REVIEW: ONDAS (2015)

ONDAS 2015 Sebastian Wiedemann

Nikola Gocić reviews Ondas, 2015, directed by Sebastian Wiedemann 

Sebastian Wiedemann (born in Medellín, Colombia, 1987) is a São Paulo-based filmmaker, film critic and one of the editors of Hambre (lit. hunger) – a blog dedicated to the research of experimental cinema, with the emphasis being on South American “voices”. In his native land, he studied Fine Arts, continuing his education in Argentina, as a film director who has developed a penchant for fiction and documentary likewise. Currently, he develops a thesis on interweaving of philosophy, anthropology and experimental cinema which he sees as “an irrefutable condition”, at UNICAMP (The University of Campinas). His “openness to exchanges and encounters”, as he puts it in Hambre’s “About” section, has him working on projects Entre-mundos and Oscillations in collaboration with Scott Barley, Susana Dias and Mikel Guillen.

One of his latest works – a Brazilian-Colombian co-production, Waves (originally, Ondas) – shows us that water plus color do not necessarily equal watercolor and that sometimes, the viewer turns into the “viewee”. This less-than-ten-minute dive into the sea of “blue” thoughts (where blue does not correspond with sadness, unless you had a really bad day) appears as a pulsating, Brakhage-esque erosion of the tape that wants to analyze you, instead of allowing you to analyze it. A spiritual successor to Wiedemann’s 2012 short Abismo, Waves could also be described as a film for all the people who watch the water, to rephrase the dedication from his 2016 marvel Xapirimuu. Entirely composed of abstract shapes foaming, floating, quivering and zigzagging before your eyes like an unknown substance under a microscope, it becomes a living, breathing and, of course, undulating organism brimming with pure energy.