Polycephaly in D

Michael Robinson

2021 | 00:23:00 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: New Releases, Single Titles

Tags: Found Footage, Mental Landscape

Polycephaly in D is a densely collaged exploration of the existential drift, collective trauma, and psychological free-fall of the contemporary moment. Leaping, falling, and meeting your new self in an earthquake; we lose one head so as to grow another.

"With Polycephaly in D, Michael Robinson brings his pop-archivist sensibility into conversation with the current moment. Suffused with existential dread that taps directly into pandemic-era anxieties, the film tells a story of two telepaths through a montage of found footage of natural and manmade disasters, both real and fictional. In its most inspired sequence, scenes from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the 1976 remake of King Kong, and the 1984 action-adventure comedy Romancing the Stone are intertwined into a weirdly romantic vision of the apocalypse.” - Jordan Cronk, for Hyperallergic 

"What gradually emerges from this roiling cascade of garish imagery—which extends Robinson’s investigations with the detritus of pop culture, while approximating the surreal collisions of everyday doomscrolling—is the terror of being caught in an eternal, undifferentiated present. But as in Onward Lossless Follows (2017), there is in Polycephaly the humorous release of realizing the contingency of a debased present-tense view. In the film’s flashes of illumination, we realize that even amid the flood, we are capable of seeing otherwise." - Lawrence Garcia, for Reverse Shot

"monumentally bonkers" - Andrew Swafford, for Cinematary

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Premiere

Toronto International Film Festival
Toronto, ON
2021

Exhibitions + Festivals

Museum of Modern Art, New York

Chicago International Film Festival

Light Matter Film Festival

Rotterdam International Film Festival

Related Titles

Onward Lossless Follows
These Hammers Don't Hurt Us

Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001

 

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001

 

 

Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung