Jean-Pierre Rehm

6 February, 2015 - 20:00
BOZARcinema, Brussel
talk+screening
Een selectie films samengesteld door Jean-Pierre Rehm, directeur van FID - Festival International du Cinema de Marseille. Hij zal elke film inleiden en na de screening volgt een gesprek. De avond vindt plaats binnen de context van een ERG seminar.

“Moi je pense que l’humain a besoin pour naître de faire naître cette chose incompréhensible qu’est l’art, parce que c’est incompréhensible. L’art est la preuve même de l’inhumanité de l’homme, dans un double sens : d’abord, que l’être humain ne s’appartient pas, et aussi la preuve de son côté horrible, terrible. Dans les films qui m’intéressent, je fuis le militantisme hérité des années soixante-dix où on assène des soit disant vérités sans contrepoint. Les films, ce sont des aventures artistiques, l’art n’y est pas une plus value.”

Cinema as adventure of time and movement? Cinema as potential encounter with the inhuman within the human, as an experience of the intolerable that can release us from ourselves, allowing us to imagine our world differently? These ideas seem to have some kind of hold on our thinking about the emancipatory potential of cinema, ever since a brilliant thinker proposed to think of art as an exceptional sensorium that allows us to pass over to the other side, there where the truth of being resides, from which one returns with “bloodshot eyes”. But if political emancipation is indeed about exceeding the limits of our vital and social determinations, isn’t there a way of thinking about the potential of cinema without collapsing into metaphysics, without drowning politics and art into one grand ethology in common? If cinema is indeed an art deprived of linguistic palpability or certainty of expression, how can we find words to talk about the operations, figures, resonances, metaphors, attractions and inversions that constitute a cinematic world? And yes, since we seem to have no more patience for the “isms” that prospered so well in the past “short century”, how can we grasp and further the adventures that are happening in front of our eyes? Perhaps these are some of the issues that we can touch upon with Jean-Pierre Rehm, the spirited film enthusiast and, well, enthusiast tout court who has been running, since 2002, one of the most exciting film festivals in Europe, FIDMarseille. For the occasion of this Dissent ! session he has chosen five films, which are on the surface as disparate as the background of its makers. But isn’t the blurring of borders between what is traditionally called “documentary” and “fiction” or what is neurotically categorized as either “art”, “film” or “artists’-film” (sign of the times: the coupling or hyphen) precisely what makes it possible to rekindle cinema’s sensible force of heterogeneity, counter to the consensual tendencies that try to pin everything and everyone down to specific plots and places? As long as we keep up the struggle with easy determinations, then, perhaps we can allow our eyes and ears to drift in unforeseen directions. Who knows, in a time when the real is claimed to be completely disbarred from any form of illusion or utopia, when every divergent standpoint is easily dismissed as “unrealistic”, perhaps cinema, this art of appearance, still might have something to say.

 

DISSENT! is an initiative of Argos, Auguste Orts and Courtisane, in the framework of the research project “Figures of Dissent” (KASK/Hogent), with support of VG.

In collaboration with FID Marseille and ERG.

 

DISSENT! is een initiatief van Argos, Auguste Orts en Courtisane, in de context van het research project “Figures of Dissent” (KASK/Hogent), met de steun van VG.

In samenwerking met FID Marseille and ERG.

Terra de ninguém (No Man's Land)

Salomé Lamas
,
PT
,
2012
,
HD
,
colour
,
72'

Een neutrale setting. Niemandsland. Een man zit op een stoel en praat over zijn leven. In zijn jonge jaren was hij soldaat in een Portugees elite commando tijdens de koloniale oorlogen in Mozambique en Angola. Na de Anjerrevolutie werkte hij als bodyguard in Portugal en later als CIA huurling in El Salvador, vooraleer uiteindelijk huurmoorden te plegen als lid van GAL, de anti-Baskische beweging. De gruwel van de wreedheden die hij beschrijft wringt met het formele minimalisme van de film en de manier waarop de protagonist zichzelf presenteert. Hij blijft volledig emotieloos tijdens het beschrijven van de brutale details, maakt scherpe commentaren op de hedendaagse politieke geschiedenis, vertelt grappen en zet een grote mond op. Zijn uitspraken vormen de basis voor het onderzoek van de filmmaker. Het is een broze onderneming, want feit en fictie, herinnering en fantasie, bekentenis en zelfportret gaan in elkaar over; betrouwbaarheid en identiteit worden voortdurend bevraagd. Dit verontrustend cinematografisch verslag van een schaduwbestaan evolueert naar een complexe bevraging van de fundamenten en grenzen van documentaire film. 

Mudanza

Pere Portabella
,
ES
,
2008
,
colour
,
20'

Mudanza, Grenade, the family home of the poet Garcia Lorca. We see no one there, except the ballet of movers who empty one by one all the rooms of their furniture, pictures, etc. It will remain an empty dwelling, filled with light and traces, that has become the cenotaph for the poet murdered by the Fascists in 1936,, and whose corpse was never found. Portabella, with a camerawork of an impressive virtuosity, composes here, seventy years later, more than hommage: a funeral elegy.

Jean-Pierre Rehm - catalogue FIDMarseille 2010

Phantoms of Nabua

Apichatpong Weerasethakul
,
TH
,
2009
,
colour
,
11'

It’s night, a neon lamp throws light onto a deserted playing field. Off to one side, on a makeshift open-air screen can be made out the image of a village struck regularly by lightning. As night finally falls the outlines of a group of young boys appear. Each one takes turns at kicking a burning ball that makes glowing lines in the grass. All the light, the neon lamp, the lightning and the fire echo each other in the midst of smoke that rises from the ground. The game continues quickly until the ball hits the screen and sets fire to it, causing a new spectacle that the little group will gaze at, stripping away the projector’s beam, a ray without image.

In extremely simple terms, the film aims at evoking a precise historical event: the war and the destruction of a village called Nabua. A short –Thai, if you will – version of an apocalypse of old. That the soldiers represented here by young carefree boys and that the memory of a village are combined with a cinema projection speaks amply of the refusal to simplify that runs through all the films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Because these are not so much the events described or the stylised characters that are ghostly, as the title indicates, than the horror itself. One will easily understand that to find today a cinematic form to this massacre, to light up the dark, is to surmount – as much as images can – that which has already been destroyed. It is no doubt worth pointing out that this film was initially part of a group of projections called Primitive Project.

Jean-Pierre Rehm

A Third Version of the Imaginary

Benjamin Tiven
,
US
,
2012
,
DCP
,
12'

De archivaris van het beeldarchief van de Kenya Broadcasting Corporation leidt ons doorheen stapels videobanden; hij is op zoek naar een specifiek beeld en speurt tussen papieren en labels van potentiële cassettes. Een voice-over stem spreekt in Swahili over de intrede van de videotechnologie in Kenia en de impact hiervan op het archiveren van historische televisiebeelden. Video maakte de productie van beelden goedkoper, maar de materiële kost van de massa tapes veroorzaakte een grote druk op het opslaan ervan: om op banden te besparen heeft de omroep evenveel uitgewist als opgenomen. Even later bouwt de medewerker een opbergkast om tot een geïmproviseerde bioscoop om enkele 16mm films uit het archief te bekijken. De voice-over verschuift simultaan, van video naar film, en naar het taalkundige probleem van het woord ‘beeld’ in Swahili.

Bower’s Cave

Lee Lynch & Lee Ann Schmitt
,
US
,
2008
,
colour
,
14'

In 1885 two boys in Southern California who discover a cave of Chumash Indian artifacts in the San Martin Mountains on land that is now part of the Chiquita Canyon landfill, located in the small town of Castaic. The cave is known as Bowers Cave, named after the amateur archeologist Stephen Bower, a notorious looter of Indian sites, who brought the artifacts from the boys, and then reselling them for a profit, mostly to private collectors. Now, a small portion exists in the Peabody museum at Harvard. It is believed that the collection is relics that belonged to a messianic cult formed by the Indians after a large mission revolt and the objects were placed in the cave for safekeeping. The film is a meditation on the eradication of the Chumash culture, but also the conflict between the spirits and the material.