The renowned CENTRE POMPIDOU brings Surrealist masterpieces by Dalí, Buñuel and Man Ray to BIEFF!

The prestigious CENTRE POMPIDOU – NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MODERN ART in Paris – grants the Romanian audience access to its impressive FILM COLLECTION, through the special program presented at the Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF 2012. Some of the major masterpieces of the Surrealist avant-garde cinema, films which continue to influence experimental visual practices to this day, come to BIEFF in an unique presentation.

 

CENTRE POMPIDOU is one of the most important modern art museums in the world, containing one of the most impressive FILM COLLECTIONS: over 1300 films spanning more than a century of cinema and visual art, from Voyage dans la lune by Georges Méliès (1902) to the present, reflecting experimental practices developed outside the mainstream cinema. CENTRE POMPIDOU thus joins BIEFF's educational initiative, offering the Romanian audience an unique insight into the oneiric, full of humor and surprisingly up-to-date universe of the Surrealist avant-garde, through the special program conceived by the FILM COLLECTION curator, Philippe-Alain Michaud.

 

The special program will be represented in Bucharest by Mr. Jonathan Pouthier, responsible for the cinema programs of CENTRE POMPIDOU, invited here also as a member of the BIEFF 2012 jury. BIEFF’s collaboration with CENTRE POMPIDOU is possible thanks to the generous support offered by the French Cultural Institute, UNIFRANCE and the Goethe Institute. The screening will be accompanied by a live soundtrack from our special guest, pianist Mircea Tiberian, on one of the films.

 

 

UN CHIEN ANDALOU (AN ANDALUSIAN DOG) is one of the most important artistic documents of the 20s and probably the best known Surrealist film. A result of the collaboration between Luis Buñuel, who was to become one of the most important cinema auteurs of the 60s and 70s, and Salvador Dalí, the film is inspired by the dreams of its two authors. An exploration of the human subconscious, the film is a seductive example of the Surrealist predilection for intuition, oneiric and irrational, to the disadvantage of rationality and logic.

 

 

LA COQUILLE ET LE CLERGYMAN (THE SEASHELL AND THE CLERGYMAN), with a script written by Antonin Artaud, is a captivatingly macabre exploration of repressed eroticism and violence, exploring the feelings of a priest who falls in love with the wife of a general. Germaine Dulac’s film presents the strange and terrifying dreams of the character, using dramatic camera movements and unusual shooting angles to express, in agreement with Freud's theories, the frustrations and sexual fantasies of the young priest. Deemed revolting at the date of its release, LA COQUILLE ET LE CLERGYMAN is yet another example of the Surrealists’ audacity to deny conventions and fight against conformism.

 

In GHOSTS BEFORE BREAKFAST (VORMITTAGSSPUK) hats fly, teacups fill themselves on their own, men have beards which magically appear and disappear – the world becomes strange, when seen through the eyes of the Surrealist fantasy. Here, “the Surrealist film joins the primitive cinema (George Méliès, Segundo de Chomon), in reflecting the same sense of wonder regarding the miraculous powers of the camera, not only to recreate the appearance of reality, but to go beyond it, to transgress it. It is precisely this transgressive dimension that takes, in Hans Richter’s film, an anarchist political dimension: the revolt of the objects against the bourgeois social order appears thus as a euphoric praise of disorder and imagination. This subversive subtext of GHOSTS BEFORE BREAKFAST didn’t escape the Nazi censorship, that considered the film a ‘degenerate work of art’, banning it.” (Philippe-Alain Michaud)

 

 

Inspired by a Robert Desnos's poem, L’ETOILE DE MER (THE STARFISH) is the purest example of a Surrealist cinematographic adaptation of a text. More a sensorial and emotional experience, the famous artist Man Rays film is a visual poem about desire and the loss of love, built upon free associations and symbolic images. The protagonists’ actions are showed through distorted, grained and always surprising images – various filters are applied on the camera lenses, the images seeming to be watched through thick glass. And thus the film steps on the permeable border between the real and the imaginary, the poetry of the words becoming the poetry of the camera.

 

Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival (BIEFF) is organized by the Culture and Image Association, with the support of the National Cinema Centre, the National University of Drama and Film Bucharest, the National Art University, Le Fresnoy National Studio National Des Arts Contemporaines, MNAC National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest, Jameson, JTI, Samsung, Romania Film, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Austrian Cultural Forum, Goethe Institute, UNIFRANCE, the French Institute, the Korean Embassy, the Polish Institute, Dacia, Cărturești, ALLTUR, Kraftmark.

 

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