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FROM MAY 31st TO JUNE 2nd 2012
UNIVERSITAT POMPEU FABRA (UPF) / BARCELONA
ORGANIZED BY POMPEU FABRA UNIVERSITY - GRUP CINEMA
The 1st International Congress on Gesture Mutations in European Cinema was held at the Communication Campus of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra from 31 May to 2 June 2012. It aimed to interrogate the images of contemporary European cinema from the point of view of the preservation and transformation of gestures. Can we recognise contemporary gestures in European cinema? What is their connection with the tradition of European and classical American cinema? How do different European cinematographies conceive of the relationship between the film-maker and the actor, and their role in the creation of contemporary gestures? Is it possible to recognise an common horizon in European image-making based on gestures?
Over three days, the 1st International Congress on Gesture Mutations in European Cinema brought together film-makers, theoreticians, academics and the general public to discuss these and other questions related to the dialogue between gesture and cinema. Keynote speakers included Víctor Stoichita, Alain Bergala, Oksana Bulgakova, Nicole Brenez, Adrian Martin and Gino Frezza.
Since the construction of the cinematographic gesture can only be understood in the act of filming itself, the 1st International Congress on Gesture Mutations in European Cinema included a workshop titled ‘The Actor’s Countenance as a Tool of Cinematographic Narration’. For this event, Mariano Llinás, director of Balnearios (Spas, 2002) and Historias extraordinarias (Extraordinary stories, 2008), two of the most widely discussed films in international festivals over recent years, was incoversation with actress Laura Paredes. Historias extraordinarias, a cult film without distribution in Spain, will also be screened at the Congress.
French film-maker Philippe Grandrieux, director of films such as La vie nouvelle (New Life, 2002) and Un lac (A Lake, 2008), offered a Master Class and also introduced his latest film, Il se peut que la beauté ait renforcé notre résolution (It may be that Beauty has Strengthen our Resolve, 2011), which revolves around the figure and trajectory of Masao Adachi, one of the most fascinating, and less well-known, Japanese film-makers.
Contributing theorists and thinkers included: Víctor Stoichita, outstanding aesthetic theorist and painting scholar, Alain Bergala, film theorist and a central figure in the development of film pedagogy, Nicole Brenez, internationally renowned film critic and theorist, Gino Frezza, Italian film scholar and specialist in popular culture, Raffaele Pinto, Dante scholar and specialist in the relation between his literary oeuvre and cinema, Xavier Antich, a central figure in European philosophy, Oksana Bulgakova and Dietmar Hochmuth, specialists in gesture in Soviet cinema, Adrian Martin, Australian critic and contributor to journals such as Rouge and Lola, and Carlos Losilla, Film Professor and contributor to Caimán Cuadernos de cine and Cultura/s (La Vanguardia).
Speakers considered gesture first and foremost as a question of transmission: Where does a gesture originate? How is it created? As such, contributions not only discussed the relationship between film-maker and actor, but also the history of cinema as a factory of gestures, as able to detect and depict already existing gestures as to create new ones.
Within the framework of the Congress, we launched the publication Cuerpo a cuerpo. Radiografías del cine contemporáneo (Hand to hand: X-rays of Contemporary Cinema), a posthumous manuscript by Dr. Domènec Font Blanch on the body in contemporary cinema, edited by Galaxia Gutenberg. The launch included contributions from Josep Joan Moreso, vice-chancellor of the UPF, Carlos Losilla, philosopher Miguel Morey and film-maker Javier Maqua.
30 May - 3 June 2005
Visit the website: CICEC'05
Since its first edition, the International Congress on Contemporary European Cinema constituted one of the main activities of the research group CINEMA. It was held at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and included debates and screenings around the current situation of European audio-visual production. The Congress brought together some of the most important European film theory and cultural studies scholars as well as key contemporary film-makers. Alongside the lectures and screenings, it also included five panel discussions, which brought together over 50 communications by national scholars.
Questioning the Contemporary European Cinema
The past, present and future of European audio-visual production was the main focus of study. Keynote speakers such as Alain Bergala (‘Aesthetic Tendencies of Contemporary European Cinema’), Francesco Casetti (‘European Cinema and Postmodernity’) and Nicole Brenez ‘The Signs Amongst Us: Futures of European Audio-Visual Production’) examined current tendencies in European cinema and its relationship to cultural and technological shifts. In homage to a key figure in this context, the film producer Paulo Branco, the following recent films were screened: Vai e vem (João César Monteiro, 2003) and La captive (Chantal Akerman, 2000).
In the European context, contemporary film mutations dovetail with national realities, which was the focus of the keynote lecture by Gian Piero Brunetta, Jean-Claude Seguin and Román Gubern ‘National Identities and Multi-Ethnic Communities’ and the panel discussion ‘New Geographies in European cinema’, with Jean-Michel Frodon, João Maria Grilo, Àngel Quintana and Olivier Assayas, who introduced his most recent film, Clean. Spanish cinema was the subject of the panel discussion ‘Peripheric Views: Spanish / European Cinema’, where film-makers Marc Recha, Enrique Urbizu, Mariano Barroso, Mercedes Álvarez and Isabel Coixet addressed the identity of national cinema, or the lack thereof. Italian and German cinema also received special attention, with screenings of films such as I nostri 30 anni. Generazioni a confronto, by Giovanna Taviani, who attended the CICEC, and The Best Youth (2003), by Marco Tullio Giordana, on the one hand, and Di Innere Sicherheit (Christian Petzold, 2000) as well as Lichter (Hans Christian Schmid, 2003), on the other.
Eastern Europe: Béla Tarr and Aleksandr Sokurov
Aiming to map national cinematographies in the European continent, the CICEC invited two key European directors. On the one hand, the complex and enigmatic films of Béla Tarr were celebrated with a screening of two of his most important films, Almanac of Fall (1984) and Werckmeister Harmonies (2000). On the other hand, a screening season celebrated the career of Russian film-maker Aleksandr Sokurov. Out of his large filmography, the retrospective included a film dedicated to his master, Andrei Tarkovski, Moscow Elegy (1987), and three films belonging to his series The Diary of St. Petersburg: Inauguration of the monument to Dostoievsky (1997), The Kosintsev (1998) and Mozart Requiem (2004). The screenings of his films Madre e hijo (1997) and Padre e hijo (2003) closed the Congress.
The Borders of Cinema
The first edition of CICEC focused on the borders of aesthetic trends in European cinema and the emergence of new formats. This question was addressed in the panel discussion ‘Author, Genre, Seriality’ by Michel Marie, Vicente Sánchez-Biosca, Miguel Marías, Xavier Pérez and Pascal Bonitzer, who also introduced his film Rien sur Robert (1999) and Histoire de Marie et Julien (Jacques Rivette, 2003), which he scripted. The debate on new forms of audio-visual production was also the topic of the conversation between Giovanni Spagnoletti and Jordi Balló on ‘New Formats’ and the question of the relationship between fiction and documentary forms emerged as a particularly relevant topic. Santos Zunzunegui analysed some key works in this regard, in his keynote lecture ‘Documentary, Fiction, Essay, Intimate Diaries’, and it was also discussed in four conversations on the borders of genres: Joaquim Jordà and Javier Maqua, Víctor Erice and José Luis Guerín, Philippe Grandrieux and Nicole Brenez, and, finally, Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi. Some of the speakers also introduced their films at the CICEC: Jordà presented his documentary Veinte años no es nada, Grandrieux, La vie nouvelle and the pair Gianikian-Ricci Lucchi, their film Oh Uomo. Films by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet (Une visite au Louvre) and Péter Forgács (El perro negro: Stories from the Spanish Civil War) completed the screening programme.
Arenas, Carlos: La revolución digital en el último cine francés.
Arroba, Álvaro and Villamediana, Daniel V.: La representación de lo real y la necesidad de nuevos caminos para la ficción.
Binimelis, Mar and Saavedra, Wara: Cines que transitan o tránsitos des-situados.
Borges, Gabriela: Beckett on Film:A dialogue amongst cinema, television and theatre
Caires, Carlos: Le récit filmique: à la rencontre d´un discours interactif.
Canga, Manuel: La fractura del sentido y la apertura de la forma.
Casanova, Basilio: Presencia/Ausencia del padre en el cine europeo contemporáneo.
Casas, Quim: Philippe Garrel. Los ministerios del arte.
Castro de Paz, José Luís: Materia para el ojo o el retorno a lo real.
Català, Josep Maria: Documental y tiempo.
Cuevas, Efrén: El cine de Peter Forgács: de la compilación a la autoría.
Custodio, Ángel: El cine musical de Carlos Saura.
De Felipe, Fernando: Las películas que no se ven.
De Lucas, Gonzalo: Las correspondencias de Chantal Akerman.
De Miguel García, Marcos: Las influencias de Andrei Tarkovski en el cine europeo contemporáneo.
Fillol, Santiago: Avanzar hacia el pasado.
Forgione, Anna Pasqualina: Dalla Sicilia a Napoli. Percorsi del cinema degli anni '90.
Fortes, Raúl: Visiones de Oriente en el Cine Europeo Contemporáneo
Frago, Marta: Lo europeo como imagen del desarraigo.
Gómez Tarín, Francisco Javier: La representación de la violencia en la Europa de fin de milenio.
González, Begoña: Subversiones fílmicas: la escritura del yo en dos obras de Agnès Varda.
Heitz, Françoise: El pequeño teatro del mundo.
Izquierdo, Jéssica: La tecnología digital y las políticas de protección.
Jiménez, Manel: Identidad individual y nacional en "The Kingdom".
Juel, Henrik: Intellectual Video Filming.
Latorre, Jorge: Europa se comprende desde el "Limes".
Leoncini, Stefano: Profils, figures et parcours d'auteurs: l'école italienne en Europe.
López Izquierdo, Javier: Compromiso y Objeto. Cinefilia en el cine de Erice y Almodóvar.
Losilla, Carlos: La edad del duelo.
Maqua, Javier: Europa V.O.S.
Merino, Imma: Les mans d'Agnès Varda.
Miranda, Luis: El "desafío oriental" de la cinefilia.
Nasta, Dominique: Mythopoïétique et cinéma contemporain.
Nozal, Teresa: El cine francés del siglo XX: ¿historia o historiografía?
Obradors, Matilde: 25 directores de cine catalanes y una canción desesperada.
Ortiz Villeta, Áurea: La huida de la realidad en el cine de ficción español actual.
Otero, Renata: La identidad judía de Chantal Akerman.
Palencia, Rosa María: Identidad femenina en el cine europeo contemporáneo.
Pintor, Iván: Vagabundeos iniciáticos: el nomadismo en el cine.
Romo Mellid, Marisol: Cuerpo del deseo y cine.
Sánchez, Jordi and Zilles, Klaus: The Politics of Cultural Connotations in Film Adaptations of Literary Texts.
Sánchez, Santiago: La decadencia de la Europa moderna y su expresión cinematográfica.
Seguer, Daniel: La Guerra de Yugoslavia a través del cine.
Torres, Lorenzo Javier: Por qué no ser de Amenábar.
Vicente, Ana and Cerdán, Josetxo: Cartografía(s) del documental en Europa.
Vidal Estévez, Manuel: El mundo desencantado de Aki Kaurismaki.
Viota, Paulino: La herencia de Víctor Erice.
Weinrichter, Antonio: Una forma que piensa: notas sobre la tradición ensayística europea.
1-9 June 2006
In its second edition, the International Congress on Contemporary European Cinema took place in three venues (the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona and Aribau Club cinemas) and saw a significant increase in the number of films screened, becoming hence the International Showcase of Contemporary European Cinema. The opening film was O Espelho Mágico, by Manoel de Oliveira, who introduced the film together with the actor Ricardo Trepa. The closing screening was Une couple parfait, a revision of Viaggio in Italia (Roberto Rossellini, 1953) by the Japanese film-maker Nobuhiro Suwa, also present during the festival. The Congress took place in parallel to the screenings, gathering together specialists across Europe and five tables of Communications.
MICEC’06 paid homage to the Belgian film-maker Chantal Akerman with a retrospective introduced by Dominique Païni, director of MAEGHT Foundation. Akerman had the opportunity to talk about her work and discuss it together with Xavier Antich, Imma Merino and Mercè Coll. Out of her long filmography, the following films were screened: Je tu il elle (1974), Nuit et jour (1991), D’Est (1993), De l’autre côté (2002), Là-Bas (2002) and Demain on déménage (2004), plus the episode of Cinéma de notre temps directed by herself and titled Chantal Akerman par Chantal Akerman (1997).
The Identity of European Cinema: Portugal and Spain
Following on from the first edition, MICEC’06 enquired about the specificities of the babelian European continent. For instance, this was the question posed by the keynote lectures ‘Europe, a Central Void’, by Jesús González Requena, and ‘The Filmic Form and the Drift of Identity’, by Paolo Bertetto. It was also at the centre of the panel discussions ‘Aesthetic Tendencies of Contemporary European Cinema’, with contributions by Thierry Jousse, Miguel Marías, Adrian Martin, Edoardo Bruno, Santos Zunzunegui and Carlos Losilla; ‘National Cinemas’, where Gian Piero Brunetta, Jean A. Gili, Serge Toubiana, Àngel Quintana and José Enrique Monterde discussed the relationship between nationalisms and the multiple European cinemas, and ‘Cinéma(s)’, with João Botelho, Andreas Dresen and David Trueba, which tackled this question from the point of view of film-makers. In parallel to these discussions, the screenings mapped an extensive territory of national cinematographies, including for instance the collective film Visions of Europe, with works by 26 different film-makers, such as Aki Kaurismäki, Béla Tarr or Sharunas Bartas. Special attention was given to Portugal, with a homage to Manoel de Oliveira, who came to Barcelona to intrdoduce and discuss his films O Espelho Mágico and Um filme falado (2003), and other Portuguese film-makers such as João Botelho and Pedro Costa. On the other hand, the most experimental Spanish cinema was also present through works by Ricardo Íscar, Joaquim Jordà, Albert Serra and Isaki Lacuesta.
Film-makers of our Time
In 2006 MICEC brought together again some of the most interesting film-makers of the contemporary European panorama. Alongside those already mentioned, film-makers Bertrand Bonello, Stig Björkman, Thierry Jousse, Andreas Dresen and Raoul Ruiz all came to Barcelona to introduce their films. Phillipe Garrel also attended the festival, with a surprise screening of his film Les amants réguliers, who discussed the current situation of European cinema with Domènec Font. Moreover, MICEC’06 also paid homage to one of the most important projects of the history of European cinema, the series Cinéma de notre temps, and one of its ideologues, André S. Labarthe, also present in Barcelona, by screening the episodes Pasolini, l’enragé (Jean-André Fieschi, 1966), Nanni Moretti (André S. Labarthe, 1990) and Kaurismäki (Guy Girard, 2000).
European Production and Exhibition
The fields of film production and distribution were two of the main focus of attention of MICEC’06 and were intensively debated in a panel discussion including Claude-Eric Poiroux, Paul Branco, Enrique González Macho, José María Morales and Esteve Riambau. Another one, with contributions by José María Álvarez Monzoncillo, Javier Maqua and Àngel Sala, discussed the polítics of European audio-visual production. Furthermore, the festival paid homage to one of the most important producers of European and international cinema, the French of Romanian origin Marin Karmitz, responsable of films by Resnais, Chabrol and Haneke. Karmitz attended the screenings of two films by Krzysztof Kieslowski that he produced: Dekalog I (1988) and The Double Life of Veronica (1991).
The second edition of the MICEC delved into the relationship between cinema and other areas of audio-visual representation, such as television, which was the subject of the keynote lecture by Jordi Balló ‘Cinema, Television and Seriality’ and of the panel discussion ‘Cinema and Television: Correspondances’, with Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Enrico Ghezzi, Sergio Pelone, Salvador Agustín, Mark Shivas, Àngel Sala and Paco Poch. On another hand, the drifts and hybrids of contemporary cinema and other languages and spaces (for instance, exhibition spaces) was the focus of the keynote lecture ‘The Migrating Image: Marker, Godard, Varda’, by Raymond Bellour, and of the panel discussion ‘Hybridations’, with Christa Blümlinger, Jean-Pierre Rehm, Isaki Lacuesta, Vito Zagarrio, Àngel Quintana, Carles Guerra and Josep Maria Català.
Canga, Manuel: Los últimos días de “El hundimiento”
Cascajosa, Concepción Carmen: Tradición literaria, renovación audiovisual: las versiones televisivas de Macbeth en el reino unido (1997-2005)
Castelo, Carmen; Torrado, Susana; Zaragoza, Juan Manuel: El cine europeo ante el choque de civilizaciones
Cerdán, Josetxo and Pena, Jaime J.: The Dark Side
De Luelmo, José María: Lo mismo de otro modo: relaciones entre cine y pintura en la obra de Alexander Sokurov
Gómez, Francisco Javier: La realidad como construcción o la fragilidad del concepto “documental”
González, Xurxo: El “Sebastianismo” de Manoel de Oliveira
Izquierdo, Jessica: Tecnología e iniciativas de digitalización en Europa
Markuš, Saša: Drácula: el antagonista balcánico en el cine europeo
Marzal, Javier and Soler, María: Las ayudas a la producción en el cine norteamericano. Notas sobre los mitos del libre mercado en la era de la globalización
Montiel, Alejandro: La fraga de los humorismos en el cine español contemporáneo
Navajas, Santiago: Realismo estético, más allá de la ingenuidad de los pre/post modernos
Ortiz, Amaya: Expiación y venganza en el cine de Lars Von Trier
Pedraza, Pilar: El ensayo en díptico. Agnès Varda y Joaquín Jordá
Zumalde, Imanol: Estelas de piedra: Migraciones simbólicas de un motivo de piedra
31 May - 8 June
The third edition of the MICEC opened with the screening of Coeurs, by Alain Resnais, at Aribau Multicines. The Congress and the screenings took place at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and the cinemas Aribau Club and dealt with the identity of European cinema and its mutations. In this instance, the main focus of the event was Portuguese and German cinema, as well as film-makers Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Jacques Rivette. The MICEC’07 closed with the screening of Cántico das criaturas, by Miguel Gomes, and Belle toujours, by Manoel de Oliveira.
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his death, MICEC paid homage to controversial film-maker Rainer Werner Fassbinder with an integral screening of the television series Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980), based on the novel by Alfred Döblin, which was introduced by Juliane Lorenz, editor of some of his films and president of the Fassbinder Foundation, and German theoretician Thomas Elsaesser. The work of Fassbinder was also the subject of lectures by Sylvie Rollet and Imma Merino and of a panel discussion with contributions by Alfred Holighaus, Jean Paul Fargier, Jordi Balló and Xavier Pérez.
The MICEC’07 also paid homage to Jacques Rivette and his cinema on chance, theatre and self-reflexivity. His work was discussed in the panel discussion ‘The Mistery of Jean Rivette’, with contributions by the scriptwriter and film-maker Pascal Bonitzer, the Producer Martine Marignac and professors Hélène Frappat and Domènec Font. Some of his most important films were also screened , such as Le pont du Nord (1981), La belle noiseuse (1991) or Jeanne la Pucelle (1994), as well as the film Claire Denis made on his work as part of the series Cinéma de notre temps, titled Jacques Rivette, le veilleur (1990).
Rethinking Europe: Germany and Portugal
As in past editions, MICEC’07 studied the singularity of the European continent and how this is manifested in cinema. The keynote lectures ‘To Inhabit Europe Artistically’, by Rafael Argullol, and ‘Culture and Symbolic Deficit in Europe’, by Bernard Stiegler, were focused on this question, and its relation to cinema was addressed in the panel discussion ‘European Cinema: Debts, Projections, Fugues’, with contributions by Jean-Michel Frodon, Carlos F. Heredero, Hélène Frappat, Pedro Costa, Roberto Cueto, Miguel Marías and Carlos Losilla. National identities and the multi-culturality inherent to Europe were the subject of Thomas Elsaesser’s lecture ‘European cinema: between identity and diversity’, and of a new panel discussion, ‘European Cinema and National Identities’, with contributions by Jean-Pierre Rehm, Sandra Hebron, Alfred Holighaus, Frédéric Sojcher, Enrico Ghezzi, Àngel Quintana and José Enrique Monterde. A series of screenings also dedicated a special attention to Germany and Portugal, showing films such as Pingpong, by Matthias Luthardt; Montag kommen die Fenster, by Ulrich Köhler; Vier Minuten, by Chris Kraus and Nachmittag, by Angela Schanelec, in the German case, and of the Portuguese films 98 octanas, by Fernando Lopes; Transe, by Teresa Villaverde; Body Rice by Hugo Vieira da Silva and Vanitas, by Paulo Rocha.
As in previous editions, the MICEC paid a special attention to Spanish cinema, chiefly in three panel discussions. The first, ‘Spanish Festivals and European Cinema’, brought together directors of the main Spanish festivals: José Luis Cienfuegos, Àngel Sala, José Luis Rebordinos, Manuel Grosso and Luis Miranda. Under the title ‘Five Prespectives on Spanish Cinema’, the second included critics such as Santos Zunzunegui, José Luis Castro de Paz, Sergi Sánchez, Eulàlia Iglesias, Carlos Losilla and Quim Casas. Finally the panel discussion ‘Horizons of Spanish Cinema’ brought together film professionals such as Ángeles González-Sinde, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Jaume Roures, Joaquim Oristrell, Montxo Armendáriz, Gerardo Herrero or Jaime Rosales. Alongside these discussions, some of the most important recent Spanish films were included, such as El ciclo Dreyer, by Álvaro del Amo; La línea recta, by José María de Orbe, or Mujeres en el parque, by Felipe Vega.
MICEC’07 also paid a special attention to the borders of the cinematographic act and its dialogue with other audiovisual languages. The keynote lecture ‘New circuits, new behaviours’ by Serge Toubiana and Jean-Pierre Rehm set the main lines of enquiry in this area, which were then further discussed in the panel discussions ‘Leaving the Cinema’, with Philippe Dubois, Leonardo Quaresima, Santos Zunzunegui and Jordi Balló, and ‘Cinema and Television: dialogues and distrusts’, with Michel Reilhac, Enrico Ghezzi, Paulo Branco, Manuel Pérez Estremera and Paco Poch.
The intellectual debate and research that served as a background to the MICEC’07 was brought together in the book Derivas del cine europeo contemporáneo, edited by Domènec Font and Carlos Losilla, which analyses European cinema, from its aesthetic drifts to its industrial panorama, with case studies such as Portuguese, French and German cinema, or the former Eastern Europe. On another note, the new cinema journal Cahiers du cinéma – España was also presented during the MICEC.
Arroba, Álvaro: Sucursales de Hollywood en Europa
Asín, Manuel: Actoresdirectores en el cine francés contemporáneo
Barreiro, María Soliña: Una tragedia posmoderna: “La chica de la fábrica de cerillas”
Canga, Manuel: Il filo pericoloso delle cose.
Carrera, Pilar: Paradjanov el oscuro
Djermanovic, Tamara: El exilio en el cine del Este
Fernández, Carolina: Hacia una nueva estética cinematográfica: posibilidades y retos en la era digital
Hurtado, Joana: Quan el cinema interroga l’art.
Longhi, Ludovico: La cultura de los caimanes.
Mouriño, José Manuel: Postales cinematográficas
Nunes, Alexandre: Hermenéutica y apología del cine de Alexander Sokurov
Rodríguez, Hilario J.: Un futuro sin porvenir
Ruiz, Natalia: Histoire(s) du cinéma: museo virtual, museo de lo real.
Vidal Estévez, Manuel: Nanni Moretti o el cine del ironista dolorido.
Zumalde, Imanol: El mosaico neotribal. El cine europeo frente al multiculturalismo.
29 May - 6 June 2008
Visit the website: MICEC'08
The fourth edition of MICEC opened with the screening of the film Actrices by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi at the Club Coliseum, and comprised screenings and debates held both at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona and the cinemas Renoir Floridablanca. Highlights included the revision of the concepts ‘Europe’ and ‘History’, Arnaud Desplechin’s retrospective, May ’68, cinema lessons at the cinema, peripheral cinema and the future of Spanish cinema; furthermore, the festival also showed a handful of films that don’t find a place in commercial circuits, some of them, however, of a significant posterior resonance, such as La question humaine (Heartbeat Detector), which was screened with the presence of its director, Nicolas Klotz. The closing film was El vuelo del globo rojo, directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien in France.
Europe and History, under Discussion
A number of lectures and panel discussions at the MICEC’08 revolved around the concepts of Europe and History. As part of the section Forum Europe – Intercultural Dialogue, Julia Kristeva imparted the lecture ‘Is there such thing as European culture?’ and the panel discussion ‘The Other, the Strange, the Stranger’, with contributions by Spanish and International speakers such as Paolo Fabbri, Maria José Mondzian, Manuel Cruz, Jorge Lozano and Jordi Balló. On the other hand, the section ‘(Re)thinking Histories’ focused on the notion of History, and included lectures by Thomas Elsaesser (‘The History-Palimpsest: Diagonal Itineraries’), Michèle Lagny (‘The Order and Time of History’), Dudley Andrew (‘André Ba zand the Origins of an Aesthetic Idea’) and Domènec Font (‘Vaivens of History, Spirals of Time’).
The MICEC’08 also paid homage to French film-maker Arnaud Desplechin by presenting, for the first time in Spain, a full retrospective of his work: La vie des morts (1991), La sentinelle (1992), Comment je me suis disputé... ma vie sexuelle (1996), Esther Kahn (2000), Leó, en jouant “Dans la compagnie des hommes” (2003), Rois et reine (2004) and L’Aimée (2007) – a cinema characterised by a passage of alive and dead bodies, fathers and sons, friends and lovers, theatre and cinema, tragedy, dreams and vaudeville. Desplechin himself attended the festival, and his work was analysed by Emmanuel Burdeau, Jean-Michel Frodon, David Trueba, Àngel Quintana, Daniel V. Villamediana and Eulàlia Iglesias.
On its 40th anniversary, the MICEC paid homage to the events of May’68, aiming to rethink the meaning that its political content and cinematic representations have today. These issues were at the core of the discussion between Manuel Vidal Estévez and Santos Zunzunegui, as well as of the related programmes: on the one hand, films produced in subsequent years, such as Le vent d’est (Jean-Luc Godard, group Dziga Vertov, 1970), the chapter ‘Mai 68 et tout ça’ of Le fond de l’air est rouge (Chris Marker, 1977) or Mourir à 30 ans (Romain Goupil, 1982); on the other, contemporary films looked bac kat this event from the perspective of myth: Dreamers (Bernardo Bertolucci, 2003) and Les amants réguliers (Philippe Garrel, 2005).
Four of the films screened at MICEC proposed a teaching of cinema using cinema itself: The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, by Sophie Fiennes, which gives a cinemàtic form to Slavoj Žižek’s lessons on cinema; Auge in Auge – Eine deutsche Filmgeschichte, presented at MICEC by its authors, Michael Althen and Hans Helmut Prinzler, which follows the history of German cinema; La dernière utopie: la television selon Roberto Rossellini, by Jean-Louis Comolli, also present in Barcelona, which follows the Italian director’s career, and the project Chacun son cinéma, conceived by Gilles Jacob to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Festival de Cannes: 3-minutes films by 35 film-makers from 25 countries (Theo Angelopoulos, Olivier Assayas, Nanni Moretti, Lars von Trier...). The surprise screening of O Estado do Mundo, comprised of episodis directed by Chantal Akerman, Pedro Costa, Wang Bing, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Vicente Ferraz and Ayisha Abraham, culminated this series of cinematic lessons.
A number of contemporary European films are situated at the intersection between documentary, filmic essay, narrative and experimental cinema; they are non-identified filmic objects that have flooded alternative circuits, galleries and museums. The MICEC’08 dedicated a special attention to three film-makers that are investigated the possibilities of digital technologies to expand this unclassifiable territory: British-American Stephen Dwoskin, French Erik Bullot and German Romuald Karmakar, the last two also present in Barcelona. Alongside their retrospectives, the MICEC’08 also screened other experiences, beyond traditional screening spaces, such as films by Pedro Costa, Harun Farocki and Péter Forgács (present in Barcelona), and the screening programme Showcase of New Formats Festival Pocket Films – Movil Film Fest. This question was addressed in a public debate with contributions by Bullot himself, Álvaro Arroba, Jaime Pena, Àngel Sala, Gonzalo de Pedro, Fernando de Felipe, Benoît Labourdette, Alberto Tognazzi and Josetxo Cerdán, and a panel discussion on Distribution and exhibition with contributions by Claude Éric Poiroux, Enrique González Macho, Enric Pérez, Lluís Miñarro, Ramon Colom and Paco Poch.
Contemporary Spanish Cinema
The MICEC raised the question of whether we can speak of a ‘new cinema’, given the multiplicity of tendencies and phenomena of contemporary production. Some of the most intriguing films recently released such as El cant dels ocells, La soledad or Tuya siempre, and the question was debated in two panel discussions: a critical debate with Jaime Pena, Javier Maqua, José Enrique Monterde, Xavier Pérez, Imma Merino and Carlos Losilla and an analysis of future perspectives by Ángeles González Sinde, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Felipe Vega, Jaume Balagueró, Cesc Gay, Jesús Garay, Javier Rebollo and Carlos F. Heredero.
MICEC’08 also invited the following theoreticians to discuss their ideas: François Albéra, Adriano Aprà, Alain Bergala, Jean-Loup Bourget, Josep Maria Català, Jean Douchet, Bruno Fornara, Jesús González Requena, Cyril Neyrat, Manuel Palacio, Luc Vancheri and Antonio Weinrichter.