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Hours of Glass (Michiel van Bakel, 2018)

Hours of Glass

Time-traveling through a sequence of time-lapses. From a dark sky park on Møn, Denmark,  to a vanished observatory in Istanbul (Taqi ad-Din). Via the idiosyncratic Einsteinturm close to Berlin, ultimately reaching a secret service post used for intercepting vast amounts of tele-communications (Joint Sigint Cyber Unit, the largest eavesdropping base in the Netherlands).

This short photographic investigation follows an associative path along places that helped shape the observation, or should we say, the surveillance of the heavens. An extraterrestrial gaze is turned towards earth in the form of a full spectrum camera, with its eerie colour schemes. Likewise, some of the deep-gazing techniques are directed towards people sharing thoughts over the ether.

In order of appearance:
Møn Dark Sky Park, Istanbul Museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam, Leiden Observatory, Einsteinturm Potsdam, Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, Troposcatter Hoek van Holland, Joint Signals Intelligence Cyber Unit Burum.

Some parts of the soundtrack are created with sonification software (NASA ESA). This computer program can translate different possible models of the young universe into the audible region. The Cosmic Background Radiation (oldest observable light of the universe) is made accessible to the human ear. Van Bakel chose to use sonification as a synthesizer of sounds to create moods, instead of performing a one-on-one translation with it.  Next to the electronic sounds there are actual sounds from the locations. Furthermore, in the last shot we can hear a short sample from Francis Ford Coppola's classic paranoid surveillance film The Conversation.

7'17" / HD File / colour Genre: experimental, documentary

Original film title: Hours of Glass
Dir: Michiel van Bakel
Producer: Michiel van Bakel
Scenario: Michiel van Bakel
Language: no dialogue
Completed: 2018

Michiel van Bakel (selection) Hovering over Wasteland (1998, short), 5 AM (2002, short), Narcissus Narcosis (2002-2003, instal), Equestrian (2003, short), Corrente/Flow (2004, instal), Zinc Garden (2004, short), Skywalker (2005, short), An Atomical Theatre (2005, short), Panopticon (2006, short), Time Ring (2006, instal, co-dir), Zarathustra an der Donau (2006, short), Inner Machine (2007, short), Ozymandias (2008, short), Collision (2008, short), Combat (2009, short), Sensibel (2010, short), Walking City Redox (2011, short), Edison Bay (2013, short), Fly-over (2013. short), Hortus (Magnolia) (2013, short), Noctambulist (2014, short), Zen Garden (2014), Flood (2014, short), Poppies (2014, short), Multicolor Red Granite (2015, short), Jaagpad/Towing path (2015, short), Mill in Sunlight (2015, short), Road Trip to the Dutch Mountains  (2016, short), Forest Paths (2018, short)

Distributor: EYE Experimental

Festival selections: International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam 2018,  Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen 2019, Nederlands Film Festival 2019

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