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

Berlinale Forum Expanded - Nostalgia for the Future

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Berlinale Forum Expanded - Nostalgia for the Future

With the support of: 

 
Curatorial presentation by Andrei Tănăsescu
Within the ongoing inspiring partnership with Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art Berlin, BIEFF offers again the Romanian audience the rare opportunity to see some of the most thought-provoking titles from the Berlinale Forum Expanded selection, in the theme program Nostalgia for the Future: Manufactured Histories. From the polemic manifesto of the archeological terrorism for imagined peoples in In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain, to the sci-fi envisioning of the future corporatisation of collective memories in ESIOD 2015 and ending on Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton's multi-layered and deeply droll visual essay on cinema's subjective role in portraying history, the works in this program place under scrutiny our relationship with history, portraying the personal struggle to stand against the collective torrent and subverting the old adage of History Always Favours the Winners.

In a barren desert landscape, a lone figure walks among the memories of civilization, while on voice-over we hear her participate in an open and intimate therapy session. She is a narrative terrorist, whose intervention in the future throws a spanner in the cog-machine of historical determinism and entitlement by depositing archeological artifacts for future generations to uncover and legitimize their existence as a disappearing people. In visual artists Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind’s film In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain, in an otherworldly CGI dreamscape of cut-out figures of Western and Eastern culture and politics, the saboteur of history engages her therapist - and us along with them - in breaking down the construction of national identity and dominant historical narratives. In a film where silence and words fall with the same gravity of fragility as porcelain bombs, transcendence turns emotions to abstraction and the personal becomes political. 

Set in the near-future of a dystopian metropolis, ESIOD 2015, by visual artist Clemens von Wedemeyer, is a lyrical envisioning of an impending financial singularity, where a centralized commodification has monetized everything, from urban spaces, social structures to ultimately, our collective memory. Greeted by the quiet sterility of modern architecture and disembodied voices, the film’s protagonist enters the city’s downtown sprawl with wide-eyed wonder. Passing through this socially-hostile urban babylon and its ghettoizing checkpoints, she reaches her destination: the banking headquarters of society’s stored data, finances and memories. Inside, as the institution’s virtual manager guides her access to the account, body turns performative and shared memory and history dissolve in virtual pointilism. Beneath her expressive emotions lies a deeper secret, hidden away from the singularity’s algorithms - an intended subversion meant to bring about the revolution from within.

What do you get when a modern-day-Méliès is hired to produce a making-of of a big-budget war film? A rollicking satire, probing deep into cinema’s heart of darkness. Financially and creatively drained, cult experimental filmmaker Guy Maddin becomes an artist-for-hire on the set of Canadian movie star Paul Gross’ Hyena Road, filming behind-the-scenes on the Jordanian desert standing in for Taliban-held Afghanistan. Creativity and sun strike at once, and what’s meant to be a straightforward promo, internally combusts into a fever-dream of artistic subversion. Via manipulated footage and narrated musings on Canadian pop-culture and the epistemology of cinema, Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton conflates the ego’s in/eternal battles of art vs. commerce, with bloated patriotism and the ethics of representation. Hilarious and sombre, but deeply sincere in its contradictions, this is pop-art cine-manifesto at its finest.

Directed by: 
LARISSA SANSOUR & SØREN LIND
In a barren desert landscape, a lone figure walks among the memories of civilization, while on voice-over we hear her participate in an open and intimate therapy session. She is a narrative terrorist, whose intervention in the future throws a spanner in the cog-machine of historical determinism and entitlement by depositing archeological artifacts for future generations to uncover and legitimize their existence as a disappearing people. Settled among her otherworldly CGI dreamscape of cut-out figures of Western and Eastern culture and politics, the saboteur of history engages her therapist - and us along with them - in breaking down the construction of national identity and dominant historical narratives. In a film where silence and words fall with the same gravity of fragility as porcelain bombs, transcendence turns emotions to abstraction and the personal becomes political. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
CLEMENS VON WEDEMEYER
Set in the near-future of a dystopian metropolis, ESIOD 2015 is a lyrical envisioning of an impending financial singularity, where a centralized commodification has monetized everything, from urban spaces, social structures to ultimately, our collective memory. Greeted by the quiet sterility of modern architecture and disembodied voices, the film’s protagonist enters the city’s downtown sprawl with wide-eyed wonder. Passing through this socially-hostile urban babylon and its ghettoizing checkpoints, she reaches her destination: the banking headquarters of society’s stored data, finances and memories. Inside, as the institution’s virtual manager guides her access to the account, body turns performative and shared memory and history dissolve in virtual pointilism. Beneath her expressive emotions lies a deeper secret, hidden away from the singularity’s algorithms - an intended subversion meant to bring about the revolution from within. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)
Directed by: 
GUY MADDIN, EVAN JOHNSON, GALEN JOHNSON
What do you get when a modern-day-Méliès is hired to produce a making-of of a big-budget war film? A rollicking satire, probing deep into cinema’s heart of darkness. Financially and creatively drained, Guy Maddin becomes an artist-for-hire on the set of Canadian movie star Paul Gross’ Hyena Road, filming behind-the-scenes on the Jordanian desert standing in for Taliban-held Afghanistan. Creativity and sun strike at once, and what’s meant to be a straightforward promo, internally combusts into a fever-dream of artistic subversion. Via manipulated footage and narrated musings on Canadian pop-culture and the epistemology of cinema, Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton conflates the ego’s in/eternal battles of art vs. commerce, with bloated patriotism and the ethics of representation. Hilarious and sombre, but deeply sincere in its contradictions, this is pop-art cine-manifesto at its finest. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF 2017)