PONCE DE LEÓN

Ben Russell, Jim Drain

2012 | 00:26:08 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Death and Dying, Post-colonialism, Time

“I could do wonders if I didn't have a body. But the body grabs me, it slows me, it enslaves me.”

-- Ponce de Léon

Our PONCE DE LEÓN discovered the fountain of youth and drank of immortality in the waning moments of his life. In an instant, he became old forever – an 80-year old Spaniard who would continue to walk the earth for century after century after century, watching as coral foundations gave way to mangrove swamps, as swamps were drained and buildings were erected, as buildings decayed and swamps returned. Our PONCE DE LEÓN is an immortal for whom time poses the greatest dilemma – it is a constant, a given, and his personal battle lies in trying to either arrest time entirely or to make the hands on his clock move ever faster. For Ponce de Léon, time is a problem of body, and only by escaping his container can he escape time itself.

Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.

 

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Premiere

Ambulante
Mexico City
2012

Exhibitions + Festivals

Centre Pompidou, Paris

RedCat, Los Angeles

London Film Festival, U.K.

New York Film Festival

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