"City Dusk: Between Daydream and Nightmare"

City Dusk: Between Daydream and Nightmare
The film unfolds the uncanny world hidden behind the paintings of Jerusalem artist Talia
Trainin. My camera pans through her urban landscapes, creating a tale of silent cities,
distant childhood memories, gloomy nights, lonely alleys and imposing buildings from
foreign European cities. Interlaced with associations, poems and writings from
contemporary and more distant periods, the film penetrates into her unsettling images,
rendering the dramatic events of this and of the previous century. In the words of Trainin,
"the lens unfolds x ray images, excavating nostalgia, penetrating the opacity of past and
present. It unfurls the nightmarish debris of centuries that accumulates as irresoluble,
asphyxiating wreckage. In this visual archeology of the mind successive temporal layers
meet, defying linear time."
And still, as the audience becomes a witness of the cities' past splendour, and of the scars
inflicted upon them by wars and massacres, a new dawn rises, awakening a glimpse of
Elena Canetti, film director
REVIEW from Art Newspaper "El Punto de las Artes" (Madrid, January 2006)
Talia Trainin:: Cities between Daydream and Nightmare
These urban landscapes by Talia Trainin (New York, 1960) have the hypnotic power that
emanates from pain, from mystery, and from nostalgia. Her watercolours are wisps of
cities that could be many or one, sharing the shadows of the night and the wounds of so
many wars: Paris 1940, Berlin 1945, London 1940, New York 2001, without forgetting
Madrid, Guernica… Devastation, horror, blood, and angels. A destruction expressed
through black strokes, tortuous and twisted, lit only by sinister red blotches and clouds of
whitish smoke. Desolate portrait of cities unhinged by irrationality, where the rubble does
not know the causes of so much suffering. Wars and also terror attacks. Always, here and
there, survivors of massacres that could belong to any time and place. They wander in
solitude, dragging their tired footsteps over the wreckage of what used to be their homes,
seeking perhaps a trace of life that might return the hope of what is lost. Deep, intense,
and wounding brush strokes that pierce through the soul with a universal feeling of loss
that has no flag or homeland and serves to remind us of our immense fragility.
Talia Trainin also entraps us with her melancholy portraits of cities with beautiful but cold
buildings, the streets empty of passers-by, sheltered by the night that bathes all with its
dark cloak. Her tortuous drawing enhances the sense of solitude and draws us closer to
agitation and to madness. . . .
"City Dusk, between Daydream and Nightmare" is the lucid description of an artist who
lives and feels the cold, powerful throb of each stone and halts to listen to its story, at times
terrible but also so seductive. . . Who can pass by without stopping?
Charo Sanchez Lopez
Film/Video Original Title: "City Dusk: Between Daydream and Nightmare"
Spanish Title:
"Penumbra de las Ciudades: Entre ensueño y pesadilla"
Elena Canetti
Talia Trainin and Elena Canetti
Elena Canetti
Daniel Akiva
John Landau and Elena Canetti
Nationality of Film:
Date of Completion:
Running Time:
13' 30"
Language of Subtitles:
English and Spanish
Original Format:
Format: Beta SP or DVD or VHS
Elena Canetti and Talia Trainin
Premiere- Centro Cultural Galileo, Madrid – at the
opening of Talia’s exhibition