Histories of Cinema (III)
Start again. For the third 'season' in a row. But with the same goal. To turn the harshness of a gaze colonised by the increasing banality of the world back on itself. To this end, we will show just how this has been done, over the decades, by a wide range of very different filmmakers–those who had the gift of making us see things as if for the first time.
This is therefore an invitation to experience a type of cinema which, to quote one of the filmmakers involved in this cycle, refuses to fabricate idolatrous images. It is a type of cinema that does not block our perceptions and which helps us see reality in a way that would not have been possible if we had not had the chance to gaze upon these images. This means that to watch a film (read a novel or a poem, listen to a piece of music or look at a painting) is to engage in a collective act; it is to accept (or reject) a proposal and confirm the fact that the individual is always collective.
However, for this to occur, a number of different elements must coincide. Firstly, you need a type of film that is obsessed with writing. A type of film that asks itself what thing of the moment is matter for the eye (Peter Handke), and how to make that which should be seen visible at any given moment. Being fully aware, of course, that there is never only one single way of doing so. Next, you need a spectator who demands from the images they see the opposite of what critics at the (more or less masked) service of what we call 'the film industry' incite them to accept as hard currency, namely the eternal recurrence of the same old same old. Just to confirm what they already know. If anything characterises a substantial part of modern cinema, it is that, under the guise of stating the statistically-backed obvious, it seeks only to cultivate consumption within the loop of common ground.
The only possible response? To take risks with images, with film. To open ourselves up to different, non pre-formed experiences, even at the risk of their being imperfect. Simply accepting everything is not an option. Quite the opposite, in fact. The aim is to choose, to take part. Understanding that we may make mistakes. As one of the last maestros said (and this is the second time I have used the past tense), we need to ask ourselves if the narrative option in front of us constitutes a 'technical refinement' or a new 'stylistic twist', but without this overshadowing the need to answer the question of whether or not the work 'contributes to or takes away from our depleted reserves of moral intelligence'.
It is enough to remember that when we anaesthetise our thinking under the flow of banal images we are renouncing our only true possession: time. We can choose to do so, but we can also choose to spend it with artists capable of replacing our outlook with that of a world much more in line with our desires. And it is on this journey that I would like to invite you to join me, for the third time.
What would a running history of cinema be like if it revisited its sources again and again so as to be continually rewritten? We've asked Santos Zunzunegui –professor, historian and screenwriter– to make his personal selection of films from the history of the cinema so that, from that list of titles, (titles which are, to a greater or lesser extent, canonical, personal, profound, chronological) a certain "common ground" may be found to continue reflecting on the possible and impossible histories of the cinema. These sessions are part of EQZE's academic syllabus; therefore, all screenings will be accompanied by a prior presentation/lecture.
October 10, saturday
20:00. Kid Auto Races at Venice, CAL (Henry Lehrman, USA, 1914, 6 min.) + A Woman of Paris (Charles Chaplin, USA, 1924, 84 min.)
November 21, saturday
19:00. Novyy Vavilon / The New Babylon (Grigori Kotinzsev and L. Trauberg, URSS, 1929, 93 min.)
December 18, friday
19:00. L'espoir (André Malraux, France, 1939 88 min.)
January 14, thursday
19:00. A Canterbury Tale (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, UK, 1944, 124 min.)
February 12, friday
19:00. Nattvardsgästerna / The Communicants (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1963, 80 min.)
March 6, saturday
18:00. Playtime (Jacques Tati, France, 1967, 155 min.)
April 16, friday
19:00. Invasión (Hugo Santiago, Argentina, 1969, 125 min.)
May 15, saturday
June 4, friday
18:00 Lost, Lost, Lost (Jonas Mekas, USA, 1976, 178 min.)
July 17, saturday
20:00 D’Est (Chantal Akerman, Belgium, 1993, 115 min.)
August 6, friday
20:00 Rosetta (Jean-Pierre y Luc Dardenne, Belgium-France, 1999, 93 min.)
August 27, friday
19:00 Master and Commander (Peter Weir, USA, 2003, 140 min.)
September 3, friday
18:00 Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu, Romania, 2020, 200 min.)