Program
2021

23 June
Wednesday 23-06-2021
time 16:00
Evento Online

 

a cura di Federico Rossin

CENSORSHIP, FORM, AND POLITICS

Webinar and online screenings on Zoom with simultaneous translation. Comeback on this page to receive the partecipation link on the event day.

Curated by Federico Rossin

Departing from research for a previous programme I curated, I found it interesting to compose a meta-programme of Polish documentaries that were censored at the time of their release and remained invisible for decades. Nowadays – irony of fate and the web – they are quietly accessible online, provided with subtitles too. When works of art were charged with ‘formalism’ in the former Soviet Union’s sphere of interest, they were actually guilty of deviating from the single way of thinking, taking ideologically groundless expressive liberties. Spanning the second half of Soviet Polish 20th century, these films show how the marriage of form and content to a critical function allowed for the reinvention of a gaze upon reality as well as the utopia of a different, fairer and more authentic, world. The experimental way of Polish documentary cinema.

Natalia Brzozowska - Kopalnia [he Mine] (1947, 10')
Her editing technique is reminiscent of the Soviet films’, but executives of the Communist party could hardly appreciate the German expressionist aesthetics or the tragic portrayal of industrialization captured by Brzozowska in the late forties, when socialist realism was trending. The film was never released.

Grzegorz Królikiewicz - Nie płacz [Do not cry] (1972, 9')
A group of friends bid their farewells before leaving for war. Their last hours as civilians and conscripts: one last swim, then to the station platforms from where the trains to their units will depart. In an atmosphere of exaltation, rebellion, and nostalgia, the last moments of freedom.

Wojciech Wiszniewski - Opowiesc o czlowieku, który wykonal 55% normy [A story of a man who accomplished 55% of the quota] (1973, 25')
Bernard Budgol was a miner and a legendary leader of the socialist union throughout the forties and fifties. With its structure revolving around dissonance and contradiction, the film seems a cracked mirror. Budgol’s speeches do not form a consistent whole as their components conflict each other. His wife, his children, and his comrade miners tend to be critical while the hero himself feels compelled to defend his legend and conduct. 

Piotr Szulkin - Kobiety pracujące [Women workers] (1978, 6')
"The pace of that film is the result of a technological invention of mine. If I remember well, I shot at 16 frames/second and then doubled each frame. The people I sold the film to in Germany complained that the print had technical mistakes. When I tell the story, I always joke about the typical German attitude. The distortion of reality is the key to the film, but they still took it for a mistake. […] The technical commission threatened to perforate the film, as rumours had it that it offended socialist workers.”

 Marcel Łoziński - Ćwiczenia warsztatowe [Atelier exercises] (1986, 12')
“What do you think of Polish youth?” This was the apparently innocuous question asked in a street survey. But Marceł Łoziński reproduces reiterated variations of the footage and exposes how the manipulation of the media and public opinion is actually performed.

Perspectives on curating online cinema

by Gianmarco Torri

This section was conceived as an attempt to develop a critical reflection on what we have gone through over the past year.

Almost all of us have been obliged to live and work exclusively online. We have been watching countless screenings, meetings, virtual conferences, and all of us have realized how many resources are available on the world wide web.

Such materials have appeared as a consequence of a ‘year of living remotely’ and as a virtual substitute for conventional theatrical screening programmes in several cases, but some of them had already been accessible for years on the websites and channels of many archives, associations, museums, festivals, cultural projects, and film-makers.

Our goal is to try and understand how this year’s experience can influence our work as well as to respond positively to this historical moment, learning some useful lesson for the future.

None of us believes any longer in the relevance and necessity of an actual theatrical viewing experience. Over the past few years, the Pesaro Film Festival has tried to prove this with a section dedicated to Super8 that explored and presented not only ‘images,’ but also the materiality of films, along with film-makers with their own personality and corporeality, and screenings with their performative, experiential, and collective dimension.

However, we cannot overlook that which happened, and how it affected our perspectives, culture, and society.  We have possibly attained a better clarity of mind on what had already been going on for two decades now.

To meet this challenge over the long term, we have focused our reflection on those materials that are accessible online for free and permanently, which we think are those that can actually affect the traditional balance between access, curatorship, and film culture.

On a more utopian (not necessarily linked to pirating practices) level, these are materials that should effectively allow to overcome some hierarchic, geographic, economic, and cultural barriers as well as encourage to see the world wide web as something else than just another paying platform (something that has been little forgotten and scarcely practiced anyway).

Over the next few years, free-access streaming of images online is certainly not going to curb. On the contrary, expectations are that it continues to grow exponentially.

This immense territory actually offers those who operate in film culture an amount of assets that has never been so close at hand, and to a certain extent even snatched from the market logic and commercial operators. It deserves to be studied and upgraded in our consideration, instead of just deplored because it is supposed to belittle the movie-going experience, as though most of us – also based on the narrow cultural scope of conventional movie-theatre programming – had not already been discovering new works and shaping their own idea of film by way of the ‘small screens.’

We have not explored this wealth of materials with an encyclopaedic approach – mapping and listing websites or online resources may well be useful but does not produce a reflection on this opportunity – but we asked some curators/programmers for their critical point of view, putting themselves to the test and sharing their experience.

We asked them – each in their own field – to disclose the instruments that they use to orient their efforts, their points of reference, their knowledge, and the conceptual connections with which they construct an online programme, including how they avail themselves of this ‘virtual’ film dimension in their work. Another goal was for them to highlight the opportunities and the critical points, putting the resources in a historical and critical dimension, enabling us to find new paths and master new instruments of our own.

This is doubtlessly an ongoing process, but we believe it should be surveyed as we are convinced that in the years to come it will bring about deep change both in terms of access to the world film heritage and in terms of curatorship and programming as far as education and dissemination of film culture are concerned.

We would like the Pesaro Film Festival to become a site of critical exploration of a territory familiar to everyone but scarcely known. Sharing and juxtaposing perspectives could gradually contribute to a mapping of the future and a working hypothesis.

This section is accompanied by an e-book published by the Pesaro Film Festival available for free on the website of the Festival and the major platforms of distribution. The reflection that starts at the Festival is expanded through critical essays and more proposals of online programmes offered by the section curators and other illustrious contributors such as Oliver Hanley, Maurizio Marras, and Rick Prelinger.

 


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PFF56 22-29 08 2020
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