Saturday, July 19, 2008

Peter Hutton | REDCAT

Peter Hutton | REDCAT

Curator’s notes

“Hutton’s exquisite images, precise, observational style, and use of long takes and silence encourage the mind to roam. These ships come to seem like inspiriting physical measures of mankind’s outsized capacity for hard work and boundless imagination, by which we overcome the isolation of the human condition.” – Film Comment

“A breath of fresh air... For thirty years now, Peter Hutton has been building a radical and singular body of work. A sort of primitive documentary, silent, which celebrates the beauty of the world without forgetting to observe people, the conditions they live and work under. At Sea, his latest 16mm film shot silent and in color, deals with the giant cargo ships on which he spent a large part of his youth traveling the world’s oceans. It’s hard to find other words to describe its beauty than poetic documentary, or documentary poetry. A sensitive approach comes before anything, with meaning taking a back seat to the vibrancy of forms and colors. Hutton starts the film with a handful of shots of the construction of a boat at a Korean shipyard, before embarking on a voyage made up of some of the most gorgeous sea views ever committed to celluloid: shades of grey on both sides of the horizon, pleats of waves and rounded shapes of clouds. The film ends on a beach in Bangladesh, a cemetery for cargo ships where children and teenagers in rags strip these pollution plants with their bare hands. Not a sound is heard, not a word is spoken, just two dozen hypnotic shots in which Hutton brings together heaven and hell, in a striking portrait of globalization and ecological disaster. With his lion’s mane and tanned seafarer’s skin, the director looks proud and speaks eloquently and generously.” – Cahiers du cinéma


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