August 1 2017 – Light Spells: Films by Sandy Ding

Crows & Sparrows and the Balagan Film Series welcome Beijing-based filmmaker Sandy Ding (a.k.a. Ding Xin, 丁 昕) for a program of short and medium-length  films rooted in a fascination with dark mysticism and a desire to reach spiritual transcendence through cinema. All works will be shown on 16mm with exception of Dream Enclosure which was finished digitally. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker.

Duration: 80 min

Tuesday, August 1 at 8pm
Coolidge Corner Theatre | Tickets | Facebook event
290 Harvard St., Brookline, MA 02446

Film Program:

2016 | 8’30 | 16mm | color | sound

Dark subtle poetry about the return to nothingness and death written on 16mm color reversal film. The film tries to bring out an environment that deposits at the bottom of everyone’s life. The title of the film means the “cradle” in the Croatian language. It is the same peace in the cradle and the grave. – Sandy Ding

2016 | 3’00 | 16mm | b&w | silent

The “River” is symbolized emotion and the “Castle” is symbolized crisis, distinction and liberation. When the film liberates its original contact by physically weaving it and printing through dense chemistry, the malted lights speak this transformation. The film was discovered from some leftovers in the lab (Klubvizija, Croatia). – Sandy Ding

2007 | 42’00 | 16mm | color | sound

The screen becomes a performance of light as it is sculpted by rays that to me appear as brush strokes on a canvas. 
Water Spell intends to process ideas, and to physically invite people to see through time, space, and their Karma. Being in those transformations, people will land in a lake of darkness; the cremation of light, shadow, chemistry, and repeated illusions. It could be understood as a 42-minute meditation,or an abstract painting. – Sandy Ding

A journey from realism to a supersensory realm, slipping under the surface and between molecules at a microscopic scale. Channeling the subconscious, Water Spell is both odyssey and invocation; a ritual of transformation and retinal blast. The film releases the energy locked within its frames through flickering pulsations of light. – London Film Festival

2008 | 8’00 | 16mm | color | silent

“When collyries transform visual spirits, that spirit doth easily affect the imagination, which indeed being affected with divers species, and forms, transmits the same by the same spirits unto the outward sense of sight, by which occasion there is caused in it a perception of such species, and forms in that manner, as if it were moved by external objects, that there seem to be seen terrible images, and spirits, and such like: so there are made collyries, making us forthwith to see the image of spirits in the air, or else where, as I know how to make of the gall of a man, and the eye of a black cat, and of some other things.”

This is an essay film made while wondering in the woods. I heard music and songs in silence. The song is about traveling; about love; about some colorful delights from the dark shadows. We were talking about the Mancoon (a kind of big cat) on the way (in my head only?). What it is like? How does it move?

Because none of us have ever seen it in real life, all of this is just guessing. The conversation led the way for the camera’s vision of this imaginary cat. – Sandy Ding

2014 | 18’40 | 16mm transferred to video | color | sound

Wondering in dreamland, a person travels and teleports herself into a landscape of memory and mystery. The dream becomes a flickering looping echo and hovering noise. – Sandy Ding

Looping, flickering imagery and echoing sound create an immersive and hypnotic space that hovers constantly between reality and dream. Ding’s meticulous mastery of film techniques forges a material connection with bodies and landscapes that manifest in the afterimage. -79th Edinburgh International Film Festival 2015

About the Filmmaker:

DING Xin 丁 昕(A.K.A. Sandy Ding)is an experimental filmmaker living and working in Beijing, China. He graduated from CalArts with an MFA in Film and Video, and now teaches at the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). His works include experimental films, sound art, and installations. In the past 10 years or so (from 2005), he has focused on making art works related to hypnosis and mystics.

His work has been shown in festivals and underground venues around the world, including the China Independent Film Festival (Nanjing), the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Fronteira International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival (Brazil), EXiS (Korea), London Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema (Montreal), Rotterdam International Film Festival, and the Museum of the Moving Image (New York).

This event is co-presented with the Balagan Film Series and is made possible by the Brookline Commission for the Arts, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.