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At the Waters Edge Film Festival

Saturday 23 February 2013 | 13.0021.00 National Maritime Museum Lecture Theatre


Ansel Adams is rightly celebrated as a poet of the American outback, an artist whose photographs are valentines to his nations sublime topographies. Yet his work, as his early passion for environmentalism shows, is more than a pageant of the picturesque; it asks questions about mans relationship to nature, about the power of landscapes to talk to and think for their inhabitants, about time itself. This short season of provocative, visually stunning and sometimes playful documentaries and essay films, a number of them UK premieres, looks at Adams waterworks in the light of current debates about hydrofracking, rising ocean levels, and post-Hurricane Katrina American politics. Curated by film critic Sukhdev Sandhu, with contributions from Bryony Dixon (British Film Institute) and Amy Watson (Goldsmiths University).

13.0014.15 | Psychohydrography
(Peter Bo Rappmund, 2010), 63 min One of the most rapturously-praised debuts in recent times, Psychohydrography is a gorgeous and sometimes ghostly attempt to track the Los Angeles water supply from its Sierra Nevadan source, through the Los Angeles River, all the way to the Pacific shore. Making innovative use of time-lapse photography, deploying field recordings to beguiling effect, alive to both the abstraction and the toughness of these American landscapes, Rappmund succeeds in his goal of piquing the curiosity as to how semiarid land can support 12 million people. This screening is the UK premier.

14.3015.45 | The Radiant


(The Otolith Group, 2012), 64 min The Radiant explores the aftermath of 11 March 2011, when the Great Tohoku Earthquake struck the North East Coast of Japan at 14.46, triggering a tsunami that killed tens of thousands, and causing the partial meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Long fascinated in hydropolitics, the Turner Prize-nominated Otolith Group (Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar), here fashion a fascinating and wide-ranging cine-essay that also explores the complex history of Japanese nuclear energy. This screening is the UK premier and will be followed by discussion with Sukhdev Sandhu. http://otolithgroup.org/ 1

16.0018.00 | The Forgotten Space


(Allan Sekula and Noel Burch, 2010), 112 min. Human beings are over 70 per cent water. 90 per cent of international trade moves via water. Yet, as Allan Sekula and Noel Burch argue in this brilliant and internationally acclaimed film essay, modern society is terracentric, and thinks that history only happens on land. Sekula and Burch travel to many places China, Holland and Los Angeles to investigate containerization, maritime labour and the global networks that exist across the oceans. http://www.theforgottenspace.net/static/home.html

18.00 18.50 | Supper Break


Please note that the Museum Caf will be closed. The 16 Seconds West Brasserie will be open.

18.50 21.00 | The Island President


(Jon Shenk 2011), 110 min. Its a cross between Paradise and Paradise! Mohamed Nasheed, a former prisoner detained scores of times for his pro-democracy activism, is talking about the Maldives, the Indian Ocean archipelago of which he has become president. But Paradise is threatened by global warming: 80 per cent of the islands lie less than one metre above sea level. This handsomely-made and passionate documentary follows the charismatic politician as he tries to stave off ecological disaster. Followed by a discussion with Sukhdev Sandhu and a spokesperson from Greenpeace.

Sunday 24 February | 12.0020.00


12.0014.00 | Between Two Rivers
(Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright), 96 min. Between Two Rivers is a feature documentary about Cairo, Illinois, a historic town with a dark and troubled past, located at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, where the north meets the South in the heartland of America. The citys tumultuous past is set against the backdrop of the latest crisis to afflict the community: the record-breaking floods of spring 2011, when the rising Ohio and Mississippi rivers threatened to engulf the town, forcing an emergency evacuation. Followed by discussion with filmmakers Nick Jordan and Jacob Cartwright.

14.0015.00 | Lunch break

15.0016.00 | From the BFI Film Archive


Representing the mesmerising effects of water has been a challenge for artists down the generations. From fine art to magic lantern slides to still photography, every medium has presented its unique solution. Bryony Dixon, Curator of Silent Film at the BFI National Archive looks at the special properties of moving pictures to show life at the waters edge, from the earliest films that reflect the simple pleasure of watching waves break on the shore, to dramatic scenes of the British coast; Peter Greenaways fascinating study, Water Wrackets and a newly discovered early film of Ansel Adams beloved Nevada Falls. Bryony will be joined by Quintin Colville, the Museums Curator of Naval History, for a Q&A session.

16.0017.00 | Break
An opportunity to view the Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea exhibition.

17.0018.00 | From the LUX Archive


Curator-in-residence Amy Watson has selected films from the LUX archive reflecting upon the way in which artists, using the medium of film, have engaged with the sea as an unstable environment. In each of the selected films a jellyfish suspended in two opposing currents; 14 cargo ships stranded in the Suez Canal; the perpetual ebb and flow of waves on the shore the sea is depicted as both dynamic and unchanging. The screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the artist Uriel Orlow, whose work, Yellow Limbo (2011), is one of the films included. All films courtesy LUX Collection, www.lux.org.uk

18.15 19.00 | Staying Ashore


A beautifully-crafted musical and visual journey through Britain's relationship with the sea. Musician David Leahy of Lode performs a haunting live accompaniment to a projection of rarely-seen edited highlights from the Museum's film archive.

19.00 20.00 | Private View


A final opportunity to view Ansel Adams: Photography from the Mountains to the Sea after closing time.