way, often stopping to daydream with others who have also been lured in by this enigmatic phrase. Inquisitive interviews ranging from Parisian clowns to aging Romanian Princesses, inspired cinematography, elegantly composed writing and an open heart create a shadow of Man Ray’s film, an interpretation of the past that informed the flickering images of the original Emak Bakia.
Alegria’s vision may mirror Man Ray’s, but it is his own unique voice that leaves the indelible mark. The slowed down flash of lightning against a vivid house façade becomes a frame of painterly feeling. Sounds recorded throughout the house whisper within the soundtrack. Horizontal planes force your eye across unthinkable perspectives. Light, sound, time and space somehow act at the will of this visionary director in this promising feature film debut.
Similar in spirit to the collaged musings of Agnes Varda’s documentaries and the philosophical wit of Herzog, this film meditates on the genre in a way that tests and pushes its conventions much like its subject. The Search for Emak Bakia is a captivating archive of a chimeric world making Rooftop Films the perfect venue for this New York Premiere.