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Differently, Molussia

  • Directed by Nicolas Rey
  • France, 2012, 81 mins., German

We welcome Parisian filmmaker Nicolas Rey for the first of two nights of extraordinary cinematic experiences. DIFFERENTLY, MOLUSSIA is an ethereal and expansive hand-processed film based on fragments from the 1930s anti-fascist novel THE MOLUSSIAN CATACOMB by Günther Anders (who was married to philosopher and political scientist Hannah Arendt). As prisoners sit in the cells of the imaginary fascist state of Molussia, they tell stories about the outside world and ruminate on economics and politics in the form of a series of philosophical fables. Prior to each screening, a random ordering of the “baby blue,” “pink,” and “canary” 16mm film reels/chapters is determined so that in total, there are 362,880 combinations from which the projection can be assembled. As much about visual texture as philosophy, tonight’s version will be unique, each part comprising “[a] visual course, a sound atmosphere, and a text: an unlikely classicism…. I wanted to make a film based on a novel that I couldn’t read, since it was written in a language that I don’t understand, and there’s no translation. Strange idea, you might say. But it’s a matter of trust.”—Nicolas Rey.

In German with English subtitles.

Genres: Documentary, Drama

Other Films by Nicolas Rey

Soviets Plus Electricity

A travelogue of sorts filmed on Super-8mm stock blown up to 16mm, SOVIETS recounts Rey’s epic journey across Russia that ends deep in Siberia at the port town of Magadan—in Soviet times, a place synonymous with deportation. As Boris Lehman writes, “The final product is a three-stage, three-hour cinematic journey on the trail of condemned