directed by IRATXE FRESNEDA
HAVE WE SEEN IT ALL?
Cold Lands (Lurralde Hotzak) makes a personal journey through the images and cinema, guided by filmmakers and artist like, Theo Angelopoulos, Bego Vicario, Wim Wenders or Rut Hillarp among others.
In this non-fictional road-movie their vision of what cinema is, of what is hidden behind the images, intersects with the world of beekeeping, architecture and the human landscape.
Cinema within cinema and film locations that acquire new meanings when revisited by the contemporary gaze. From the landscapes of the interior, burnt by the sun, passing through the blue light of the northern lands, the film reflects on cinematographic archives, their validity and their importance as a cultural treasure. At the same time, it gives filmic archaeology a new meaning by making it interact with images of the present.
Cold Lands is a journey through the meanings acquired by what is offstage in the landscapes appropriated by cinema, through the questioning of nature by the filmmaker’s romantic gaze. Cinema and real life are confused with each other, in the knowledge that living is in itself a work of art.
02. NOTES ON COLD LANDS
The stage is too small. So enter life itself.
Cold Lands is a non-fiction, documentary film that, playing with the tracks of cinema’s history and current cinematographic resources, reflects on the status of the filmic image by adopting the form of a contemporary road movie.
By means of an audio-visual puzzle, this feature-length, non-fiction film seeks to link fiction with reality, the gaze of the person observed with that of the observer, celluloid and the digital image, past and present, through distinct textures and thematic groupings.
The film, divided into two parts differentiated by the form and evolution of its subject, sets out from everyday reality to enter the world of cinematographic fiction, delving into the world of beekeeping and using bees as a metaphor of the profession of the traditional filmmaker.
Through the words and works of different directors and artists, we journey in the first part through landscapes linked to light and the colour of honey. Aragón and Basque Country are part of the itinerary that gradually starts to look northwards from the maritime landscapes to reach as far as Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Iceland guided by artists like Eduardo Chillida, Lars Trier, Bego Vicario, Wim Wenders, Eulalia Abaitua or Rut Hillarp.
In formal terms, the film works with archive images which interact with contemporary images filmed in search of what is fresh and unexpected in the real world. Inquiring into the connection between the past and the present, everyday reality and fiction, Cold Lands seeks to establish discursive links with the spectators, inviting them to think and simultaneously enjoy the image in a context of reflection and audio-visual play.
In attempting to preserve everyday experiences in an unconventional way, far removed from the norms, the film links together cinematographic traditions and cultures, sharing and contrasting visions, playing an anti-documentary game. It breaks with spatial and temporal conventions to sketch and, and keep them united. In short, it aims to match spaces inhabited by the cinema with the territory of fiction.and spaces different register.
Locations, the places of cinema
The places of the north exist beyond physical space
and cinema also has its cold lands.
In many cases, spaces are the foundations of audio-visual narratives, the “home” of stories. Places that, with the arrival of cinema or, more simply, with the passage of time have ceased to be what they were, ending up uninhabited or in ruins. In Cold Lands spaces function as living witnesses to the stories that take place in them or that continue to happen, and also as nexuses of union between people and their creations.
The non-existent city in Dogville (Lars Trier, 2003) drawn in chalk, abandoned beehives, sculptures by Eduardo Chillida that twin the towns of Hernani (Basque Country) and Lund (Sweden), ruined castles that gave rise to Hollywood super-productions, bridges and mountains, all form part of the real and fictional imaginary that is crossed by Cold Lands.
Nature as a filmic metaphor
The bees function as a metaphor of a world that is disappearing.
The bees are being displaced by wasps, and pollution and human intervention are putting an end to them. In spring, bees tend to split up when their colonies have no more room for them to continue reproducing and stockpiling food. This process is called swarming, a sinuous and potent word, which evokes a transitory action. Transitory actions, with a beginning and an end, in a liquid, ethereal and blurred society, just as happens with the filming and overabundance of images nowadays.
The activity of the bee as a metaphor of the activity of the Filmmaker whose profession has become everyday life. A profession that is mutating, a way of understanding the profession that is disappearing in a context of audiovisual absolutism.
Personalities, the everyday and the idealised
Shepherds, filmmakers and beekeepers, all form part of the ensemble picture that tries to link their professions with the beauty of everyday reality and with the journey through the history of cinema. Basque and Scandinavian filmmakers and artists will leave their mark on this journey through the images.
Archive images, archaeology revisited
Part of the audio-visual form has been composed of the found footage and audio-visual archaeology. In the editing, the images enter into dialogue with filmic references to other filmmakers and with creative processes that populate the story.
PIMPI & NELLA FILMS
Pimpi & Nella Films is an artistic collective that emerged from the collaboration between Iratxe Fresneda and Saioa Etxebarria.
Both look for and involve themselves in audio-visual forms to tell stories like Irrintziaren Oihartzunak [Echoing Calls] (2016).
Irrintziaren Oihartzunak was selected for the 64th San Sebastian Film Festival, the 27th Spanish Film Festival of Nantes, the 48th International Film Festival Nyon, Doc Outlook International Market, the 25th Mostra International Film Festival of Barcelona, the 5th Move Cine Arte de Sao Paulo, the 9th Festival Internacional de Cine Invisible de Bilbao (Best Basque production award) among others, and has been screened in different cultural spaces like the Filmoteca de Catalunya, the Filmoteca de Navarra, Tabakalera, etc.
They are currently continuing with the trilogy of cinematographic recording, Irrintziaren Oihartzunak ( 2016) Cold Lands (2018) and Tetuán, Tiṭṭawin, Los ojos (2020).
Technical data and crew
DURATION: 66 min
COLOR: Color, black & white
LANGUAGE: Basque, french, german, english
GENRE: Creative documentary
KEY WORDS: Women filmmakers, history of cinema, art, film archeology, beekeeping, architecture, culture, cultural heritage, travel
PRODUCTION: Pimpi & Nella Films
DIRECTION: Iratxe Fresneda
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Iratxe Fresneda
EDITING: Raúl López
SOUND ENGINEERING: Joselu Rubio - REC
SOUND ASSISTANT: Txelu Medina Arbide
ART & DESIGN: Saioa Etxebarria & Raúl López
WEB: Saioa Etxebarria