Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Séances in Amsterdam and Utrecht

Two November screenings-cum-talks:

On November 15 the Filmmuseum (as we stubbornly call it) will present films by, and films selected by, Jeroen Eisinga. This is from the official announcement:

"E*cinema presenteert op 15 november in EYE Film Instituut Nederland een double bill met Jeroen Eisinga. In het eerste programma gaat Stedelijk Museum-curator Bart Rutten met filmmaker en beeldend kunstenaar Jeroen Eisinga in gesprek over zijn films en inspiratiebronnen. Daarbij zal zijn spraakmakende nieuwe film Springtime worden vertoond, waarin hij zich geheel laat bedekken door honingbijen, en een nieuwe conservering van zijn film Sehnsucht op 35mm. Na fragmenten van Eisinga’s inspiratiebronnen volgt zijn keuzefilm: Code inconnu van Michael Haneke."

Programma 1 in EYE, 15 november, 19.30:
Gesprek met Jeroen Eisinga o.l.v. Bart Rutten plus vertoning van enkele films van Eisinga zelf  (Springtime [2011], Het belangrijkste moment van mijn leven [1995], Sehnsucht [2002, nieuwe EYE-conservering], en fragmenten van Eisinga’s inspiratiebronnen, zoals Fritz Lang, Alan J. Pakula, Bas Jan Ader en Chris Burden. Gevolgd door:

Programma 2, 15 november 21:30 uur: keuzefilm van Jeroen Eisinga, Code Inconnu (Michael Haneke, 2000)

On November 19, BAK in Utrecht will present the session The Political Carnivalesque as part of the project Icarus Spacecraft. This session includes a screening of Glauber Rocha's film Entranced Earth, (1967) as well as a lecture by artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh.

"Van Oldenborgh draws on her interest in cinematic form, destabilizing established meanings, and re-reading colonial histories, to contextualize his work. The cinematic language of Rocha's films, as van Oldenborgh's lecture explores, pays homage to European filmmakers such as Pier Paolo Pasolini and Jean-Luc Godard, while remaining unique in its experimental rigor and perspective that gazes out from Brazil's formerly colonized terrain. Rocha communicates an array of forbidden themes including social inequality, political corruption, and the economic exploitation of Brazil by foreign powers. In particular, Entranced Earth employs the style of a chaotic political drama situated in the fictive Latin American country of Eldorado in the late 1960s to comment on burning political issues. Filmed during the US-backed Brazilian military dictatorship, Entranced Earth raises questions about ethical and political struggles as it follows a disillusioned poet and journalist who is caught between two positions: support a populist governor or stand behind a conservative president backed by revolutionary forces."

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Guest lecture Ivo Blom

On Wednesday Ivo Blom will talk about the Filmliga's séance practices (at the VU). There is no required preparatory reading, but a relevant text is Tom Gunning, "Ontmoetingen in verduisterde ruimten. De alternatieve programmering van de Nederlandsche Filmliga," in: Céline Linssen, Hans Schoots, Tom Gunning, Het gaat om de film! Een nieuwe geschiedenis van de Nederlandsche Fimliga, 1927-1933 (Amsterdam: Bas Lubberhuizen, 1999), pp. 217-263. A highly bizarre interview with co-authors Linssen and Schoots, who seem to confuse the project of a critical historical reexamination with some kind of juvenile debunking exercise, is here.

A good general introduction is still provided by Jan Heijs' inleiding to SUN's 1982 reprint of the Filmliga magazine, which is here.

Some séance snapshots from the past few weeks

Cinema model in Yto Barrada's exhibition at Wiels (Brussels); open-air screening of V for Vendetta at Occupy Utrecht's protest camp; the countdown towards Sven Augustijnen's Spectres at De Appel.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Guest lecture Tina Bastajian

On November 16 we will welcome an additional guest lecturer: Tina Bastajian, a filmmaker and media artist who is also a participating researcher in the "Imagined Futures" project co-founded by Thomas Elsaesser. Tina Bastajian will talk on Electric Cinema, a platform for experimental film and expanded cinema practices in the Netherlands during the early 1970s. 

A report by her on a 2007 program of films and performances associated with Electric Cinema can be found here

Image: Valie Export, Abstract Film no. 1, 1967 (performance).

Friday, 30 September 2011

Eisenstein & Augustijnen

The Filmmuseum will screen Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin with live music on Sunday, October 9 at 4.15 PM.  Eric will attend (Sven is unfortunately otherwise engaged) and will meet students at 4.05. This activity is voluntary, but it's warmly recommended! An official part of our curriculum, on the other hand, is our Saturday, October 15 meeting with Sven Augustijnen. De Appel will show an exhibition centered around his new film Spectres. We can watch the 4 PM screening, and afterwards we will have a discussion with Sven A.

This is the announcement of the film's first exhibition, at WIELS in Brussels:

"In collaboration with Kunstenfestivaldesarts, WIELS presents Belgian artist Sven Augustijnen's new project around his feature film Spectres (102 min). Augustijnen has gained national and international recognition for his films describing the cultural specificity of familiar places, such as the Royal Park or the Mont des Arts neighbourhood, both in Brussels. Renowned as a subtle chronicler of the city, Augustijnen here establishes a link between its current vocation as administrative capital of Europe and its colonial past. This documentary film essay recalls one of the darkest chapters in the decolonisation of the Belgian Congo: the events which lead to the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Congo's first democratically elected prime minister.

"In Spectres the main thread of the story is constructed in the form of a voyage, a typical Augustijnen method. The main character is Jacques Brassinne de La Buissière, a former high-ranking civil servant and protagonist in the political and humanitarian 'thriller' that unfurled after the hasty decolonisation decision, the transfer of power and the subsequent conflicts, up to and including the imprisonment and execution of Patrice Lumumba on 17 January 1961. He acts simultaneously as guide, commentator and symbolic figure, and we follow him through many crucial historical sites and symbolical moments. In the course of these peregrinations, questions arise about the manifest and hidden motivations behind the historic events of a still largely unresolved past, issues that continue to haunt past and present. These events have shaped a relationship fraught with difficulties between Congo and its old colonial power, recently expressed during a parliamentary committee of inquiry into the responsibility for the assassination and on the occasion of the commemorations marking the transfer of power, as well as in the intentions of Lumumba's immediate family to bring proceedings against those involved where they are still alive.

"Through this 'travelogue' Brassinne advances the arguments he has developed over thirty years and addressed during meetings and commemorations with the last survivors, all of them witnesses or family members of the main protagonists. The 'construction' of the story is brought into question and the process of the film becomes a means of exorcising the spirits that emerge between the folds of the stories and their rectifications.

"In addition to the film, the exhibition presents different objects from Brassinne's personal archive: photos from various trips during the 1960s and 1980s to 'real' places of execution, historical objects and audio footage. A substantial book comprising reference documents, photos and explanatory text accompanies the exhibition." 

An article by Jan Verwoert on Sven Augustijnen can be found here. A short TV report on Spectres is here. Images: still from Spectres; audience watching the film at Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen.

Selected Lecture Slides

Monday, 26 September 2011

Background Reading for September 28

With apologies for the delay...

P. Wollen, “The Two Avant‐gardes,” in Readings and Writings: Semiotic Counter‐Strategies (London, 1982). Online version here.

J. Walley, “Modes of Film Practice in the Avant‐Garde,” in Art and the Moving Image: A Critical Reader, ed. T. Leighton (London, 2008)

E. de Bruyn, “The Expanded Field of Cinema, or Exercise on the Perimeter of a Square,” in X‐Screen: Film Installations and Actions in the 1960s and 1970s (Vienna, 2003)


P. Adams Sitney, “Structural Film,” in Film Culture 47 (Summer 1969): 1‐10.

G. Stemmrich, “White Cube, Black Box and Grey Areas: Venues and Values”, in Art and the Moving Image: A Critical Reader, ed. T. Leighton