Festivals, Books, Conferences, Exhibitions

Marx at the Movies / Cartographies of the Absolute

It is difficult to separate the history of cinema, a form of art so embedded within the twentieth century, from the history of Communism. Perhaps it is not only because of the coincidence of the two dates of birth but, rather, there is something more profound and more structural in regards to their common heritage […]

Social Media – New Masses / Updating to Remain the Same

Do we still live in a mass society? Does that foul spectre of the long and dark 20th century – the masses – extend into the 21st? We would perhaps like to believe that it does not. Or should we say they do not? Part of the anxiety over this strange socio-logical category can already […]

A new era of Maghrebi-French cinema: Two perspectives

From Tunis to Casablanca and further afield in the diaspora, Maghrebi-French filmmakers have articulated the historical transformations of their societies, including their changing place in the world. All the major events and historical moments that have shaped the Maghreb have been put on camera, with original and critical portrayals detailing the social, political, and economic […]

Whose perspective is this? A few thoughts on Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s Studies on the Ecology of Drama

Since the early 1990s, Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila has been considered a master of the split-screen installation form. Her large-scale, multi-channel cinematic works create specific perceptual situations, while investigating the construction of audiovisual discourses and testing potentialities and limits of cinematic narration. In her works, Ahtila challenges cinema’s conventions of single-channel storytelling, using multiple screens […]

Urban Now: City Life in Congo

The exhibition Urban Now: City Life in Congo took place at WIELS (Brussels) from 8 May – 14 August 2016 and was co-organised by Congolese artist Sammy Baloji and Belgian anthropologist Filip de Boeck. Baloji currently divides his time between Lubumbashi and Brussels and has exhibited his work in manifold exhibitions, such as Hunting and […]

Promenade through the theatre of illusion: Dioramas in Palais de Tokyo

The exhibition Dioramas, curated by Claire Garnier, Laurent Le Bon, and Florence Ostende at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, proposes the first extensive cross-media survey of one of the most fascinating theatres of illusion and apparatuses of display – the diorama. The survey covers a period spanning from the beginning of the nineteenth century to […]

Topophilic tendencies at Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival

Described variously in the media over the years as ‘one of the most idiosyncratic film events in the UK’[1] and ‘willfully eclectic’,[2] the eleventh edition of Birmingham’s Flatpack Film Festival (Flatpack)[3] took place 4-9 April 2017.[4] Situated in the UK’s second city, Flatpack[5] has come to embody a specific representation of its home city that […]

Breaking down the tribes: Opening night films at Frameline and Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival

The opening night film for an LGBTQ film festival is a rare opportunity to bring all the members of the community together. As such, it is imperative for the films in this privileged position to resonate with audiences beyond merely having a gay or lesbian character. The queerness of the films of these festivals can […]

Fashion film festivals: Shifting perspectives on fashion in one of the world’s dirtiest industries

Fashion film festivals have quite suddenly mushroomed worldwide. After the establishment of the pioneering Fashion in Film Festival[1] in 2006 in London, the idea was picked up in Paris by fashion critic and blogger Diane Pernet, who founded A Shaded View On Fashion Film[2] in 2008. From then on, the fashion film festival concept has […]

Mapping the fashion film festival landscape: Fashion, film, and the digital age

The digital revolution and the reorganisation of the media environment have contributed to the emergence of new forms to communicate and to apprehend media. These mutations and technological evolutions have allowed renewed fashion imagery and enabled new forms of communicating fashion, making fashion films a relevant and widely broadcasted form. Forms of distribution move from […]

Current trends across three European human rights film festivals

Three major human rights film festivals (HRFFs) take place on the European continent annually in March. In 2017 the line-up was as follows: One World was held in Prague, Czech Republic from 6-15 March; the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) in Geneva, Switzerland unfolded between 10-19 March; and Movies that Matter […]

Archives of the present − memory work in the making: ‘Transmission from the Liberated Zones’ (Filipa César, 2015)

National libraries, museums, and archives are potential sites for knowledge production and shared memory work, but they tend also to be monuments of state power, of selection and exclusion. Film and moving images have always played a formative role in cultural commemoration, and the resistance of cinematic counter-memories has also famously illuminated the critical potential […]

Rethinking geolinguistic spaces: The San Sebastian Film Festival between Latin America and Europe

The San Sebastian Film Festival, also known as the Zinemaldia (‘the film festival’ in the Basque language), celebrated its 64th edition from 16-24 September 2016. The festival location in the Basque Country near the Spanish border with France has influenced its development since its inception in 1953. Modelled after the pioneering festivals Venice and Cannes, […]

Confronting the screen. Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest at the New Museum

Today, with computers, TVs, and mobile phones, everything is flat and put behind glass – our feelings, histories, longings. We’re all separated from each other, for the human being that we are in contact with is always behind glass… But with art, we can jump out of our loneliness. – Pipilotti Rist Pipilotti Rist: Pixel […]

William Kentridge: Thick Time

William Kentridge: Thick Time, curated by Iwona Blazwick at Whitechapel Gallery (London), is a travelling survey exhibition by a major South African artist that brings together six large-scale multimedia installations produced between 2003 and 2016.[1] Images and sounds propel me visually, sonically, and spatially across time and continents. I walk through the exhibition for the […]