In the Stone House and New Shores de Jerome Hiler
IN THE STONE HOUSE (2012) 35′
In the Stone House records and recollects a period of life of four years in rural New Jersey. In the latter 1960s, two young guys with monastic leanings leave the clatter of Manhattan’s art and film scene to catch the wave of higher consciousness that was about to change the world forever to find themselves washed ashore in a place only slightly updated from Way Down East. The monastic retreat quickly turned into the weekend getaway for a host of extravagant Manhattanites seeking films and fun. We learned from hitch-hiking guests that the police referred to our haven as « the stone house ». Although NEW SHORES is a completely independent project, it could also be seen as a continuation of the world of IN THE STONE HOUSE. It affords glimpses of life led over three decades from the 1970s to the 1990s in San Francisco.
NEW SHORES (1971-1987) 35′
Edited in 2014, NEW SHORES is a sister film to IN THE STONE HOUSE in many ways. Like the latter film, it consists of earlier footage edited in recent years. It could be seen as a sequel to IN THE STONE HOUSE especially since it begins with a cross-country journey to the West Coast, where I settled, and concludes with a visit, in 1987, to the « stone house » in rural New Jersey. Even though there is some sort of time line that can be imagined, the film stands on its own. It is simply a series of episodes that touch upon facets of living in a new area with new weather, new people, new identities and stubborn old fears. The Bolex camera goes to work across landscapes and living areas, workplaces and gatherings. A dance of images: can beauty partner with dread and death? It’s a film of the coexistences that percolate beneath the surface of ordinary events. A film of useless hopes and baseless fears. As mentioned, we conclude with a return to the house in New Jersey. We meet the current tenant and explain who we are. Our visit sets off a brief return to the sixties and the memory of a Halloween dance and, then, returns to the present. This Autumnal rondo completes the seasonal progression of IN THE STONE HOUSE yet re-states the impossibility of any going back. My title should be familiar to film lovers as a paraphrase of Douglas Sirk’s German film, ZU NEUEN UFERN, or TO NEW SHORES. That film also deals with displacement, chasing pleasures to escape the overall atmosphere of imprisonment and a final capitulation.
Ciclo Habitação explores the theme of Housing with a plural and dynamic approach, including films of various genres and origins (from Japan, Iran, Brazil, Germany to Portugal, inevitably) and with different approaches to the theme: there is a progression in the cycle from films that address the very act of connecting to a space, to the theme of architecture, life in a city, until, in a second phase of the cycle, it embraces the issue of the Housing Crisis. Both in Oporto and in Lisbon, each session of the cycle will take place in a different location, offering the opportunity to any assiduous spectator to get to know various associations and spaces, some of which are reflective of the themes of the films shown in them.
Produced by Filmes do Gerador and curated by Pedro Gavina Maia.