Middle of the Moment
a cine poem
Nicolas Humbert & Werner Penzel, 35mm, black & white, 80′, 1995
Music by Fred Firth
Time: Tuesday May 12; doors open 19.00, screening 19.30
Location: WORM, Boomgaardsstraat 71, 3012 XA Rotterdam
Admission: €6 (free for PZI students)
This is one in a series of monthly screenings at WORM programmed by Tina Bastajian for the Piet Zwart Institute, Master of Media Design & Communication Department.
The essence of any experience, any moment, is to be found where people are in most intense contact with the place they occupy. And, paradoxically, it is through a nomadic existence that one occupies a space the most intensely. Whether the nature of this nomadism is largely physical, as for the wandering tribes that travel the South Sahara and Cirque O or rather abstract, as for American philosopher and poet Robert Lax, is not so important. What the people portrayed in this documentary share is that their nomadic disposition, which strips life down to its bare essentials, makes them into completely centered human beings. They are not stuck in life’s cycles but co-exist with them, partaking them with a freedom that is unknown to most of us.
Filmmakers Nicolas Humbert and Werner Penzel travelled through Europe and Africa with these very different nomads for around two years. Resisting the lure of nostalgia of any kind they have created a film form, a cine poem as they call it, in which the freedom the nomadic life resonates from each individual shot as from the film as a whole. Far from being a simple comparative study of nomadic lifestyles, middle of the moment is a nomadic adventure itself. It is lyrical in but goes beyond the merely admirable in its associations. It is not afraid to stay in one place, but also knows how to travel on to the next. The filmmakers have used their equipment and findings as imaginatively as the nomads they met use theirs, in their daily lives.
— Text by Miram Van Leer
Images courtesy of the artists