The Machine That Kills Bad People is a bi-monthly film club programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacios Cruz and Ben Rivers.
This screening presents director Anocha Suwichakornpong’s debut feature Mundane History (Jao Nok Krajok)
(2009), an intimate tale of family and care in contemporary Thailand that is awash with phantasmagorical undertones. Ake, a young man, reshapes the relationship with his father after a male nurse arrives to care for him following a paralysing accident. In Mundane History
, the everyday is rendered extraordinary through narrative and visual experimentation, as Suwichakornpong tests the possibilities of ellipsis and abstraction within an unconventional structure.
Accompanying this feature film is The Dragon Is the Frame
(2014), a 16mm short film by New York based artist and filmmaker Mary Helena Clark. The Dragon is the Frame
is both an ode to the city of San Francisco and an oblique memorial to Clark’s friend, artist Mark Aguhar. Lyrical sequences take the viewer through physical and psychological space, reminding that the first trauma in Hitchcock’s classic film Vertigo
, is not the apparent suicide of main character Madeline Elster, but the loss of a friend.
, 2009, Dir. Anocha Suwichakornpong, 35 mm, colour, sound, 78 min
Mary Helena Clark, The Dragon is the Frame
, 2014, 16mm, colour, sound, 14 min 10 sec
Read May Adadol Ingawanij’s specially commissioned essay ‘Follow the Sparrows’
Go to Artists' Film Club
Anocha Suwichakornpong (b. 1976, lives and works in Bangkok) received the Tiger Award for Mundane History at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2010. Her second feature By the Time It Gets Dark (2016) premiered at the Locarno Festival 2016. She co-founded the Bangkok based production company Electric Eel Films in 2006.
Mary Helena Clark (b. 1983, lives and works in New York) exhibits her work in cinemas and galleries. Her recent exhibition The Glass Note took place at LUX, London (2018). In 2017, her films were screened at e-flux, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Images Festival, Toronto amongst others.
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.