Not a thing I made, but:
Richard Mosse’s Incoming at the Barbican, London.
I previously adored his The Enclave, a six channel documentary film shot on IR stock about the war in the Congo.
So I was ready for this to be good, but not quite as staggering as it ended up being.
It’s a three-channel film, 52 minutes, with sound. It’s shot entirely on a military IR camera, meaning: a lot of it is at huge telephoto focal range; a lot of it is shot in pitch blackness (though some of it is shot in daylight). Despite that limitation, it is sometimes shot handheld. And it’s about… the modern refugee experience, I guess; footage ranges from A10’s strafing Syria, an autopsy of someone who died on a boat crossing, through to embedded work with Italian customs offiicals as people arrive off boats, through footage in refugee camps, up to the burning of the Calais Jungle. There are no captions, voiceover; you have to piece together facts retroactively.
IR removes everybody’s eyes; it makes everybody’s skin dark, regardless of real colouring; it makes bloody handprints and wet handprints indistinguishable; it makes everything look like war. F/A 18’s launch from a carrier; minutes later, we see newly arrived refugees in Italy. Everything is linked by context.
It’s remarkable, borderline-unbearable in places; superb sound-design - mainly diegetic, with a little processing - from Ben Frost. If you’re passing through London, you must go; it’s free.