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The Machine That Kills Bad People:
Nervous Translation + The Untroubled Mind
Institute of Contemporary Arts
August 2022
Nervous Translation, dir. Shireen Seno, Philippines 2018, DCP, 90 min.


Set in the Philippines in the late 1980s, not long after the People Power Revolution that led to the fall of President Marcos, Shireen Seno’s second feature Nervous Translation evokes the uncertainty and precarity of those years through the eyes of its shy eight-year-old protagonist. Yael cooks meals on her miniature kitchen set, watches soap operas on television with her mother and obsessively listens to cassette tapes recorded by her father, a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia. At once playful and sad, Nervous Translation is above all concerned with what it feels like to be a child.  
 
Manon de Boer’s The Untroubled Mind is a collection of images of constructions of the artists’ son filmed over a period of three years. The duration of each shot is around 20 seconds, the length of time you can film with a Bolex 16 mm camera when winding it manually. 
 
A specially commissioned essay by George Clark accompanies this screening.
The Machine That Kills Bad People is, of course, the cinema – a medium that is so often and so visibly in service of a crushing status quo but which, in the right hands, is a fatal instrument of beauty, contestation, wonder, politics, poetry, new visions, testimonies, histories, dreams. It is also a film club devoted to showing work – ‘mainstream’ and experimental, known and unknown, historical and contemporary – that takes up this task. The group borrowed their name from the Roberto Rossellini film of the same title, and find inspiration in the eclectic juxtapositions of Amos Vogel’s groundbreaking New York film society Cinema 16. 

The Machine That Kills Bad People is held bi-monthly in the ICA Cinema and is programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacios Cruz and Ben Rivers. 
Programme

Nervous Translation, dir. Shireen Seno, Philippines 2018, DCP, 90 min. 

The Untroubled Mind, dir. Manon de Boer, Belgium 2016, 16mm, 10 min. 
 
06:45 pm
Wed, 06 Apr 2022
Cinema 1
 £13 Full, £11 Concessions, £6.50 Green/Blue Members

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Essay by George Clark