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AAFF Presents: Two A.M.

Two A.M., by German contemporary artist Loretta Fahrenholz, had its world premiere at the recent 57th Ann Arbor Film Festival in March 2019. The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London will launch the European premiere on October 5, 2019.

Two A.M. takes place in the not-too-distant future in a not-altogether-unfamiliar world. The story begins as our protagonist Sanna leaves behind her family of Watchers. Their unnerving ability to monitor the thoughts and feelings of Humans conjures a hint of science fiction. Sanna goes to the city to join her sister, sister’s husband, and yoga instructor friend.

The Watchers eventually follow her there, and their point of view is conveyed through low-resolution documentary-like video images. This layer of banal imagery accompanied by a haunting and dissonant soundtrack enriches the overall texture of the film. The narrative is remote and disjointed at times and carries a dramatic tension. It gives way to an invigorating martial arts fight as well as an unexpected (and violent) climax during a drug-fueled party at the conclusion of the film.

Two A.M. was first completed in 2016 as a shorter 40-minute film (which was half the length of the full feature-length version premiered by the AAFF in March 2019). That early version was initially commissioned in conjunction with Fahrenholz’s 3 Frauen exhibition at Kunsthalle Zürich. The 3 Frauen show included her films Ditch Plains (2013) and Implosion (2011), a series of smartphone photographs, and a second photographic series created with an industrial 3-D point scanner. That version of Two A.M. also screened at Kunsthalle Fridericianum (Kassel), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), VOX (Montréal), Galerie Buchholz (Berlin), and other venues.

In partnership with the Michigan Theater, the Ann Arbor Film Festival will present Two A.M. on Wednesday, October 9, at 7:00 p.m. at the State Theatre (233 South State Street) in Ann Arbor. It will be the second-to-last of this year’s “AAFF Presents” series, which has focused on feature films from the 57th festival in March 2019.

Preceding the screening of Two A.M. will be the short film Stream by Chicago-based artist Jan Brugger. This surreal oddity references traditional painting in its nod to Cabanel’s and Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus.” Here, the traditional odalisk is made bizarre. Depicted squeezing a ThighMaster while swiping through her iPhone, this classical subject becomes a lens through which we can reflect on the present.

Tickets for the entire series are free for AAFF members.

Be sure to secure tickets and select your seats for the October 9 screening. We look forward to seeing you there!

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