Four films interpret the unique pleasures and chance opportunities that solitary treks can bring. Far from mere run-of-the-mill ramblings, each of these hikes becomes a sort of virtuoso feat—some real, some imagined—in the hands of the filmmakers.
ALL THIS CAN HAPPEN (UK, 2012, 50 min.)
The novella, The Walk, the best-known work of Swiss writer Rober Walser (1978-1956), is a wistful reflection on walking and the dreamy musings a good walk arouses. “[Without walking] I would be dead,” Walser wrote, “and my profession, which I love passionately, would be destroyed.” Adapted for the screen using found footage processed into witty and ironic images, the film becomes a kind of treatise on the human mind and body. Produced by Siobhan Davies and David Hinton.
BROADWALK (UK, 1972, 4 min.)
William Raban’s short film uses time-lapse photography to capture and freeze movement through London’s Regent’s Park.
A JOURNEY TO AVEBURY (UK, 1971, 10 min.) Derek Jarman’s short film celebrates earth and sky en route to the prehistoric stones of Avebury in Wiltshire, UK.
IN STONES AND FLIES (UK, 1991, 40 min.) British land artist Richard Long treks across Algeria’s Hoggar, a volcanic, lunar-like landscape of the southern Sahara. Each movement is a sort of ritual in the artist’s absorption in the act of walking and, as he proceeds, artist Long gives form to a place that at first seems featureless. Produced by Richard Haas.
RAIN (REGEN) (Netherlands, 1929, 14 min.)
A 1920s city symphony, a montage of views recorded as the filmmaker ambles through city streets while rain falls on the sidewalks, streetcars and canals of Amsterdam. Produced by Joris Ivens and Mannus Franken.