• Română
  • English
March 28th – April 2nd, 2017 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului & Cinema Elvire Popesco / the 7th edition

The Alchemy of the Frame

    You are here

    • You are here:
    • Home > Home > Films > International Competition > The Alchemy of the Frame

International Competition - The Alchemy of the Frame

 
Curatorial presentation by Andrei Tănăsescu
The pleasure of burrowing deep within the cinematic frame makes for awe-inspiring discoveries. Once we step beyond the ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ threshold and actively participate in investigating and directly experiencing the endlessly unpredictable encounters between images, sounds, emotions, ideas within the film frame, we enter the ever-spellbinding world of cinematic language and its seemingly infinite possibilities. The theme program The Alchemy of the Frame: Deconstructing the Image brings under scrutiny the (un)expected elements of cinematic discourse and their creatively charged fusion. The conceptual chemistry at work in these films serves as inspiring example of the creative potential found within, and beyond, the cinematic frame.

Ever the provocateur, leave it to Gabriel Abrantes to make a tongue-in-cheek phallic story about Constantin Brâncuși’s sculpture Princess X. A Brief History of Princess X is precisely that: a cursory, episodic chronicle of Brâncuși’s (in)famous, work and the erotically-charged narrative threads that tie together its inception in Brâncuși’s atelier, its model (Princess Marie Bonaparte), the latter’s revolutionary studies in female sexuality and ultimately, the sculpture’s placement - and engagement with - in museums. If cinema operates as a canvas for our projected desires, the abstinence observed in Abrantes’ typically subversive, juvenile humour is a poignant, humble tribute to the human frailty that all art hides behind its courageous surface.

Inspired from the 19th century photographic practice of Invisible Mothers, visual artist Sarah Vanagt investigates the very act of seeing. If photography was in the beginning perceived as witchcraft, stealing the soul of its subjects, Still Holding Still manages to capture that precise moment of magic when the image is born, when the soul transfer happens between the real and the photographed. Infant subjects gazed at with gentle observation and attentive hearing, a hushed lullaby which captures the ethereal weight of absent presence, muffled whispers and softened exhalations. Dilating the instant, Vanagt’s camera allows each child’s human essence to reveal itself with arresting tenderness. Beckett once said that the role of objects is to restore silence; Vanagt’s cinematic gaze restores transcendence to the real, and we, in turn, become participatory witnesses.

What do John Travolta, Olivia Newton John, Karl Marx, Jean Baudrillard, American Apparel and Bob Dylan all have in common? They’re cultural signifiers looking for a common narrative in Max Grau’s contagious essay film. Cornering the viewer in a locked groove, Grau isolates a musical-narrative motif from the 1970s film Grease and repeats it ad-infinitum, as he opens up a frank discussion of pop-culture’s infiltration in mass-consciousness. Once «[...] craving for narrative»’s kernel of culture is planted, we’re winding through Grau’s rhizome of thought, taking detours at every reference point (be it personal, political, social or cultural) and understanding our individual tendencies of cultural consumption, assimilation and regurgitation. By the time we’re kicked out of Grau’s eternal return, nothing will ever look, read or hear the same.

You Want a Story? Antonin Peretjatko’s answer is a clear affirmation of life and of cinema’s associative power of storytelling. Telegraphed to the viewer by a mysterious man heard through a distorted telephone, we’re told all you need to unravel a narrative are two female characters on a train. The rest, as they say, is history - or in this case, a visual scrapbook of an unseen flâneur’s memories, whose travels around the globe are rendered with enough wit, sensuality, mystery and joie-de-vivre to rival early-Godard and Alain Robbe-Grillet’s labyrinthine storytelling. Accompanied by an eclectic soundtrack that spans swingin’-spy standards and contemporary pop, our synaptic travels through the over-active imagination of Peretjatko’s film become a straight-arrow shot through the core of our subconscious desires.

In Foyer, art takes to the streets, as Ismaïl Bahri walks through Tunis with his camera, capturing the city and its inhabitants. The subversive element of this artistic travelogue lies precisely in the white piece of paper that obscures the lens, creating in effect an unexpected representation of reality, which changes in shade and tone according to the whimsy of the wind. Bahri’s barrier-curtain invites new discourse on ways of seeing, in effect offering new take on Plato’s cave, where the screen becomes the agora of ideas and opinions and everything from art to economy and politics come under debate. Simplicity is beauty, and in Foyer’s case, poetry as well, for what is more powerful than seeing our world compressed onscreen in its purest form, as light waves blend together onto cinema’s canvas to form an abstract-yet-so-familiar representation of reality? 

Directed by: 
GABRIEL ABRANTES
Ever the provocateur, leave it to Gabriel Abrantes to make a tongue-in-cheek phallic story about Constantin Brâncuși’s sculpture Princess X. A Brief History of Princess X is precisely that: a cursory, episodic chronicle of Brâncuși’s (in)famous, work and the erotically-charged narrative threads that tie together its inception in Brâncuși’s atelier, its model (Princess Marie Bonaparte), the latter’s revolutionary studies in female sexuality and ultimately, the sculpture’s placement - and engagement with - in museums. If cinema operates as a canvas for our projected desires, the abstinence observed in Abrantes’ typically subversive, juvenile humour is a poignant, humble tribute to the human frailty that all art hides behind its courageous surface. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
SARAH VANAGT
Inspired from the 19th century photographic practice of Invisible Mothers, visual artist Sarah Vanagt investigates the very act of seeing. If photography was in the beginning perceived as witchcraft, stealing the soul of its subjects, Still Holding Still manages to capture that precise moment of magic when the image is born, when the soul transfer happens between the real and the photographed. Infant subjects gazed at with gentle observation and attentive hearing, a hushed lullaby which captures the ethereal weight of absent presence, muffled whispers and softened exhalations. Dilating the instant, Vanagt’s camera allows each child’s human essence to reveal itself with arresting tenderness. Beckett once said that the role of objects is to restore silence; Vanagt’s cinematic gaze restores transcendence to the real, and we, in turn, become participatory witnesses. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
MAX GRAU
What do John Travolta, Olivia Newton John, Karl Marx, Jean Baudrillard, American Apparel and Bob Dylan all have in common? They’re cultural signifiers looking for a common narrative in Max Grau’s contagious essay film. Cornering the viewer in a locked groove, Grau isolates a musical-narrative motif from the 1970s film Grease and repeats it ad-infinitum, as he opens up a frank discussion of pop-culture’s infiltration in mass-consciousness. Once «[...] craving for narrative»’s kernel of culture is planted, we’re winding through Grau’s rhizome of thought, taking detours at every reference point (be it personal, political, social or cultural) and understanding our individual tendencies of cultural consumption, assimilation and regurgitation. By the time we’re kicked out of Grau’s eternal return, nothing will ever look, read or hear the same. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
ANTONIN PERETJATKO
You Want a Story? Antonin Peretjatko’s answer is a clear affirmation of life and of cinema’s associative power of storytelling. Telegraphed to the viewer by a mysterious man heard through a distorted telephone, we’re told all you need to unravel a narrative are two female characters on a train. The rest, as they say, is history - or in this case, a visual scrapbook of an unseen flâneur’s memories, whose travels around the globe are rendered with enough wit, sensuality, mystery and joie-de-vivre to rival early-Godard and Alain Robbe-Grillet’s labyrinthine storytelling. Accompanied by an eclectic soundtrack that spans swingin’-spy standards and contemporary pop, our synaptic travels through the over-active imagination of Peretjatko’s film become a straight-arrow shot through the core of our subconscious desires. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
ISMAÏL BAHRI
In Foyer, art takes to the streets, as Ismaïl Bahri walks through Tunis with his camera, capturing the city and its inhabitants. The subversive element of this artistic travelogue lies precisely in the white piece of paper that obscures the lens, creating in effect an unexpected representation of reality, which changes in shade and tone according to the whimsy of the wind. Bahri’s barrier-curtain invites new discourse on ways of seeing, in effect offering new take on Plato’s cave, where the screen becomes the agora of ideas and opinions and everything from art to economy and politics come under debate. Simplicity is beauty, and in Foyer’s case, poetry as well, for what is more powerful than seeing our world compressed onscreen in its purest form, as light waves blend together onto cinema’s canvas to form an abstract-yet-so-familiar representation of reality? (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)