With a Q&A, live performance, and installation by Kidlat Tahimik
Perfumed Nightmare tells the story of a Third World villager, Kidlat, with bigger dreams than most. He would like to experience the shimmering wonders of the First World and travel to all the more distant worlds, even if he has to start his own space program. Gene Youngblood wrote for Filmex: “This is a bizarre, hallucinatory movie full of dazzling images and outlandish ideas. It’s both real and surreal, poetic and political, naive and wise, primitive and supremely accomplished. Tahimik is a master of metaphor. There’s the metaphor of the bridge that connects his past, present, and future with the great world beyond. And there’s the metaphor of the film itself: produced single-handedly for $10,000, it is a triumph of cottage industry, a dazzling testament to the liberty of the imagination. With his very first film, Kidlat Tahimik has introduced a classic.”
Kidlat Tahimik made his film on a shoestring budget, borrowing the footage and equipment he needed, after being inspired by meeting Werner Herzog in Berlin. Herzog became a champion of the film, which ended up winning the International Critics’ Prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 1977. Addressing issues of globalization, exile, and postcolonial identity with humor and charm, Perfumed Nightmare excited many with the new possibilities of an indigenous, Third World political cinema.
“Perfumed Nightmare makes one forget months of dreary moviegoing, for it reminds one that invention, insolence, enchantment – even innocence – are still available on film. – Susan Sontag
Co-presenter: The Aurora Picture Show
This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National endowment for the Humanities.
The Philippines, 1977
Directed by Kidlat Tahimik
Written by Kidlat Tahimik
Cinematography by Hartmut Lerch and Kidlat Tahimik
Editing by Kidlat Tahimik
Cast: Kidlat Tahimik, Mang Fely, Dolores Santamaria, Georgette Baudry, Katrin Muller, Hartmut Lerch, Kidlat Tahimik
Running time: 93 minutes