“Ants and Cicadas” is an art-house experimental documentary about a country and a culture torn between a millenary tradition and vibrant modernity.
In this work, Miguel Eek establishes a dialogue between the “beautiful” and the “sinister” and explores from an anthropological perspective and in a humorous way, several attributes, inclinations and fancies of contemporary human beings: cellphones as shields vis-a-vis others and solitude; photography as a beautifying tool of our outer life; physical exercise, between an ancient ritual and a narcissistic practice; tourism, as an elixir against the emptiness of a society geared towards work and productivity. These and other contradictions are the ingredients of a wandering voyage around Japan in the twenty-first century.
With “Ants and Cicadas” I take on again, one decade later, a genre from my days of youth: travel diaries; which I had delved into through short documentaries like “Sankari” (Finland, 2004) and “Durum” (several Mediterranean countries, 2006).
It is an exercise consisting in observing the outer world, but also one’s inner self at a particular point in time and space. The filmed material is the response to an impulse, not to a story with a plot, in which the conflict, if at all, unfolds between the subject captured by the camera and the viewers themselves.
A close look into daily routine can be a healthy and thoughtful way to approach another tempo that makes us confront our own contradictions or introduces us to other ways of living. That is what “Ants and Cicadas” is partly about, or intends to be: a friendly voyage to homo sapiens in the twenty-first century.
Title: Las hormigas y las cigarras
International title: Ants and Cicadas
Runtime: 26 min
Source Format: 16: 9 AppleProRes422HQ
Master Format: AppleProRes422 and H264
Original Language: no dialogue
Filming Location: Japan.
Production Year: 2014
Direction, Screenplay and Film Editor: Miguel Eek
Production Director: Marta Castells