At Sea

Rental Format(s): 16mm film

"Hutton knows the sea. His experiences as a former merchant seaman have informed his film making practice, known for its rigour and epic beauty. At Sea begins in South Korea with diminutive workers shipbuilding. The colossal vessel is revealed in De Chirico-worthy proportions, its magnitude surreal to the human eye. Off to sea, the splendour and intensity of the water - set against the vibrant colours of the containers - causes us to see the world anew. The film concludes in Bangladesh amidst ship breakers as enthralled by Hutton's camera as we are by his images." -Andrea Picard

"At Sea begins at a shipyard in South Korea. Fully embracing his newfound colour scheme, Hutton gives us a sharp, Constructivist photographic primer. Shot by shot, we move from the long distance of entire ocean liners being loaded with metal cargo boxes, all the way in to close-up images of the hull, the engine, and the crane that lifts a piece of iron into place for welding. By the end of the first part, Hutton provides integrated views of the whole port-crane upon crane, ship after ship. In a sense, the first 20 minutes of At Sea offer an introduction not only to the rest of the film (which finds us aboard another freighter), but Hutton's maritime filmography as a whole. After the voyage, Hutton provides a quite unexpected coda. On a shore in Southeast Asia, we see the rusted-out hull of a decommissioned vessel. This time, we are watching in silence as local scrappers take the ship apart for whatever meagre pittance they can earn. At Sea, then, displays "shipping" within its life cycle, but does so without facts or judgment. The shots form a limited narration regarding a capitalist process, while also providing enough space between the shots for less deterministic rumination." -Michael Sicinski

Rental Fees

16mm film $450.00  

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