FROM AN ABANDONED FARM TO THE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

Critic and cultural forager Nick Rombes is making an artistic practice of unexpected connections, chance encounters and disrupting the temporal logics of cinematic narrative. Filmmaker readers know him well for his on-going The Blue Velvet Project, but he has other ventures, including recently, the “Do Not Screen/Ceremony” series. “Do Not Screen/Ceremony” was birthed when, while on a long, late-night drive, Rombes pulled over to the side of the road and decided to explore an abandoned barn nearby. There, he found a box containing film strips cut in 12-frame segments with the written directive, “Do Not Screen.”

And then… (from Peggy Nelson’s piece at HiLoBrow):

Here is where the real script diverges. Instead of beginning the reconstruction process himself, The Mystery of the Lone Re-arranger, Rombes has instead partnered with The Critical Media Lab at Ontario’s University of Waterloo to scatter it to the winds, mailing the real fragments to interested participants, along with an embedded code, and programming a virtual timeline, irregularly populated as the codes are called in. A wise move — should there emerge evidence of a latent conspiracy, the silencers cannot target the lone fanatic in his evidential basement. Instead the reconstruction involves a growing web, as everyone who agrees to participate becomes complicit upon receipt.

One of the people inspired by this project was Dan Paolantonio, Programme Leader for Film Arts at the U.K.’s Plymouth College of Art, and one of his students is Tim Francis, who goes by the name of Timo Franc. And Franc’s Tribeca short film, “Sinews of Peace,” has something to do with Rombes’s project, as described in an article on the college’s site:

Speaking about the inspiration behind the film, Dan said: “This year I worked closely with author and cultural theorist Nicholas Rombes and designed a project for my students which would allow them to contribute to his “Ceremony” global documentary project. ‘Sinews of Peace’ was Tim’s response to this project, exploring individual and cultural ‘memories’ of French Resistance fighters during World War II.”

In the below video, Francis introduces Franc, his alter ego, and mentions Rombes and the origins of his project.