Never Found: Alternate Histories of the 20th Century by Film Studies, Programming and Curation MA student Francesco Maria Carreri is next in the series of film programmes curated by finalist students from the National Film and Television School. The four-part programme showcases films that use the technique of found footage to retell the history of the 20th century. From the burning of the Hindenburg to the Zapruder film, the stories we tell ourselves about our history are intrinsically linked to the medium of the moving image. The collage films selected for the season reappropriate and remix existing footage to propose different narratives from the established ones. The horrors of colonialism in Angela Ricchi Lucchi's and Yervant Gianikian's From the Pole to the Equator or the miracle of space flight in Artavazd Peleshian's Our Century, much of the human experience of the past century is covered in the six films presented in the programme. Put together the films seem to provide an alternative history, a history where images have hidden meanings and many, often contradicting, narratives can co-exist.
The schedule for the screenings which take place at the Close Up Cinema in London is as follows:
Wednesday the 14th of November: Images of the World and the Inscription of War (1989) dir. Harun Farocki + Introduction to the End of an Argument (1990) dir. Elia Suleiman, Jayce Salloum
Francesco: “I've chosen to show Images of the World and the Inscription of War together because I think that while very different they both provide a powerful reflection on the meaning of images and the narratives applied to them.”
“Images of the World, directed by the acclaimed german artists/filmmaker Harun Farocki concentrates on aerial images of Auschwitz taken by American bombers in ww2. The role of the photographs was to look for military targets like munition factories or chemical plants and somehow the proof of concentration camps like clear long lines of people heading into concentration camps was ignored or unseen.
Introduction to the End of an Argument, directed by Palestinian Filmmaker Elia Suleiman and Lebanese Video Artist Jayce Salloum, assembles a combination of Hollywood, European and Israeli film, documentary and news coverage together with excerpts of 'live' footage shot in the West Bank and Gaza strip, to critique Western representations of the Middle East, Arab culture, and the Palestinian people.”
Thursday the 15th of November: Spectres of the Spectrum (1999) dir. Craig Baldwin
Francesco: “This film is a personal favorite of mine, it's one of those films that is so unique, that it provides the viewer with a new sense of what is possible in cinema and of what a film can be. The film is an almost indescribable sci-fi epic mostly made out of found-footage taken from 1950s educational tv shows. The narrative of the film follows a young telepath, BooBoo, as she travels back in time from the desolate future of 2007 to save the world from a threatening electromagnetic "pulse". The film's barrage of grainy, mysterious images hits the viewer with relentless force but the end result is an irresistibly entertaining and unique film.”
More information on the NFTS Film Studies, Programming and Curation MA can be found at www.nfts.co.uk/filmstudies
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