The Poetry of Place: Films by Abraham Ravett | Chicago Reader

The Poetry of Place: Films by Abraham Ravett

Abraham Ravett, a teacher of film and photography at Hampshire College in Amherst, juxtaposes lingering, nearly still images, creating a deep sense of place and inviting the viewer to contemplate the passage of time. In The March, the most poignant short on this program, the filmmaker coaxes his elderly mother into recounting a forced march from Auschwitz, where she was imprisoned during the war. The painful snippets of narration, recorded over 13 years, accompany footage of a proud woman gradually sliding into senility. The Boardwalk (1998), a brooding meditation on old age and loneliness, presents shots of a mostly deserted Coney Island in winter. The filmmaker surveys the playground of a San Francisco high school in Forgefeel (1997), while intertitles suggest premonitions of growing old. Horse/Kappa/House (1995), a collection of time-lapse rural scenes in northeastern Japan, has a serenity and a reverence for empty space that suggests Yasujiro Ozu, the sound track?s haunting folk tunes reinforcing our communion with a nature beyond comprehension.

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