Tuesday 9 May at 7pm
The Elizabeth Picture Theatre
Urthworks, Ben Rivers, 2010-19, 86m
A rendering of otherworldliness and a vision of the future after some unknowable apocalypse. A trilogy of films developed between Ben Rivers and the American science fiction writer Mark von Schlegell with each film blurring documentary and the present with speculative visions of potential futures.
Slow Action (2010) is filmed in four locations: Gunkanjima – an island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan; Tuvalu – a country in the middle of the Pacific; Lanzarote – one of the driest climates on earth; and the green pastures of Somerset in England. The film proposes a future where sea levels have risen drastically, cutting off small societies that have developed into tiny utopias in isolation.
Urth (2016) is filmed at the American earth system science research facility Biosphere 2 in Arizona. The film imagines the biosphere as a sealed home of the last woman on Earth, making a log of her days as she struggles to keep her biosphere, and herself, alive.
Look Then Below (2019). Taking ideas from Hollow Earth theories and fictions about civilisations living under the surface of the planet, such as Jules Verne’s Journeys into the Centre of the Earth, Rivers explores the caves in the British countryside area of Somerset as a location for imagining future lost civilisations, fusing computer generated imaging and documentary footage.
With thanks to Ben Rivers and LUX