News #010: Sublime oblivion
A French post-punk ode to the cinema, Argentine nitrate, RepFits and this week's repertory report
Hello and welcome to Rep Cinema International. This week’s newsletter focuses on events, jobs and opportunities, as well as other miscellanea related to repertory cinema around the world. As a programmer, I get so much out of looking at what other programmers, archivists, academics and film-workers are doing around the world, and love to share some of what I find in these newsletters. I hope you enjoy!
Repertory cinema highlights
The Fantasy of Deer Warrior at Taiwan Film and Audiovisual Institute
I’m tickled by this Taiwanese fairytale film The Fantasy of Deer Warrior (CHANG Ying, 1961) featuring live-action actors in animal suits. Not least because the trailer (very much worth a watch!) dips into the swing of things with a folksy version of “Jingle Bells” playing on the soundtrack. A fistfight, love, death, revenge and a musical number all follow in a blazing two-minute condensation of the 87-minute film. TFAI screens it next week, presumably from their own restoration.
Marguerite Duras: The Sublime Oblivion at Svenska Filminstitutet
Duras is that filmmaker who I haven’t seen so many films by because I’ve always been waiting for them to show in a cinema somewhere near me. In fact, it’s pretty rare to encounter even one or two being exhibited theatrically. I saw a 35mm print of the short Les mains négatives (1978) thanks to Anouk de Clercq at 25fps Festival a few years ago. Another Gaze and Ciné-Lumière teamed up for a 35mm presentation of India Song (1975) in 2019, an incredibly memorable film to drift through. (Not to mention of course the massive Another Screen program “Marguerite Duras on Television”.) Audiences in Stockholm are lucky to have had this retrospective which stretched across September, October and November. US programmers take note: Icarus Films has a new DCP of Le Navire Night which you should book immediately, as Metrograph and the PFA have already done.
Vocal Parallels at Moscow International Festival of Archival Films
There’s an abundance of interesting programming in Moscow’s Archive Fest but this film in particular caught my eye. Rustam Khamdamov is a legendary figure of Soviet/Central Asian cinema whose name is spoken in hushed, revered tones by many of the great filmmakers from the region over the past 50 years. His experimental, exploratory and artistic films remain very difficult to see which is why this new restoration by Gosfilmofond and Kazakhfilm of his 2005 film Vocal Parallels is very welcome. Really I don’t know anything about this seemingly operatic film (opera is always a red flag for me) but the description here is too enticing: There are “Furs, hats, handbags, lipstick, breathing in the cold, beautifully breaking through the voilette.” And also, “Hamdamov likens his stories to an oriental carpet that resolutely avoids linearity but finds solace in repetitions and reflections.” Sold.
The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia has restored this 1980 film by the One in Seven Collective, telling the history of the first gathering of what would become the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. In 1978, 53 people were arrested amidst police violence in a moment that became historic in Sydney LGBTQ history. I’ve found the NFSA Restored documentaries to be of very high quality and their website has good resources linked to each film.
LeagueFits but for rep cinemas? Let’s do it.
The Museo del Cine Pablo C. Ducrós Hicken of Buenos Aires has published the book Nitrato argentino, una historia del cine de los primeros tiempos and set up a special website based around this history of early cinema in Argentina.
Edited by Carolina Cappa, the 240-page Spanish language book contains a number of essays as well as a catalog of nitrate films and beautiful image reproductions. A preview of its first pages can be accessed here.
Two international opportunities in the Netherlands
Young Film Critics at IFFR 2022: For its 24th edition, IFFR’s Young Film Critics programme returns during IFFR 2022 (January 26 – February 6, 2022). The programme provides a unique insight into festival coverage, with a full press accreditation and the support of the IFFR editorial team, alongside expert workshop sessions and networking opportunities. IFFR welcomes Young Film Critics (18 – 30 years old) from across the world to apply, with participants last year from Costa Rica, the Philippines, Poland, USA, the United Kingdom and Zambia.
Eye International Conference 2022: Call for Proposals: From 29 – 31 May, 2022, Eye Filmmuseum, the University of Amsterdam (UvA), Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis (ASCA), and the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) will present the 7th Eye International Conference on ‘Global Audiovisual Archiving: Exchange of Knowledge and Practices’.
Ciné cha cha
One of my recent favorite bands has this song about their l’amour of ciiiiiiiinéma.
Brazil’s most beautiful cinemas
Cinelimite—the New York-based non-profit which sprung up in 2020 to exhibit, distribute and restore classic Brazilian cinema, and who are well overdue for some substantial coverage in this newsletter—put up a great thread on Twitter asking for respondents’ favorite cinemas in Brazil. They got some breathtaking photos of cinemas in Recife, Fortaleza, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro in reply.
Anthology Film Archives (New York), Head Projectionist, full time
BAVC Media (San Francisco), Development Director, full time
Boston Globe Media, Film Critic, full time
Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (Rome), Senior Colorist, Senior Digital Restoration Operator (x2), Junior Scanner Operator, Junior Conforming & Quality Control Operator
Cousin (United States), Assistant, part time
Film Streams (Omaha), Community Programming Manager, full time
Georgia Gwinnett College, Film Studies Professor, full time
Independent Cinema Office (London), Film Programmer, full time
New York Public Library, Media Preservation Services Intern (paid), part time
Open City Documentary Festival (London), Pre-Selection Panel
University of Cambridge (Cambridge, UK), Teaching Associate, Film and Screen Studies (fixed term)
University of St. Andrews (Scotland), Lecturer in Film Studies (full time)
VideoDataBank (Chicago), Director, full time
WITNESS (Brooklyn), Program Associate – Archives
Featured images: The Fantasy of Deer Warrior (CHANG Ying, 1961) // Vocal Parallels (Rustam Khamdamov, 2005) // details from the book Nitrato argentino, una historia del cine de los primeros tiempos, published by Museo del Cine Pablo C. Ducrós Hicken, 2021
I don’t always write about just old films but sometimes current ones as well. My review of last month’s New York Film Festival “Currents” strand was just published at Art-Agenda.
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