On the eve before the 7th Annual The 8 Fest: two films


by Jacqueline Valencia

January is a hectic month for film in general. The Globes are broadcast and there’s the rush to see the many Oscar nominated films before the awards. It’s easy for little festivals, such as The 8 Fest, to get lost among the chaos. As mentioned previously, The 8 Fest is a festival of “small gauge film 8mm, Super 8 and 9.5mm, as well as works in installation, loops, and ‘proto-cinema devices’ like zoetropes.

The 8 fest is a festival for anyone using small-gauge to create rough little gems on film – personal, handmade, experimental, animations, diaries, essays, collage, cut-ups, performance/film, music/film.

Here is a preview of the two films in the festival.


hanoi1 copy

Hanoi DOCLAB/Echo Park Film Centre/Goethe Institut Hanoi

For more info on the Hanoi DOCLAB and EPFC:



The Sound We See: A Hanoi City Symphony is a cinematic exploration of the dynamic urban environment of Vietnam’s capital.  


This selection is inspired by the do it yourself techniques from and references the classic cinema of Walter Ruttman’s 1927 masterpiece Berlin: Symphony Of A Great City. As a collaborative project it traverses the city of Hanoi through its many inhabitants, settings, and times. The film starts with a vertigo shot of the sunlight through the trees that surround the city. People move through doorways only lit by hallway lights as the camera shakes with the sound creating a swinging  lantern effect.  At night, merchants are speeded up as traffic whizzes by the wet night streets. The music is discordant, jarring and calms down only to repeat again in cycle. With a pastiche of happy faces pulling the viewer in to its atmosphere, The Sound We See is a fascinating flight among the chaotic flow of 21st century Vietnam.


Black and white, Super 8, and hand-processed by the filmmakers on-site at DocLab,  live score composed specifically for the film by local musicians Luong Hue Trinh, Tri Minh and friends. 27 mins.

The Sound We See: A Hanoi City Symphony  is playing as part of “Bagerooo,seven! Volume one” Friday Jan. 24, 11 PM


Alisa Berger’s Island Story

I know nothing about the filmmaker, but with a short film as odd and strangely poignant as this one, the mystery makes it all the better. The blindingly and like a Martian horizon, the sun plays with the viewer’s stability. A narrator gives the account of a strange tale of a couple on a transformative journey into a world of paradise with no language. Animalistic gesticulations and instinctive expression emanate from the body until both of them grow apart and then into other versions of themselves, never to be the same again. A grainy vintage-like feel permeates the alien world and mixes in with the mixtures with the assumed real world.

Island Story is playing as part of “Bagerooo,seven! Volume two” Sunday Jan. 26, 9 PM

TGOF’s coverage of The 8 Fest continues….


* The 8 Fest Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/529071180533594/

Paramount to Stop Distributing Film Prints, Digital Only From Now On: http://www.firstshowing.net/2014/paramount-to-stop-distributing-film-prints-digital-only-from-now-on/

* Director Herzog makes film for Vt. college class:  http://www.thestate.com/2014/01/12/3202713/director-herzog-makes-film-for.html#storylink=cpy

One Reply to “On the eve before the 7th Annual The 8 Fest: two films”

  1. […] like Inception without the inter-splicing of visuals to distort a viewer’s sense of time. Alisa Berger’s Island Story (click for the mini-write up on it) has all the elements of a science fiction mini horror film, but […]

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