Blood Orange Sky

Jem Cohen

1999 | 00:26:00 | Italy / United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Documentary, Expedition/Travel, Landscape

A portrait of Catania, Sicily. Includes the ocean at 5 a.m., the fish market, the distributor of pornographic films, the woodworker, the elephant statue, housing projects, and a young girl in an orange sweater. Catania is a large and remarkable city without many tourists or tourist attractions. Its people live in the shadow of Mt. Aetna, an active volcano.

Mark Linkous of the band Sparklehorse composed original soundtrack for the project, which also contains music by local Catania musicians.

Note: this film/video was made at the invitation of the Sicilian arts group Officine.

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Exhibitions + Festivals

Dallas Video Festival, 2000

Internationale Kurtzfilmtage Oberhausen (Germany), 2000

 

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001

 

 

Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001

 

Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001

 

 

Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung