The Ghosts and Apparitions strand of Sheffield Doc/Fest features films from 23 countries, in a journey full of surprises which encourages us to reflect on the richness and complexity of our multiple existences.
Director Emily Chao's short film Bruce Takes Dragon Town is a meditation on displacement, and the power of cinema to immortalise lost souls.
The whirr of a film projector at a lonely outdoor screening, the rhythm of bustling nighttime crowds and scenes of dilapidated futurist architecture, meld with clips from a film directed decades earlier by the filmmaker's uncle in Taiwan.
Shot digitally, this early work predates Chao's process-based celluloid work, but it shares an interest in material through the footage of the outdoor 35mm film screening and incorporation of the 16mm-to-DVD transfer of her uncle's film.
The film's first person commentary (delivered through on-screen text) creates a separation with its static cinematography, resulting in a perspective that feels both internal and disembodied. A unique viewpoint that feels restless and free-floating, just like the lost souls it takes as its subject.
The short film is part of the Emily Chao & Al Wong: Films in Dialogue (16mm) screening.
- Words by
- Joe Harris
- Featured in
- Sheffield DocFest picks