Laura Huertas Millán and Luc Moullet: Contrarian travellers
Two exclusive retrospectives at the RIDM
This year, the festival is honouring two superb documentarists: Franco-Colombian director Laura Huertas Millán and French filmmaker Luc Moullet.
Laura Huertas Millán - Toward a decolonized ethnography
A Colombian living in France, artist Laura Huertas Millán made several video artworks before committing to cinema. Trained at Harvard University’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, as well as at the Fresnoy and the Beaux-Arts in Paris, she has created a body of work noted for its formal and conceptual depth. Her work draws on documentary, ethnography and the visual arts, and question the conventions of all three. She began with a series on exoticism (Journey to a Land Otherwise Known, 2011, Aequador, 2012). Filmed in European botanical gardens and Colombia’s Amazon rain forest, these works combine science fiction with conquistadors’ and missionaries’ reports in order to deconstruct colonial representations of the so-called “New World.” She continued her work on decolonizing ethnography with a series of “ethnographic fictions” (Sol Negro, 2016, La Libertad, 2017, jeny303 and The Labyrinth, 2018), in which the hybridization of genres and the use of fiction lead to liberation from the colonial gaze, the emancipation of subjects and the creation of new narratives. In this series of shorts, the subjects’ imagination and emotional universe guide the narrative and aesthetic approaches, beyond language.
Luc Moullet: One step forward, one step sideways
French filmmaker Luc Moullet began his career as a film critic for Cahiers du Cinéma, alongside members of the New Wave, of which he soon became, as a director, the enfant terrible. He went on to make ten features and more than 30 shorts from the 1960s through 2010s, a body of work as atypical as it is profound. Characterized by deadpan humour, critical and anti-authoritarian slant, DIY aesthetic and absurdist structure, Moullet’s films were lauded by his peers (Godard, Straub, Rivette). Despite an approach that some found disconcerting, Moullet built a prolific career through his many short and medium-length films. This retrospective will give audiences the chance to (re)discover the work of an on-location filmmaker, as much an amused bystander as a lucid observer, who has dissected the human comedy (Anatomie d’un rapport, L’empire de Médor), abandoned spaces (La cabale des oursins, La terre de la folie), consumerism (Genèse d’un repas, Toujours plus), the landscapes of rural France (Foix, Imphy), American cities (Le ventre de l’Amérique), and even the cinematic imagination (Une aventure de Billy le Kid). An ethnographer of the burlesque and an adventurer of the banal, Luc Moullet has never stopped being an essential source of light in dark times.
Thanks to our partners for the retrospectives: Consulat général de France à Québec, Cinémathèque québécoise, Cinéma Moderne, MOMENTA | Biennale de l’image, 24 images and the Canada Council for the Arts.