Photo Finish Figures (il Finish Delle Figure) / The Day Was A Scorcher / Concorso Di Bellezza Fra Bambino A Torino / Delphine De Oliveira / Kodachrome Days / Le Roi Des Dollars / Coming Attractions / Bits And Pieces
Early cinema confronted the spectator like no other art, beckoning a reciprocal engagement and curiosity as both spectacle and document. This programme pairs contemporary experimental works with those from a hundred years ago when cinema itself was a grand experiment.
Celebrated Italian artist Paolo Gioli returns to a tabula rasa with his handmade cameras allowing him to exploit and fashion film’s reproductive means. The exhilarating Photo Finish Figures (Il Finish delle figure) (Italy) relays a sense of the contemporary, sensory “photo-finished” experience using a 35mm stills camera and various masking devices.
Ken Jacobs’ The Day was a Scorcher (U.S.A.) sees the Jacobs clan vacationing in Italy in stroboscopic postcards pulsing amid Roman ruins. Then to Torino in 1909, for turn-of-the-century postcards in which a bunch of bambini-in-a-barrel pucker up for the camera, blowing kisses, some through tears of terror, all’italiana in Concorso di bellezza fra bambino a Torino.
In Friedl vom Gröller’s Delphine de Oliveira (Austria), a placid young woman is filmed in a Parisian courtyard. Her belle laide looks convey paradoxical and untold mysteries, while a mise-en-abyme furthers the peculiar attraction.
Jonas Mekas in Kodachrome Days (U.S.A.) is another timepiece comprised of family photos resuscitated through digital technology, whose pulse harkens back to proto-cinematic devices.
Segundo de Chomón’s Le Roi des dollars from 1905 (France).
Peter Tscherkassky's Coming Attractions (Austria) is a sly, sartorial comedy masterfully mining the relationship between early cinema and the avant-garde, by way of fifties era advertising. With references to Méliès, Lumières, Cocteau, Léger, Chomette, the film playfully explores cinema's subliminal possibilities using an impressive arsenal of techniques like solarization, optical printing and multiple exposures.
Completing the evening’s attractions is a selection from EYE Film Institute Netherlands’ Bits and Pieces project (Netherlands), which restores and compiles “anonymous, unidentified or otherwise interesting fragments”, saving them from oblivion for our viewing pleasure.
The archival prints will be presented with live piano accompaniment by William O’Meara.