Q&A with Julio Hernández Cordón, Tomás Paula Marques, Sonia Oleniak, and Charlotte Pryce on Oct. 8 & 9

Tomás Paula Marques, 2023, Portugal, 15m
Portuguese with English subtitles
In a modest workshop, a ceramicist constructs dildos intended to stimulate non-normative bodies and desires, drawing inspiration from forms other than the phallus. In a convent in northern Portugal, two 18th-century recolhidas (secular recluses) are accused of sodomy by the Inquisition. Beginning with practical concerns and veering decisively toward the speculative and the fabulist, Tomás Paula Marques depicts the fact and fantasy of queer pleasure.

and so it came about (A Tale of Consequential Dormancy)
Charlotte Pryce, 2023, U.S., 13m
The threshold of an underworld has been found at the edge of a field, and a bewitched child cannot be roused from her stupor. From modest materials—grass, leaves, a lock of hair, the body of a finch, stop-motion snakeskin, magic lantern slides—Charlotte Pryce assembles a potent folk horror tale. In demure voiceover, she relates a version of Persephone’s abduction by Hades, a myth that provides an explanation for winter’s temporary cessation of life.

Sonia Oleniak, 2023, U.S./Poland, 18m
With lyrics translated from an imaginary language, Sonia Oleniak’s filmic song cycle follows a cohort of sleepless solitaries through the night of a lunar eclipse. Strange singing and luminous images make mythopoesis of their labors and losses. In a boardwalk café, they convene for respite from their surreal nocturnal rituals, shot through with birds, salt, and violin rosin.

Nocturne for a Forest
Catarina Vasconcelos, 2023, Portugal, 16m
Portuguese with English subtitles
North American Premiere
A still life is interrupted by Pope Gregory XV stuffing a plastic skull with carnations. Verdant landscapes are prowled by monks in ghillie suits. The raucous annual assembly of women’s immortal souls debates the destruction of a suggestive painting, Josefa d’Obidos’s “Holy Family,” secreted away in a male-only Carmelite monastery in a mountaintop of Buçaco. With an irreverent wit, Catarina Vasconcelos stages a droll iconoclasm.

The Rays of a Storm
Julio Hernández Cordón, 2023, Mexico, 22m
Spanish with English subtitles
North American Premiere
In ceremonial costume, a group of chilangos negotiate with motorcyclists from a rival neighborhood, planning a reenactment of Victory Night, when Hernán Cortés and his army were driven out of Tenochtitlan. With jittery-smooth video and sparing use of an accredited historian, Julio Hernández Cordón explores the significance of the 500-year-old Tree of La Noche Triste, climbing the fence with his subject-collaborators to survey its charred remains.