Dead Slow Ahead

Nov 17 - Nov 19, 2016

(Mauro Herce, Spain / France, 2015, DCP, 74 min, Tagalog with English subtitles)

The title refers to a nautical designation meaning “as slow as possible without losing steerageway”, and it could just as well signify the trance-like state conjured by Herce’s boldly stylized chronicle aboard the Fair Lady, a commercial freighter on a voyage to international ports of call, from the Ukraine to New Orleans, with a Filipino crew inhabiting its cavernous dimensions. Herce, an ace cinematographer by trade, envisions both the ship and its horizon (alternately natural and industrial) as near-abstract spaces worthy of science fiction, while grounding the proceedings in the vicissitudes of maritime labor. The crew’s solitude is interrupted by bouts of karaoke and phone calls to loved ones back home, providing a heartbeat to the mechanical existence in the realm of late capitalism. Is this ghost ship destined for shipwreck, oblivion, or the delivery of our daily bread?

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