Peter Emmanuel Goldman

20 January, 2019 - 21:00
Cinematek, Brussel
“The order and number of sequences seem to matter little, to us as to him. It scarcely matters either that the musical sequences are repeated; they are there to prolong a state, as in the endless drawings-out, fishing for tuna or ascension, sith Rosselini. Each chapter, or canvas, interrupts itself by virtue of continuing a length of time; the glances exchanged by three girls in a little room lead to nothing and keep within themselves, latent, a drama that does not unfold. To these beings lost in New York, nothing ever happens. Here time is not accountable to the tumult of every day, and the film progresses by amplification, like a wave, slow but without return, not by addition of actions or events whose exact path one seeks, but by the ensnaring joining of solitudes.” - Jean-Claude Biette about Echoes of Silence (1967)

CINEMATEK and Courtisane are happy to welcome Sara García, Director of one of our favorite film festivals, the International Documentary Film Festival Play-Doc in Tui. She will introduce us to the work of Peter Emanuel Goldman, who was the main guest of the 2018 edition of the Play-Doc festival. We will be screening his legendary film Echoes of Silence (1965, 76'), accompanied by Pestilent City (1965, 16').   

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This we found out: Peter Emanuel Goldman had graduated in English and History from Brown University in Providence. He moved to Paris in 1960 to study History at the Sorbonne. In 1961, he enrolled in Berkeley but spent most of his time in a boxing gym. Then he joined a vessel that took him to Venezuela. Upon his return, his father gave him an 8 mm camera. In 1962, he went back to Paris and wrote about art in the Paris Herald Tribune. In late 1962, back in New York, he shared a flat in Greenwich Village. He bought a Bolex 16 mm camera with a winding crank and started shooting the girls and boys, whether anonymous people or friends, who dropped by this flat. This is how Echoes of Silence was born. The film, obsolete, cost a mere 50 cents per unit. Miguel, the hero of the movie, was initially working as an electrician for the film. The montage was made at night; the music was taken from among the records scattered across the flat: Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Prokofiev’s suite Semyon Kotko, Charles Mingus’ Haitian Fight Song. Susan Sontag saw the film in early 1965 and was enthusiastic about it. Goldman showed the film in SoHo, during the evening sessions at the Film-Makers’ Coop. Jonas Mekas wrote about Echoes of Silence in The Village Voice and the film was selected at the Pesaro Film Festival in Italy, a breeding ground for ‘young cinema’. The film premiered in New York in a 35 mm copy. The French premiere was banned by censors. Italy, in turn, censored the film.
- Philippe Azoury, from the introduction to the Peter Emmanuel Goldman program as part of Play-Doc 2018.
http://www.play-doc.com/en/peter-emanuel-goldman/

Pestilent City

Peter Emmanuel Goldman
,
US
,
1965
,
DCP
,
16'

Pestilent City was made in 1965, a few months after Echoes of Silence. Yet another cry of rage tossed at the throat of New York, shot as an inhumane city, in slow motion and in the negative. More and more, Goldman appeared to me as a loony Murnau coming from the night of time, bringing again to the 60s – with the violence of youth culture and the brutality of underground – the great debates between silent cinema, the cinema of the force of the face, and photography, the power of still images. Goldman is a filmmaker of the masses, of the wandering, of the flowing, and at the same time a filmmaker of frames, of images that suddenly stand still out of exhaustion, as a result of the condensation of affects.” - Philippe Azoury  

Echoes of Silence

Peter Emmanuel Goldman
,
US
,
1965
,
DCP
,
74'

“Taking the best from the underground cinema (freedom of subject and technique) and a few good things from the Godard cinema, he tells a simple story of a few friends, how they live, what they feel. In a series of notes, he establishes their relationships with directness and economy; he makes his people come to life simply and believably - more believably than most of the people in the Chabrol or Truffaut cinema. Goldman, even in his first film, managed to escape many dangers of abstraction. Made up of a series of episodes, each preceded by one or two lines of titles (similar to Godard's Vivre sa Vie), and by no means perfect in all its parts and arts - the film has a thematic and formal beauty that is remarkable.” - Jonas Mekas