For the Love of It...
The Thessaloniki International Film Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary by posing a severe question to us all, Why Cinema Now?
For the filmmaker of the avant-garde, where we often encounter pronounced synthesis with other art media, this question could suggest a possibility of choice among them and even echoes a fear of betrayal of the particular art medium which concerns us here.
Cinema, with its heterogeneous audience, is the art form that concerns this Festival and the Experimental Forum proclaimed upon its inception the commitment to defy conventions and to examine the Avant-Garde through cinematic prisms. To flout the protocol of the mainstream is no real challenge for a section that deals with the Avant-Garde. To understand what is unconventional and truly vanguard within its own structures is much more important today for Experimental Film. We did not have to do much; the filmmakers and the works, presented in the next pages of this catalogue and on the silver screen this November, have done all the work.
“Amare” in Latin means “to love”. The programs of the Serbian Kino Clubs concern themselves with Amators who started as amateurs, became professionals and made a lot of Waves – predominantly Black. The series will culminate with a special program entitled “Experimental Ex-Yu”, including seminal works from all former Yugoslav republics. Extraordinary human energy and determination, powered by love of one’s mad vision, is also the essence of the longest series in our programs: “Amantes Sunt Amentes” concocts a club of four unsung visionaries, from England, Italy, the USA and Serbia, bound by their single-handed efforts and their reluctance to become part of any artistic ghettos.
Two of Germany’s most prolific film artists are showcased through a presentation of their most recent work. The program “In Comparison and Beyond” offers a combination of their individual subjects of choice: politics and architecture. One of France’s most committed advocates of the avantgarde curates “KinoMino”, an Avant Garde film program for children. This ensemble of some of the most classical experimental films from last century does not suggest that they are now childish viewing, but instead that children can be the wisest viewers.
“Expanded/Derailed” is a triptych of presentations and our own take on Expanded Cinema. A trio of French film interveners, counted among the most important film performers for the last 20 years, is finally making its way to Greece, while a female duo of philosophers from Slovenia is re-politicizing Art, Media and Representation through a multi-screen video installation. The third “expansion” is the presentation of 16mm experiments, starring trains and train travel, in the foyer of the Thessaloniki Railroad Station. The train is the vehicle and the journey is a search for another public.
The homogenous make up of avant-garde film audiences is one of the conventions that we try to part with. Last year’s inaugural screenings made us proud of our critical and heterogeneous viewers. We hope that you all join us in our new examinations because, for the Experimental Forum, the public is“Why Cinema Now”
“Experimental Forum” Programmer