Mirror of Happiness

Sam Samore
October 15th
Anthology Film Archives

Team is pleased to present the U.S. premiere of a new feature film by Sam Samore.

Mirror of Happiness, 2012 (85 minutes) is a fragmented fairy tale about love and the longing for community, situated at a time of global recession. Two anti-heroes from Paris run away to Istanbul (Lolita Chammah and Andy Gillet), and are momentarily embraced by the Turkish fashion scene. Hunted down by unseen assassins, these aficionados of nature seek a new kind of paradise by the polluted sea. Or perhaps their paranoid fears, and fantasies of nirvana, are fictions of their imagination, and they never actually leave their hotel room. In a parallel universe unbeknownst to the Istanbul duo, an unnamed couple (Tommy Day Carey and Sydney Harris) living in New York City undergo a mirror narrative. These urban romantics experience the alienation of contemporary life, continuously consoling and caring for one another as they play pool, frequent a bowling alley, and take a ferry ride around the Statue of Liberty. At various moments, all four characters address the audience in soliloquies that analyze their own lives, and examine the psychology of their lovers.

Throughout the unfolding of these two tales of different cities, a trio of dancers weave intermittent allegorical commentary. The film also features a pair of Ghosts – a doppelganger couple who play off the film’s scenarios of conflict and affection. Mirror of Happiness begins as a loose adaptation of Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot le Fou, and then something else happens along the way.

Mirror of Happiness follows the trajectory of Sam Samore’s recent films, which can be described as visual poems oscillating between reality and fiction, often told as a non-linear narrative. His stories show people alone or in interaction with others and often resemble dream sequences – confronting us with our secret wishes, fears, and emotions, sometimes buried deep in our unconscious. Samore’s films reveal his continued interest in the critical analysis of how we live together in society – especially under the norms of gender and the assigning of roles, the codes of behavior, as well as the structures of power relations.

Samore’s recent short film Compendium of Perplexities, 2011 (7 minutes) will be screened before Mirror of Happiness. Composed of many threads, the film has no fixed narrative, nor explanations. At the core is a group of individuals in search of something: tormented, alienated, detached.  A woman repeatedly jumps off a balcony - but somehow she’s always restrained from falling. A group throws the dice as a tale of fortune. A man digs a ditch to eternity. Someone walks down the street, never looking back. Two boys pass back and forth an unconscious girl – ritualistic and arbitrary. These dream-like sequences unfold in a grainy black and white, suggesting the animation of Samore’s monochrome photographs. A hypnotic soundtrack perhaps generates alpha waves in the viewer.

Sam Samore’s films have been shown internationally. Hallucinations/Paradise, 2010 a feature length movie, premiered at the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai, and was included as part of the film program of Art Basel 2011. A Melancholy Encyclopedia, 2007 (30 minutes) premiered at the Istanbul Biennale. Glossary of Delusions, 2010 (6 minutes) was shown at the Screening Room: Cologne at the Temporary Gallery Cologne in August 2011. Funk Lessons with Adrian Piper, 1983 (16 minutes) has been screened in numerous film festivals and museums.

The screening of Mirror of Happiness (2012) will take place on Monday, October 15th 2012, 7:30 pm. Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue at 2nd Street. The artist will be present. The screening will be open to the public. Space is limited.

For tickets, RSVP to: or (212) 279 9219.


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