OCEC (Observatory of Contemporary European Cinema), founded by Professor Domènec Font, aims to be a platform for knowledge exchange and divulgation of information on contemporary European cinema.
OCEC proposes an analytic and interdisciplinary approach to recent European cinema, as a point of departure for a reflection that extends to aesthetics, art history and philosophy, in order to articulate an in-depth research on the visual imaginary constructed in Europe and about Europe. Taking into account the socioeconomic and political variables and the different cultural realities, the research is situated in a double axis – aesthetic and industrial – in order to analyse cultural industries and the genealogy of their symbolic practices.
The goals of the OCEC include a permanent tracing of the various filmic practices that have configured European cinema in the last decades and a detailed investigation of the canons, aesthetic norms and industrial criteria that configure European culture, at the crossroads of different political differences, geographic boundaries and languages. We aim to articulate an institutional, pragmatic and textual reflection on national cinemas at a time of globalisation. If cinema is a barometer sensible to cultural and political events, then it is necessary to analyse the changes that the continent has gone through in recent decades: the crisis of nation estates, the shift of the European centre towards the former Eastern and North Mediterranean countries, the demographic transformation of its population towards ethnic and cultural diversity, the crisis of the single market... All of these factors define the idea of a babel-like and deterritorialised Europe, in permanent question, continuous geographic shifts and emerging and diverse cultural dynamics.
The working process of the OCEC requires interdisciplinary methodologies insofar as it considers all those economic, political, aesthetic and cultural aspects that affect the configuration and classification of European cinema. Currently the main focus of the group is the study of gesture in the context of contemporary European cinema: the research aims to elucidate if there are any specific gestures and to what extent they can be framed within the European tradition and that of other cinematographic cultures, as well as to analyse the creative methods concerning the relationship between the film-maker and the actor.
The work of the OCEC continues the task initiated with the I International Congress on Contemporary European Cinema (CICEC, 2005) with two additional Congresses (2006 and 2007) and three editions of the International Festival of European Cinema (MICEC, 2006, 2007 and 2008). In addition to this, the group also published the book Derivas del cine europeo contemporáneo (Drifts of Contemporary European Cinema) as part of MICEC II.
OCEC (Observatory of Contemporary European Cinema) has a prestigious scholar and scientific support in the Collective of Aesthetic Research on Audiovisual Media(CINEMA, Universitat Pompeu Fabra), which was awarded an I+D mention in 2003. The analytical reports, data banks, studies and essays on recent cinema of the research group respond to the same lines of enquiry of the OCEC project.