BUCHAREST FILM BIENNALE 1 – The film journal. Reflections of the self
May 21-24, 2015
Bucharest Film Biennale

Curator: Andrei Rus

‘At its beginnings, cinematography was successfully introducing its audience to auto referenced movies, collecting and then projecting some of the most banal aspects of the daily life – from family dinners to strolls around forests and streets- without the use of narrative tricks. The public was satisfied and according to the plentiful documents of the era, they were aspiring to share the intimacy of strangers, about whom they were not discovering a plethora in the insufficient seconds of the first films. Short after the new medium’s innocence years, the current affairs series, with subjects of general interest, replaced those, almost diaristic exercises, imposing a new direction – inherited nowadays as well.

When the diaristic formulas were revived and tinged in the 60’s, most of the film-makers embracing auto referential attitudes, were championing for a theoretical return (and technical in some cases) to that era, when cinematography was promising a completely different future, an eternal conservation of as many individual moments, a priori irrelevant for others. Another common characteristic of those directors was the educational background in contemporary arts, always emancipated – from a formal or political point of view-, at least ten years before cinematography. The transposition of their vision in cinematography lead to the creation of a new aesthetic model, which seemed innovative, although directly inspired by the so called “primitive movies” of the late XIX century. It is certain that from then on, due to the reasons mentioned previously, the film journals continued to be absorbed/ assimilated through experimental avant-garde films, situated at the conceptual border between cinema, which records elements of reality, but having the highest potential to reach masses, it is commonly treating the broad introduction of particularised formulas with an enhanced modesty, and the contemporary arts, progressively more radical about finding diverse methods of self-reflection.

Starting with the 60’s, the film journal becomes an aesthetic formula increasingly prevalent, approached through diverse perspectives by both self-indulgent film-makers, privileged among festival and multiplex audiences, as well as a smaller number of directors whose careers were primarily focused on the auto referential perimeter, allowing the development of a large area of formal matrices.

In the present we can distinguish multiple film journals – some make use of personal archive images (known as“home movies”) to create strongly personalised and/or political speeches, some adopt an indirect communication, via distancing mechanisms which do not change the implied auto referential level of the construct and so on. Many times, it is hard to fit these films into a specific genre, having to force the boundaries of the categorisations common among critics, offering no more than circumstantial labels.

During an era as the present one, where the self-referentiality became omnipresent on the internet, no matter if we talk about the personal YouTube channels of hundreds of millions users from all around the world, about personal Facebook pages or about blogs and other platforms as such, the research, presentation and debate of this, most individualised form of cinematography, can only be timely.’

(Excerpt from Andrei Rus, ‘The film journal. Reflections of the self’, 2014)

BUCHAREST FILM BIENNALE is a project generated by PAVILION.

More information: bienaladefilm.ro

January 26, 2015 | Filed under event_archive.

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