by Nicholas Jackson
“Magic is the liminal space in between [script-based and documentary practice]” Lynne Sachs said in response to one of the audience member’s questions. Last night’s special event filmmaker and host Lynne Sachs has made a living out of creating works that reside in such a space. Sachs’s approach to curating yesterday’s program, The Joy of Filming, at the Athens International Film and Video Festival also originated from a liminal space -- somewhere between live-curation/interactive audience engagement and a formal screening. Dialogue with the audience was used to segue into showing her films by presenting works that were relevant to what the audience was speaking about.
The night started with the 2013 experimental documentary, Your Day is My Night, a film where Sachs used paid actors to perform documentary reenactments of those that share beds in New York City’s Chinatown. The conversation then moved to the idea of magic, which Sachs used to link with the fantastical for 2017’s The Washing Society. “You can hide behind the masks and take greater risks,” Sachs said in a conversation about utilizing found footage to explore personal trauma. From there, Sachs discussed many freewheeling topics, from 1991's House of Science: A Museum of False Facts to the notion of subjectivity to disrupting the male gaze, like she did in 1987’s Drawn and Quartered. Sachs ended the night discussing the power of sound and explained concepts she utilized in 2015's Starfish Aorta Colossus.
Sachs is not only a featured artist at the festival, she also serves on the jury. The 46th Athens International Film and Video Festival will run unabated at the Athena Cinema in downtown Athens, Ohio until Sunday.