“We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don’t know what to do with other worlds.” – Stanisław Lem, Solaris
The Ultra-Terrestrials (working title) examines how the hyper-logical modernism of Brazil’s capital city gave rise to the densest concentration of UFO cults in the world.
Built in a rush of utopian hopes for a scifi future in the early 60’s, Brasília is the world’s first functionally integrated modernist megacity. This moonpad-like metropolis sits on a red earthed plateau in Brazil’s interior. In contrast to the urban sprawl of the coast, Brasília’s architectural ideology proposes a hyper-rational urbanism to produce a hyper-rational citizenry. It is a city of massive concrete domes, swooping aluminum spires, and geometric stacks of superblocks. When Yuri Gagarin, Soviet cosmonaut and first man in space arrived in Brasília, he looked around and said: “I feel as if I stepped on the surface of another planet.” But Gagarin was not alone.
Despite its architect’s Communist leaning, limited residencies in the superblocks made the city available only to the wealthy and the government elite. In the 60’s, the laborers who built this “ilha da fantasia” (“fantasy island”) settled in satellite cities across the hinterlands; circling the space age capital with squatter outposts and independent cities. In Valley of the Dawn and the Eclectic City, these settlers looked to the alien strangeness of Brasília and began a project to re-capture its metaphysical power. The television broadcast tower dominating Brasília’s cityscape was re-built into a DIY transmitter of psychic, electromagnetic energies. The twin skyscrapers of the national congress were re-appropriated into a new age urban Stonehenge. UFO landing pads were constructed and a priestly hierarchy was established. Now, an alternative Brasília resides in the periphery with its own futurist mythology.
The Ultra-Terrestrials is an art and design film that examines these parallel spaces as collective experiments in visionary architecture and social control.
YONI GOLDSTEIN & MEREDITH ZIELKE, co-directors
email@example.com | 734.277.7219
“Ultra-Terrestrials” is a term found in Brazilian UFO and Science Fiction mythos
to describe metaphysical or alien beings who are indigenous to planet Earth.
YONI GOLDSTEIN & MEREDITH ZIELKE (directors) are award winning international filmmakers, cinematographers, and editors. Goldstein & Zielke work collaboratively on socially critical film projects: from examining hybridized healing practices in the Northern Andes (“La Curación”), to children in American prisons (“Natural Life”), to critical explorations of history and somatic memory (“The Jettisoned”). Their films have presented internationally across several major conferences, festivals, and classrooms. Their work have been awarded and selected for official screenings at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Hot Springs Documentary Festival, Sydney Latino Film Festival, Festival International du Film Ethnographique du Québec, Festival International du Documentaire et Rencontres sur la Biodiversité et les Peuples, Hot Docs Digital Doc Shop, Globians Doc Fest Berlin, Aspekty Film Festival in Poland, and many others.
ANDREW BENZ (director of photography) is a professional cinematographer, RED camera technologist, and studio owner based in Chicago. His award winning broadcast and industry films have featured on The BBC, CNN, ESPN, ABC, Discovery Channel and The History Channel. Benz specializes in independent film, television, and documentary cinematography, with emphasis on aerial, motion control, and experimental strategies for moving image projects.
SEBASTIAN ALVAREZ (producer) is a San Francisco Bay Area-based interdisciplinary artist and independent researcher. Working across diverse media, including film, audio, performance, and installation, his artistic practice explores the interrelation and fragmentation of human systems. With a focus on ritualistic performance, Alvarez draws upon notions of intimacy and estrangement, and employs the use of silence and the musicality of “untranslated” language. He received a BFA (2009), and MFA (2011) in Performance Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has performed, curated, and presented work internationally at such venues and institutions as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago Cultural Center, South Side Community Art Center, Whitney Biennial (NYC), Postgarage (Graz, Austria), Townhouse Gallery (Cairo, Egypt) and the Festival Internacional de Cine de Barichara (Barichara, Colombia).
LOU MALLOZZI (sound editor) is an audio artist in Chicago who dismembers and reconstitutes sound, language, gesture, and image in various media. Mallozzi has designed and edited the soundtracks for a number of independent films, including Fever by Paula Froehle, Israel in Exile by Juan Ramirez, The Quiet by Thomas Silva,The King of the Tango by Karen Freidberg, and the Academy Award nominated short animation Stubble Trouble by Joe Meredith. His sound works, texts, and visual works have been included in several publishing and exhibition projects, including Experimental Sound and Radio, edited by Allen Weiss (MIT Press) and Infrathin, curated by Dan Devening (Northwestern University).
JIM FAIRCHILD (composer) is a songwriter and performer based in San Francisco, California. Fairchild began his professional career in 1995 as a recording and touring member of the acclaimed band Grandaddy. As a composer, he has collaborated with artist Kai Althoff on the play Skillat Hans, written short pieces for MTV’s Teen Mom, Jersey Shore, and If You Really Knew Me, and had his music used in ABC’s comedy, The Greek. In 2009 he became a member of the critically and commercially successful band, Modest Mouse.