The second in a three-part programme presented by the IFI and the Experimental Film Club, Sarah Turner’s Perestroika (2009) explores further the relationship between experimental cinema and the train.
The train can serve as a “mechanical double” for the cinema, a reflexive device. James Benning’s RR, which screened in part one of this programme, seemed to close the circle on the train film, returning us to the Lumière brothers’ film of an arriving train and the point at which this all began. Sarah Turner’s film, however, is a train film for the digital age, taking us on parallel journeys along the Trans-Siberian railway, one in 1988/1989 and the other 2007/2008, journeys that shift from deeply personal beginnings to more universal considerations of memory, ecology and mortality. A startling experience. (Notes by Daniel Fitzpatrick.)