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Stories (and aesthetics) About Anonymous and Orphan Cinema

International seminar on amateur films and the concept of authorship

Based around the idea of anonymity and the exploration of film archives from this point of view, Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola has convened an international seminar on October 26, 27 and 28 on the amateur cinema, films “without names” and the concept of authorship entitled Stories (and aesthetics) About Anonymous and Orphan Cinema.

Anonymous cinema is not a rarity, but a common denominator in the majority of twentieth century film production. Anonymous cinema is, in the first instance, unsigned: home films, orphan films, industrial cinema, amateur films, incomplete or censored films, forgotten on shelves in an archive for political reasons or social contexts, the films of filmmakers who did not see themselves as authors or where the film institution decided not to consider them as such. Anonymous cinema is also cinema which, even though it has credits and even a copyright seal, contains moments from the lives of anonymous people: unknown eyes looking at the camera from a distant land. Films that do not feature stars, but fleeting faces.

The concept of authorship, first with the star system and then with the politique des auteurs (auteur theory), is inherent to the way in which the history and aesthetics of cinema have been interpreted. The mere mention of "cinema without names" (i.e., entirely anonymous) contradicts one of the essential categories of cinematic historiography and criticism. To the point that anonymity actually enables a new, subversive film category, specifically cinema without names, i.e. a type of cinema that is difficult to name, identify, classify and define, posing constant questions about royalties, silence and the history that we think we know. The category of filmic anonymity questions many of the clichés about cinema and makes it possible to use the original meaning of the term amateur, as someone who does not expect reward or recognition but freedom to explore the language of film.

The seminar, which is open to the general public, will bring together specialists, curators, visual artists, filmmakers and academics working on orphan films and secrets of the archives. All of the sessions are designed as mixed sessions and illustrated lectures with short screenings.

"No intenso agora"

(João Moreira Salles, 2017)

Made following the discovery of amateur footage shot in China in 1966 during the first and most radical stage of the Cultural Revolution, No Intenso Agora / In the Intense Now speaks about the fleeting nature of moments of great intensity. Scenes of China are set alongside archival images of the events of 1968 in France, Czechoslovakia, and, to a lesser extent, Brazil. In keeping with the tradition of the film-essay, they serve to investigate how the people who took part in those events continued onward after passions had cooled.

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Tabakalera | Cinema - Screen 1

28/10/2017 - 18:00

Languages

Portuguese (with Spanish subtitles)

Price

3,5€

Frames and Rituals

The Mobile Borders of the Cinema Experience.

Of cinema’s many identities perhaps those escaping or transgressing identification are the most attractive, at least for the true cinephile. What can we gain from looking in between genres and naming structures and what are the best tools to track such rare beasts of moving image culture?

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Tabakalera | Cinema - Screen 1

28/10/2017 - 12:30

Participants

Guy Edmonds (Plymouth University / Eye Film Institut)

Languages

English ((with simultaneous translation)

Price

Free entrance until full capacity

The politic(s) of authors

Copyright, silence, political oblivion, amateur cinema as subversion and political and aesthetic resistance

Invisible Insights: the Filmmaking Practices of Women at the IIEC / EOC (1952-1969). Sonia García López
"Carrying This Weapon Requires a Special Kind of Citizen Courage": Amateur Cameras and “People's Control” Films in the Soviet Union.
Maria Vinogradova
Denied factory: industrial spaces and militant cinema in the Spanish State in the 1970s. 
Pablo La Parra

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Tabakalera | Cinema - Screen 1

28/10/2017 - 10:00

Participants

Sonia García López (Universidad Carlos III), Maria Vinogradova (New York University), Pablo La Parra (New York University)

Languages

English, Spanish (with simultaneous translation)

Price

Free entrance until full capacity

"Cuatreros"

(Albertina Carri, 2016)

Film-maker Albertina Carri has taken inspiration from the first book written by his father —the sociologist Roberto Carri— and travelled to Chaco in the footsteps of Isidro Velazquez, the great Argentinean cattle rustler. Velazquez was accused of numerous raids and was finally gunned down by police in 1967. It is a story of legend, family, politics and cinema… Carri builds his film from news-reels, advertisements, home videos, interviews and movies, but ultimately draws no certain conclusions.

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Tabakalera | Cinema - Screen 1

27/10/2017 - 20:00

Languages

Spanish

Price

3,5€

What Does History Know of Nail Biting?

On Reels Made by Harry Randall in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives

Between 1937 and 1938, the photographer and film-maker Harry Randall formed part of the Lincoln Brigade, the American volunteers who fought with the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War. Randall’s photos and footage cover the brigade's entire tour of duty on different fronts in the conflict. Using practically unscreened material, visual artist Francesc Torres has developed an interpretation showing what happened on the front when nothing was happening.

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Tabakalera | Cinema - Screen 1

27/10/2017 - 17:30

Participants

Francesc Torres (visual artist)

Languages

Spanish (with simultaneous translation)

Price

Free entrance until full capacity

Anonymous memory

Historical documents without authorship, anonymous protagonists of history and artistic appropriation

World War I Reels for Pathé Baby. Mirco Santi
Agustín Ugartetxea: Unsigned Images of Gernika.
Joxean Fernández
Invisible images by anonymous authors for a country that does not even exist. Josu Martínez

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Tabakalera | Cinema - Screen 1

27/10/2017 - 15:30

Participants

Joxean Fernández (director of the Basque Film Archive), Mirco Santi (Associazione Home Movies, Bolonia), Josu Martínez (UPV/EHU. NOR research group)

Languages

Basque, French, Italian (with simultaneous translation)

Price

Free entrance until full capacity

Cinema as a medium, film as a medium

Anonymous cinema between magic and science

Archaeology of Neurological Films: The Vincenzo Neri's Archive. Simone Venturini
Night Story. Aita Laburu's cinema. Oier Etxeberria
The Ophthalmologic Films of Dr. Ignasi Barraquer. Paula Arantzazu Ruiz

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Tabakalera | Cinema - Screen 1

27/10/2017 - 10:00

Participants

Simone Venturini (Università degli Studi di Udine), Oier Etxeberria (artist and musician), Paula Arantzazu Ruiz (Universita Pompeu Fabra)

Languages

Basque, English, Spanish (with simultaneous translation)

Price

Free entrance until full capacity

Ángel Lerma

56 Years with A Camera

The Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola wants to pay tribute to an entire generation of film pioneers in an event dedicated to the work of Ángel Lerma, a documentary film maker who has been living in San Sebastian for over half a century. Ángel himself will be participating at the event, where we will be screening and discussing a number of his films.

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Tabakalera | Cinema - Screen 1

26/10/2017 - 20:00

Participants

Ángel Lerma (filmmaker)

Languages

Spanish (with simultaneous translation)

Price

3,5€

Unauthored gestures

Anonymity and the authorless in artists’ film and video

This talk will examine different ways in which artists have tapped various modes of authorship - including non-authorship itself - to result in work which engages in some dialogue with anonymity.

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Tabakalera | Cinema - Screen 1

26/10/2017 - 18:00

Participants

Mark Toscano (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Hollywood)

Languages

English (with simultaneous translation)

Price

Free entrance until full capacity