Previously at the ICA - Seasons

Between the Sun, Moon and Stars: The Cinema of Leonard Retel Helmrich

17 Feb 20121 Mar 2012

One of the great humanist projects of modern cinema, acclaimed filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich's Indonesian trilogy aims not for a vast overview but rather focuses on the daily, the specific and the intimate. His project is nothing less than a sounding of what it means to be human in the 21st century. Helmrich has spent over a decade documenting the fortunes of one working-class family in Jakarta, headed by the matriarch Rumidjah. The three films that he made with that family, The Eye of the Day, Shape of the Moon and Position of the Stars, have won prizes at festivals from Amsterdam to Sundance.

Born in the Netherlands to a Dutch father and a Javanese mother, Helmrich began traveling to Indonesia shortly after the death of his mother in 1990 and now splits his time between Jakarta and Amsterdam. In documenting the lives of Rumidjah and her family, Helmrich shoots simply, his camera an extension of his hand. At the same time, his camera work displays incredible virtuosity and ingenuity. His cinema is built out of long takes, with Helmrich improvising apparatus that enable his camera to move smoothly, seeming to float invisbly through the world he explores attaining a miraculous intimacy with the world and people around him. Helmrich dubs this method "single-shot cinema".

  • Position Amongst the Stars

    17 Feb 20121 Mar 2012

    The latest of Helmrich's exploration of increasing globalisation, rising Islamic fundamentalism and the implications of this on one working class Indonesian family.

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  • Eye of the Day

    24 Feb 20121 Mar 2012

    Helmrich's first film following the lives of Rumidjah, her family and friends, shows how the family is buffeted by the sweeping political turmoil in Indonesia at the turn of the 21st century.

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  • Shape of the Moon

    25 Feb 201229 Feb 2012

    With a new government in power, change is happening all around Rumidjah's family at a dizzying pace. Shape of the Moon examines how this traditional matriarch steers her family through this time.

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