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A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness

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Trailer

Movie

Synopsis :

A SPELL follows an unnamed character through three seemingly disparate moments in his life. With little explanation, we join him in the midst of a 15-person collective on a small Estonian island; in isolation in the majestic wilderness of Northern Finland; and during a concert as the singer and guitarist of a black met al band in Norway.
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Marked by loneliness, ecstatic beauty and an optimism of the darkest sort, A SPELL is a radical proposition for the existence of utopia in the present.
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Starring musician Robert AA Lowe (best known for his intense live performances under the name LICHENS) in the lead role, A SPELL lies somewhere between fiction and non-fiction - it is at once a document of experience and an experience itself, an inquiry into transcendence that sees the cinema as a site for transformation.

Co-producers :

Black Hand

Featuring :

Robert AA Lowe
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Hunter Hunt-Hendrix
Marten Kaevats
Iti Kaevats
Merit Kask
Kadri Kontus
Taraka Larson
Nimai Larson
Iko Malikin
Leo Malikin
Polina Malikin
Marko Martinson
Nicholas McMaster
Okeiko
Katri Sipiläinen
Paul Sturtz
Marie Teppart
Tuomo Tuovinen
Nick Turvey
Erko Valk
Weasel Walter

Writers :

Ben Rivers + Ben Russell

TV pre-sale (France) :

ARTE France
La Lucarne

Cinematographer :

Ben Rivers + Ben Russell

Steadicam :

Chris Fawcet

Edit :

Ben Rivers + Ben Russell

Sound Engineer :

Chu-Li Shewring, Nicolas Becker & Philippe Ciompi

Sound Edit :

Nicolas Becker and Philippe Ciomp

Sound Mix :

Gérard Lamps

Music :

Veldo Tormis
Queequeg (Hunt-Hendrix,
Lowe, McMaster, Walter)
Robert AA Lowe

Directors

Ben Rivers

Partial Filmography

- Phantoms Of A Libertine
2012 / 10’
- Two Years At Sea
2011 / 88’
- Slow Action
2010 / 45’
- Ah, Liberty!
2008 / 20’
- I Know Where I’m Going
2009 / 29’
- The Coming Race
2006 / 5’
- This Is My Land
2006 / 14’

Ben Rivers studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, initially in sculpture before moving into photography and super8 film. After his degree he taught himself 16mm filmmaking and hand-processing. His practice as a filmmaker treads a line between documentary and fiction. Often following and filming people who have in some way separated themselves from society, the raw film footage provides Rivers with a starting point for creating oblique narratives imagining alternative existences in marginal worlds. He is the recipient of numerous prizes including: FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, 68th Venice Film Festival for his first feature film Two Years At Sea; the inaugural Robert Gardner Film Award, 2012; the Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel 42, 2011; twice shortlisted for the Jarman Award, 2010/2012; Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, 2010. Recent exhibitions include: Slow Action, Hepworth Wakefield, 2012; Sack Barrow, Hayward Gallery, London, 2011; Slow Action, Matt’s Gallery, London and Gallery TPW, Toronto, 2011; A World Rattled of Habit, A Foundation, Liverpool, 2009. Festival retrospectives include Courtisane Festival; Pesaro International Film Festival; London Film Festival; Tirana Film Festival; Punto de Vista, Pamplona; Indielisboa and Milan Film Festival. ¬ In 1996 he co-founded Brighton Cinematheque which he then co-programmed through to its demise in 2006. He continues to programme on a peripatetic basis.

Ben Russell

Partial Filmography

- Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved Before We Forget
2013 / 20’
- River Rites
2011 / 11’
- Trypps #7 (Badlands)
2010 / 10’
- Let Each One Go Where He May
2009 / 135’
- Workers Leaving The Factory (Dubai)
2008 / 8’
- Black And White Trypps Number Three
2007 / 11’
- Daumë
2000 / 8’

Ben Russell (b.1976, USA) is an itinerant media artist and curator whose films, installations, and performances foster a deep engagement with the history and semiotics of the moving image. Formal investigations of the historical and conceptual relationships between early cinema, visual anthropology, and structuralist filmmaking result in immersive experiences concerned at once with ritual, communal spectatorship and the pursuit of a “psychedelic ethnography.” – A 2008 Guggenheim Fellow and 2010 FIPRESCI award recipient for his feature film Let Each One Go Where He May, Ben began the Magic Lantern screening series in Providence, Rhode Island, was co-director of the artist-run space Ben Russell in Chicago, IL, toured with film/ video/ performance programs world-wide and performed in a double-drum trio called BEAST. His recent exhibitions include: Arts sous influence, La maison rouge, Paris, 2013; PhotoCairo 5, Townhouse Factory Space, Cairo, 2013; Uh Oh It’s Magic, ThreeWalls, Chicago, 2011; Trypps #7 (Badlands), Wexner Center, Columbus, 2011; 12×12: Ben Russell, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2010. Past solo screenings include: Centre Georges Pompidou, Rotterdam Film Festival, RedCat, les Abattoirs, Viennale, CCCB and the Museum of Modern Art.

Festivals

08/2013

Opening Film - Fuori Concorso

09/2013

Wavelengths program

09/2013

Arts and Letters

10/2013

Disidencias

10/2013

FNC Lab

10/2013

Experimenta

10/2013

11/2013

11/2013

11/2013

New Vision Award

11/2013

11/2013

Best International Documentary Award

11/2013

12/2013

12/2013

01/2014

Bright Future

01/2014

01/2014

02/2014

02/2014

Dark & Edgy

03/2014

03/2014

03/2014

03/2014

03/2014

03/2014

03/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

04/2014

05/2014

05/2014

06/2014

06/2014

Press

Indie Wire

In Top 5 IndieWire Toronto Best Narrative Pictures

Indie Wire

Ben Rivers & Ben Russell in Top 10 IndieWire Toronto Best Directors

Indie Wire
Indie Wire
Hollywood Reporter
Film Maker
Ion Cinema
Cinema Scope
Cinema Scope
Cinema Scope
Movie Mezzanine
Art Forum
Letterboxd
Fandor
The Seventh Art
FilmComment
CineVue
The L Magazine

Contact

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Ben Rivers

Ben Russell

World Sales

Rouge international

54 rue du faubourg St-Honoré - 75008 Paris
+33 9 51 25 13 58

thomas@rouge-international.com