La Truffe In his sprawling 1725 gastronomic compendium The Physiology of Taste , French author Brillat-Savarin didn’t hold back when it came to his treatment of the notorious truffle: “Whosoever pronounces the word la truffe … gives voice to erotic and gastronomical dreams.” Prized for their rich and unparalleled flavor, truffles grace the menus of the world’s most prestigious eateries and restaurants . However, these pungent tubers are infamously difficult to farm and, as a result, extremely scarce, as director Jack Laurance discovered with this, his latest film. While shooting in Périgord, in the South West of France , Laurance uncovered an “intense paranoia and fear [that] seems to permeate” the tight-knit community whose livelihoods depend on the black ‘diamond’ truffle
Telfar X FAKA: Not For You, For Everyone “Rarely do I get approached to be part of something where the planets align so well,” explains photographer and director Akinola Davies of his latest film—which captures a powerful a capella performance orchestrated by South African musicians Fela Gucci and Desire Marea, who collaborate as FAKA.
Leap The potent connection between art and intimacy is the subject of a new film from London-based director Stephen Isaac-Wilson.
Constructed Views: Bauta The second part of Paul Tunge and Egil Håskjold Larsen’s meditative filmic portrait of modernist architecture, Bauta is the successor to last year’s Ad Astra . Whereas the first film took Norway’s brutalist churches as its theme, Bauta takes a lingering glance at government and administrative buildings—as well as public spaces—both inside and outside of the country; celebrating the poetics of everyday architectures, and the beauty to be found in buildings made by and for the people. Cast in stone and concrete, these buildings share an uncertain disregard in the public eye—considered ‘ugly’ and worthy of demolition, Tunge and Larsen (the film’s writer and director, respectively) make the case for preserving rather than neglecting these buildings
The Joy of Slime In a new editorial collaboration between NOWNESS and Dazed Beauty , filmmaker Amy Gwatkin presents this satisfyingly sensual study of slime. “We wanted to steer away from Nickelodeon-style sliming, and towards a more close up—but not too serious—exploration of a physical sensation that skirts between disgust and ecstasy,” explains the London-based director.
Centerstage: Precious Adams For her latest film, Irish director Leonn Ward wanted to push the conventional ballet film outside of its comfort zone. Featuring Precious Adams, a rising star of the English National Ballet, Ward’s dynamic portrait of the young First Artist presents a youthful take on the rule-bound etiquette of ballet. Rich in color, the film empowers Adams to tell her own story through dress and movement, while deploying dance in unconventional scenes and spaces.
Photographers In Focus: Eroticism Coinciding with the first edition of Curiosa —a new thematic section of international art fair Paris Photo, which focuses on the body, gender politics, and the question of eroticism—this new film from London-based director Stroma Cairns takes a sultry glance at the works on display, while getting the low-down from curator Martha Kirszenbaum. Rather than offering a straight-forward display of arousing snaps, the exhibition seeks to challenge our gaze around the fantasized and fetishicized body, tackling relations of power, domination, and gender. Archival and vernacular photographs share the walls with self-portraits, photomontage, and mise-en-scèneare from a truly historical sweep of image-makers, including the work of avant-garde feminist artists Natalia LL and Renate Bertimann. Cairns’ film suggests that while photography has the capacity to empower—as with the homo-erotic portraits of Robert Mapplethorpe—it is also an inherently voyeuristic medium, where the lens and dark-room present naturally erotic metaphors for the making of images, which can also be easily disrupted. In this way, photography is about exposure.
Rosa The pink rose—or rosa in Spanish—provides the central theme of architect Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco’s The Real Estate House , which is the star of this new film from Barcelona-based director Joana Colomar. Blanco’s unconventional design considers the architectural legacy of the Spanish real estate bubble, which burst almost exactly a decade ago.
Matera Art Residency: Austin Lee x Gina Beavers “My visit to the artist residency at Masseria Fontana di Vite was completely by chance,” explains filmmaker Dustin Lynn of his new film concerning the historic country house in southern Italy and the role it plays, under the Matera residency programme, of supporting and inspiring contemporary art and artists. “I was aware of it, mainly because of the inspiration it had on poet and filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, who in turn is a substantial inspiration for myself.
Drama British director Saam Farahmand’s latest film, which premiered this year during Frieze London, continues the acclaimed video artist’s disruption of gender-specific iconography that has occupied much of his practice to date. Featuring four isolated women drummers who Farahmand encouraged to connect with one another through freeform abstract patterns, the film depicts a succession of ferocious and accelerating beats, as the performances surge into a synchronised wall of discordant noise. “Something I attempt to do is create conditions where the male gaze is hijacked, and stared out.