Irish Film Institute -CHAIN


Director: JEM COHEN

99 minutes| U.S.A.| 2002| Colour| Digibeta

The increasing homogenisation and anonymity of our public spaces lies at the heart of this fascinating hybrid of fiction and documentary. The travails of businesswoman Tamiko, who’s researching American theme parks when her company inexplicably ceases contact, and drifter Amanda, who’s struggling to eke out a minimum-wage existence, afford Cohen the opportunity to explore those shared spaces that have become invisible through their ubiquity. Despite the seamless nature of Chain, it comes as both a disquieting shock and a justification of Cohen’s thesis when we realise it was filmed over seven years across seven countries and 11 American states.

Plus short: In Block B, a camera watches night and day as dramas unfold on the floors of an apartment complex in Malaysia. While the static cinematography gives the piece the effect of a living photograph, fictional voiceovers lead us to imagine the lives behind these walls. Directed by Chris Chong Chan Fui. 20 minutes, Malaysia/Canada, 2008, Colour, Digibeta.

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