Ghost Strata

Ben Rivers
GB 2019
45 min

Um Gesteinsschichten geht es in Rivers’ neuem Filmjahrbuch; der Titel bezieht sich auf fehlende Elemente im Gestein, deren geisterhafte Präsenz darauf verweist, was einst da war. Und weil wir im Kino sind, geht es darüber hinaus um eine Untersuchung der Zeit. Das Rätsel der Erinnerung, des Übriggebliebenen und des Ausgelöschten dröselt GHOST STRATA in einer monatlichen Abfolge disparater, sehr schöner Fragmente auf. Wie spielerisch sein Zugang ist, zeigt sich schon anfangs, wenn Rivers sich Tarotkarten legen lässt und herauskommt: der Film drehe sich um sein persönliches Verhältnis zur Zeit. (Roman Scheiber)

In Anwesenheit von Ben Rivers.


Ben Rivers’ films tend to look outward at the larger world. GHOST STRATA is no exception. But to a somewhat different extent, it also looks in. A film diary, it reflects his globetrotting ways, existing in the margins of his otherwise outward-bound filmmaking style. So landscape plays a huge role, and in fact the film takes its title from a geological concept. As a scientist explains in the film, “ghost strata” are theoretical layers of time. When you see the strata of sedimentary rock, you are given to understand that the space around that rock, the very space you occupy, was once filled with earth as well. Rivers composes the film as a calendar, with 12 sections, one for each month of the year of its making. Across the running time of GHOST STRATA, Rivers’ travels are summed up in sometimes small, metonymic ways: a sunset over a mountain, a set of photos of a trashed dormitory space, a group of hands in close-up dislodging objects from the mud of tide pools. As a counterpoint to these scenes, Rivers layers in audio clips of poems or shows us outtakes of his own films. One gets the sense that these are half-formed memories, a bit like Kristen Johnson’s CAMERAPERSON or Thomas Heise’s MATERIAL, experiences that could have become films in themselves but didn’t, or snapshots too precious to burden with the weight of a beginning or an ending. (Michael Sicinski)

In the presence of Ben Rivers.

  • Ben Rivers
  • Ben Rivers
  • Ben Rivers
  • Ben Rivers
Ben Rivers


Related Movies