Blade Runner 2049
The Square
Un beau soleil intérieur
The Glass Castle
Kleine ijstijd
The Syntax of the Landscape

Disappearing Landscape

Singapore/Serbia/Spain, 2013 | Vladimir Todorovic
Paula Ruiz checks in from Madrid to see Vladimir Todorovic's Disappearing Landscape, a meditation on travelling that takes the Serbian director to Singapore, the USA and Barcelona.

What does a landscape mean? What make us belong to a landscape? When does a landscape belong to us? For Serbian director Vladimir Todorovic (1977), the answers to all these questions might be found in grammar: a landscape could be some place here or could be some place there, some place now or then, some place of yours or some place of mine. It's not a matter of geography but a matter of where you place yourself. In time and space. The syntax of the landscape is what his film, Disappearing Landscape, ultimately is about.

It is not by chance that Todorovic works with computer code and generative systems to produce narrative structures for different media. He is the co-founder of a media art collective called SYNTFARM, which studies our planet and our nature by digitally collecting and processing data from different environments. He also works as an Assistant Professor at the School of Art, Design and Media, NTU, in Singapore. And he is not a newcomer in cinema. Three years ago, his short film Silica-esc (2010) was awarded with a Special Mention for the category Computer Art at the Japan Media Arts Festival, and two years ago, he made his debut at International Film Festival Rotterdam with the feature Water Hands, a story about a journey from Singapore to Montenegro.

It is not by chance either that in Disappearing Landscape Todorovic repeats the motif of the journey: the movie tells three stories about what it means to be an immigrant nowadays. The first story follows a couple in present-day Singapore; the second is about a man who comes back home to Serbia after having lived in the U.S.A. for the last ten years; and the third looks to the future by presenting a young couple from South America in their new settlement: Barcelona, Spain. Perhaps because cinema has been always linked with the idea of travel, we see the characters of Disappearing Landscape as the spectators of their owns lives, trying to attach themselves to these landscapes that surround them in the same way that we, the real spectators, watch them on the screen, trying to empathize with their experiences.

Unsurprisingly, 'In the present', the first story of the movie, draws up comparisons with Antonioni's masterpiece L'eclisse. It should not be seen as an easy reference. As in that film, Todorovic tells the story of a young couple somehow suffering from the loneliness of modern life. But unlike the characters played by Monica Vitti and Alain Delon, those played by Machida Hiroyuki and Bobbi Chen insist in finding a way to survive together and not feel alienated by of their environment. At the end of the story, the couple travels to an island neighbouring Singapore where a coral plantation miraculously survives. This beautiful image stands, of course, as a metaphor for the main characters: isolated and trapped yet resistant in the middle of an industrial and violent landscape.

The second story of Disappearing Landscape, 'From the past', jumps backwards to show us the souvenirs of a man who is returning to his homeland. It's not difficult to see here Todorovic's own emotions, as he has been away from Serbia for a long time. Later on, when the closing credits roll, we find out that the story is based on a letter addressed to the filmmaker by his relative Marko Todorovic, but while watching it, the audience would trespass the screen to live in an oneiric landscape with a wide open sky and the laughter of children playing all around. This segment is probably the most enigmatic yet evocative and complex in the feature. We hardly see the main character as an adult during the story — only in a few frames where he is biking around his hometown — so, in a way, he disappears from the landscape he is showing to us, a landscape that no longer belongs to reality but to his memories, his past, the stream of his imagination.

The last story of Disappearing Landscape touched me deeply because it takes place in my hometown, Barcelona, a city whose landscape, like the character of 'From the past', now belongs to my memories. 'Hacia lo desconocido' shows a trip to the countryside of a young couple from Colombia and Chile that lives in Barcelona. Actually, nothing really happens during this trip, just a few conversations about finding a job and the uncertainty of the future, but the apparent lightness of those talks reveals a transcendental experience: the very moment before facing some decisions. Some might describe this trip as a landscape of a holiday. I'd rather think of it as a landscape of a hiatus.

Paula Arantzazu Ruiz (Barcelona, 1979). Journalist. Cultural criticist. Academic researcher. She loves going to the movies. She writes for online media (Sensacine, Contrapicado, Détour, Transit) and the Spanish newspapers La Cartelera/Levante and PLAY/ARA, and magazines such as Cultura/s and H Magazine. She is currently working on her PhD at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain). lacopadeeuropa.blogia.com @paulaarantzazu



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Disappearing Landscape

Filmkrant #351, February 2013

Slow Criticism 2013

Titelindex


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D

D'Ardennen
D.O.A.P. (DEATH OF A PRESIDENT)
DA MO FANG
THE DA VINCI CODE
DAAR IN DAT LAND (V TOJ STRANJE)
DADDY AND PAPA
DADDY DAY CARE
Daddy's Home
Daddy's Home 2
DAENS
Een dag in 't jaar (Margot Schaap over)
DE DAG VAN DE WANHOOP
DAGEN ZONDER LIEF
Daglicht
THE DAILY NATION
DAINIPPONJIN
DAKOTA
DAL DER ZUCHTEN
DALECARLIANS
DAM STREET
DAMAGE
DAMIAAN
THE DAMNED
Damsels in Distress
DAN IN REAL LIFE
Dance Academy: de film
DANCE FLICK
DANCE ME TO MY SONG
DANCE OF DUST (RAKHS-E-KHAK)
DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES
DANCE OF THE WIND
DANCE WITH ME
Dancer
DANCER IN THE DARK
THE DANCER UPSTAIRS
Dancing Arabs
DANCING DREAMS
DANGER: DIABOLIK
THE DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS
A Dangerous Method
DANGEROUS MINDS
The Danish Girl
Danny Collins
Dans la maison
DANS LA VIE
DANS VOOR HET LEVEN
DANS, GROZNY DANS (THE DAMNED AND THE SACRED)
LA DANSE — LE BALLET DE L'OPÉRA DE PARIS
Dansen op de vulkaan
La danseuse (Stéphanie Di Giusto en Soko over)
DANTE'S PEAK
Daphne (Peter Mackie Burns over)
DARATT
DAREDEVIL
THE DARJEELING LIMITED
THE DARK
DARK BLUE
DARK CITY
DARK HORSE
The Dark Horse (James Napier Robertson over)
DARK IS RISING
THE DARK KNIGHT
The Dark Knight Rises
Dark Places
Dark Skies
The Dark Tower
DARK WATER (Hideo Nakata)
DARK WATER (Walter Salles)
DARKDRIVE
The Darkest Hour
DARKNESS
DARKNESS IN TALLINN
DARWIN'S NIGHTMARE
DARWINS VERSTEKELING. BEAGLE, IN HET KIELZOG VAN DARWIN
DATE MOVIE
DATE NIGHT
The Daughter
Daughters of Malakeh
Daughters of the Dust
DAVE
DAWN OF THE DEAD (George A. Romero)
DAWN OF THE DEAD (Zack Snyder)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW
THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN
THE DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET
DAY NIGHT DAY NIGHT
DAY OF THE DEAD
THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
THE DAY THE SUN TURNED COLD
The Day Will Come
DAYBREAK
DAYBREAKERS
DAYLIGHT
THE DAYS
THE DAYTRIPPERS
Dazed and Confused
DE BATTRE MON COEUR S'EST ARRÊTÉ
DE FORCE AVEC D'AUTRES
De rouille et d'os
DE-LOVELY
Dead Body Welcome
THE DEAD GIRL
DEAD LEAVES
DEAD MAN
THE DEAD MAN 2: RETURN OF THE DEAD MAN
Dead Man Down
DEAD MAN WALKING
DEAD MAN'S SHOES
DEAD PRESIDENTS
Deadfall
Deadly Virtues: Love.Honor.Obey
Deadpool
The Deal
Deal
DEALING AND WHEELING IN SMALL ARMS
DEAR FRANKIE
DEAR JOHN
DEAR WENDY
Dear White People
DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER
DEATH AND THE MAIDEN
DEATH AT A FUNERAL
DEATH BECOMES HER
Death Note
DEATH RACE
DEATH SENTENCE
DEATH TO SMOOCHY
Débarquement immédiat
The Debt
THE DEBT COLLECTOR
IL DECAMERON
DECEPTION
DECK THE HALLS
DECONSTRUCTING HARRY
DEEP BLUE
DEEP BLUE SEA
The Deep Blue Sea
THE DEEP END
Deep End (Terugzien)
DEEP IMPACT
DEEP IN THE WOODS
DEEP RISING
Deepwater Horizon
DEFIANCE
DEFINITELY, MAYBE
The Deflowering of Eva van End (Slow Crtiticism: De ontmaagding van Eva van End)
Dégradé
DEINING
DÉJÀ VU
Dekalog
DEKALOOG
DELBARAN
La délicatesse
DÉLITS FLAGRANTS
DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Amy Berg)
DELIVER US FROM EVIL (Ole Bornedal)
Deliver Us From Evil (Scott Derrickson)
THE DELIVERY
The Delivery Guy (Raznoschik)
Delivery Man
DELLAMORTE DELLAMORE
DELTA
DEMAIN DES L'AUBE
Demain tout commence
DEMOLITIAN MAN
Demolition (Jean-Marc Vallée over)
DEMON KNIGHT
Denial
DENISE CALLS UP
DENKEND AAN HOLLAND
DENNIS HOPPER: THE DECISIVE MOMENTS
DENNIS P.
DENNIS THE MENACE
THE DEPARTED
DEPARTMENT 36
DEPARTURES
DERECHO DE FAMILIA aka FAMILY LAW
Le dernier coup de marteau
DES HOMMES ET DES DIEUX
The Descendants
THE DESCENT
Desde allá
DESERT FLOWER
IL DESERTO ROSSO
DESI
El Desierto
DESMOND EN HET MOERASMONSTER
Despair
DESPERADO
DESPERATE MEASURES
DESPERATE REMEDIES
DESPERAUX: DE DAPPERE MUIS
DESPICABLE ME
Despicable me 2
Despicable Me 3/Verschrikkelijke Ikke 3
Después de Lucía
LES DESTINÉES SENTIMENTALES
DESTINY TURNS ON THE RADIO
DESTRICTED
Detachment
Detroit
DETROIT ROCK CITY
DEUCE BIGALOW MALE GIGOLO
DEUCE BIGALOW: AMERICAN GIGOLO
Deux jours, une nuit
DEVIL
The Devil Inside
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA
DEVIL'S ADVOCATE
The Devil's Double
Devil's Knot
THE DEVIL'S MINER
THE DEVIL'S OWN
THE DEVIL'S REJECTS
DEVILS ON THE DOORSTEP
Dheepan (Jacques Audiard over)
EL DIA DE LA BESTIA
DIABOLIQUE
LA DIABOLIQUES
DIALOGUE AVEC MON JARDINIER
DIALOOGOEFENING NO.1: STAD
DIAMONDS OF THE NIGHT
Diana
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel
Diary of a Teenage Girl
DIARY OF A TIMES SQUARE THIEF
DIARY OF THE DEAD
DICK
The Dictator
DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS
DIE ANOTHER DAY
DIE HARD 4.0
DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE
Die laatste zomer
DIEF!
Diego Star
DIEP
DIFFERENT CINEMA VOLUME 3
DIFFERENT FOR GIRLS
Difret (Zeresenay Mehari over)
Dikkertje Dap
THE DILEMMA
UN DIMANCHE A KIGALI
Het diner
DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS
DINOSAUR
Dior and I
Diplomatie (Volker Schlöndorff over)
DIRTY DANCING 2
DIRTY DIARIES
Dirty Grandpa
DIRTY MIND
DIRTY PRETTY THINGS
DIS-MOI QUE JE RÊVE
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREED
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Disappearing Landscape
DISASTER MOVIE
DISCLOSURE
DISCO PIGS
THE DISCOVERY OF HEAVEN
LES DISEURS DE VÉRITÉ
DISGRACE
DISNEY'S TARZAN
DISTANCE
La distancia
THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN
THE DISTRICT
DISTRICT 9
DISTURBIA
DIVA DOLOROSA
Divergent
The Divergent Series: Allegiant
Divergent Series: Insurgent
The Divide
DIVINE INTERVENTION
DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD
DIVINE TRASH
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY
Il DIVO
DIVORCING JACK
Django (Étienne Comar)
Django (Sergio Corbucci)
Django Unchained
DO NOT DISTURB (Dick Maas)
Do Not Disturb (Yvan Attal)
The Do-Deca-Pentathlon
DOBERMANN
Doctor Strange
DODGEBALL
DOG SOLDIERS
A Dog's Purpose
DOGMA
DOGTOOTH
DOGTOWN AND Z-BOYS
DOGVILLE
DOGVILLE CONFESSIONS
Dokter Pulder zaait papavers
DOKTOR MABUSE, DER SPIELER
IL DOLCE E L'AMARO
Dolfje Weerwolfje
De dolle tweeling
De dolle tweeling 2
De dolle tweeling 3
DOLLS
DOLORES CLAIBORNE
Dom/The House
DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE
DE DOMINEE
DOMINO
The Domino Effect
DOMWEG GELUKKIG
DON (Arend Steenbergen)
DON (Farhan Akhtar)
Don Jon
DON'S PLUM
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Don't Breathe
DON'T COME KNOCKING
DON'T LOOK BACK
DON'T LOOK NOW
DON'T SAY A WORD
DON'T STOP THE SHOW
DONDERBROEK
DONKEY PUNCH
Donkeyote
DONNIE BRASCO
DONNIE DARKO
IL DONO
DOOD EIND
DOOD IN VENETIË
Doodslag
DOOM
THE DOOM GENERATION
DOOMSDAY
DOOR DE WIND GEJAAGD (EL VIENTO SE LLEVO LO QUE)
DOOR IN THE FLOOR
THE DOORS: WHEN YOU'RE STRANGE
Dope
DOPO MEZZANOTTE
LA DOPPIA ORA
Dorsvloer vol confetti
DOS CRIMINES
Dos disparos
DOSSIER K.
The Double (Michael Brandt)
The Double (Richard Ayoade)
DOUBLE JEOPARDY
Double Play (Ernest Dickerson over)
DOUBLE TAKE
DOUBLE TEAM
DOUBLE WHAMMY
DOUBLE YOU STREET
DOUBT
DOUCHES FROIDES
DOUG'S 1E FILM
DOWN
DOWN PERISCOPE
DOWN TO EARTH
DOWN TO YOU
DOWN WITH LOVE
DR. AKAGI
DR. DOLITTLE
DR. DOLITTLE 2
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
DR. T AND THE WOMAN
DRACULA
DRACULA 2000
Dracula Untold
DRAG ME TO HELL
DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY
DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION
DRAGONFLY
DRAGONHEART
Draken & Deuntjes
DRAKENHEUVEL
DRAKENJAGERS
DRAMA/MEX
Dream House
DREAMCATCHER
DREAMER: MIJN DROOMPAARD
THE DREAMERS
DREAMING BY NUMBERS
A DREAMSCAPE, GAMBLING IN AMERICA
Dredd 3D
DREI
DE DRIE BESTE DINGEN IN HET LEVEN
Drie dvd's met films van Maya Deren
DE DRIE MUSKETIERS
DE DRIE ROVERS
Dries
Drift (Benny Vandendriessche)
DRIFT (Michiel van Jaarsveld)
DRIFTING CLOUDS
DRIJFZAND
DRILLBIT TAYLOR
Drinking Buddies
Drive
DRIVE ANGRY 3D
DRIVEN
DRÔLE DE FÉLIX
Droom & daad
DE DROOM VAN DE BEER
DROOMLAND DDR
The Drop
DROP DEAD GORGEOUS
DROP ZONE
DROPOUTS
DROWNING MONA
Drug War
Du forsvinder
Dubbelspel
THE DUCHESS
DUDE, WHERE IS MY CAR?
DUE AMICI
DUE DATE
THE DUEL PROJECT
DUIMELIJNTJE
The Duke of Burgundy (Maria Rohm over)
THE DUKES OF HAZZARD
Dukhtar
DUMB AND DUMBER
Dumb and Dumber To
DUMB AND DUMBERER: WHEN HARRY MET LLOYD
DUMBLAND
Dummie de Mummie
Dummie de Mummie en de Sfinx van Shakaba
Dummie de Mummie en de tombe van Achnetoet
Dummy Jim
DUMPLINGS
Dunderklumpen
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS
Dunkirk
DE DUNNING BROERS
DUNSTON CHECKS IN
DUNYA & DESIE IN MAROKKO
DUPLEX
DUPLICITY
Durak (The Fool)
DUSKA
Dying of the Light
DYING TO GO HOME