Archive of films World Without End (No Reported Incidents) / World Without End (No Reported Incidents)
Film poet Jem Cohen has been known for decades for his perceptive portrayals of various parts of the world. This time his hour-long film investigates life in the British coastal town of Southend-on-Sea – a place whose rhythm is affected by the unceasing ebb and flow of the tides. Objects reflected in windows, the inhabitants’ seemingly banal monologues, obscure and empty corners, and houses emanating the magic of the past – all these bespeak ordinariness but also the uniqueness of human beings.
Visual artist and film poet Jem Cohen has been known for decades for his perceptive depictions of different parts of the world. In the hour-long footage that makes up his latest work, he looks at the lives of the inhabitants of the British coastal town of Southend-on-Sea – a place whose rhythm is affected by the unceasing ebb and flow of the tides. He allows engaged locals to talk about their ways of life and their hobbies. Seemingly banal words and sentences reveal their interests and dreams, but also their fears. In silent static shots, the eye of the camera captures birds, a beautiful muddy beach, and houses emanating the magic of the past. Then the director goes further, peeking into obscure and empty corners and fixing on objects reflected in windows. The movie – a snapshot pulsating with internal energy – deliberately follows no dramatic arc. It is a seamless segment of life at a given time, whose ordinariness conceals the singularity and universality of human beings.
About the director
Jem Cohen (b. 1962, Kabul, Afghanistan) studied photography and film at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, graduating in 1984. He is known for his observational urban portraits and combined film formats – 16 mm, Super 8 and video. He has more than 60 films to his name, e.g. Lost Book Found (1996), Benjamin Smoke (2000), Instrument (2003), Chain (2004), Musem Hours (2012) and Counting (2015). His work is held at MoMA in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. We Have an Anchor was the main presentation at the BAM gallery in New York and at London's Barbican Centre. He was awarded various important grants, such as the Alpert Award, Creative Capital and the Independent Spirit Award. He worked closely with a series of bands and musicians (incl. Patti Smith, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Terry Riley, Vic Chesnutt, R.E.M. and DJ Rupture).