Private Project

The fool of Posillipo and other stories

In the winter of 1882, the physiologist and scientist Étienne-Jules Marey spent hours on the beach of Posillipo in Naples, pointing an odd-shaped gun at flying birds. The locals started calling him "the fool of Posillipo," as no one ever heard a gunshot. Nor did any birds die. Or, perhaps, Marey was involved in an imperceptible process of killing, shooting birds twelve times a second with his latest invention, the chronophotographic gun - a precursor to moving image technology. The audio-visual assemblage locates the "gun camera" as a speculative prototype of imperialist technology, shadowing related practices from the colonial sport of bird hunting to cartography, anthropometry, ethnographic field recordings, and modern warfare. As a celluloid strip mutates into the "kill box" inside a military drone screen or a laboratory fly resurrects as a cybernetic creature more than a century later, an elusive dove escapes from Marey's static frames and morphs into nothingness in a defiant affirmation of existential irreducibility.

  • Santasil Mallik
  • Hyash Tanmoy
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 18, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    100 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Canada, India
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Western University
Director Biography - Santasil Mallik

Santasil is a media artist and researcher pursuing his PhD at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies. His research interests broadly concern the political aesthetics of documentary media and its dialogues with intergenerational violence. As a lens-based practitioner, he experiments with formal and technical language to think alongside the material properties of visuals. He imagines evolving his practice over perpetual conversations with the impossibly percipient and self-exhaustive methodology of Mr. Palomar, the eponymous protagonist of Italo Calvino's novel.

His film Farrago (2019) was programmed at the 22nd VideoEx Festival (Zurich) and the YOUKI International Youth Media Festival (Wels, Austria), among others.

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