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Dead Slow Ahead

September 4, 2016

Dead Slow Ahead

(Dir. Mauro Herce, 2015)

Co-presented by Cinefamily!


3:30 PM


4:00 PM


611 N. Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg
Yanai Initiative logo_edited.jpg

A unique aesthetic object, Spanish director Mauro Herce’s directorial debut Dead Slow Ahead plays at once like a vocational ethnography and an experiential view of industrial advancement. Filmed on a commercial freighter off the coasts of Ukraine and New Orleans, the film situates the viewer, without context, directly in the bowels of the ship’s titanic hull, with clanking machinery, whirring turbines, and swells of oceanic furor enveloping the senses as we barrel forward in the grip of unforgiving conditions. Herce captures an astonishing array of natural wonders and crafts an extra-sensory tableaux of near-surrealist imagery with a steady hand and acute eye for the beauty of his surroundings. With its prismatic range of primary colors, aural ambiance, and disorienting spatial arrangements, Dead Slow Ahead constructs an immense formal infrastructure through which to conceive of the sheer physicality of life aboard the freighter.

~ Join us for a post-screening reception on Cinefamily's back patio.

Herce  has sculpted an aesthetically aberrant documentary that, while grounded  in the vicissitudes of uneasy labour, effectively partakes of science  fiction. Herce renders the fathomable into something utterly strange,  teasing an intrinsically outré quality from objects or scenarios that  have become fixed by routine perception.

- Jay Kuehner, Cinema Scope

[Herce] approaches  his milieu less like a documentarian sniffing out stories than a  scientist carefully calibrating the parameters of his environment. The  images have a stately, interstellar quality, like cautiously distant  views of an alien planet visited for the first time.

- Carson Lund, Slant Magazine

In Dead Slow Ahead,  the sound is like another visual layer over the image itself–– built  with care and precision to create a powerful viewing experience. There  is really nothing like it around in cinema at the moment.

- Vladan Petkovic, Cineuropa

Herce began his filmmaking career as a cinematographer; and his riveting and eerie visual style in Dead Slow Ahead successfully captures the monumentality of the bulker—and man’s  smallness within it—as well the diminutiveness of humankind’s pretension  and enterprise within nature’s immense watery arena.

- Dennis West, Cineaste

(Available to download after screening date)

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