Paris MoMA Sept 19, 2007 - January 7, 2008
The meeting of two contemporary masters : what a perfect cinephilic event in all imaginable ways. Their full filmography will be screened over 4 months which is a rare occasion in itself, as their films are usually hard-to-see. It's always admirable when artists are celebrated at this level before passing away. This exhbition was first created in Barcelona in February 2006 by Alain Bergala and Jordi Ballo. Then moved to Madrid, now Paris. Australia booked it, and it will probably tour around the world. The presence of these filmmakers will be the major asset of this exceptional event to dialogue with eachother and with the public. Two conferences will be broadcasted live online!
- L'Histoire des Trente, Year 2000 : Films on Time (Sept 22 / 18:00 GMT+2) with the short films projected : Ten Minutes Older (2001/Kiarostami); Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet : Lifeline (2002/Erice); Roads of Kiarostami (2005/Kiarostami); La Morte rouge (2006/Erice)
- Question de Cinema (Dec 8 / 14h30-19h GMT+1) with Victor Erice, Abbas Kiarostami, Alain Bergala, Fabienne Costa, Jean-Michel Frodon, Stéphane Goudet, Youssef Ishaghpour, Jean-Pierre Limosin, Jean-Philippe Tessé, Marcos Uzal.
The centerpiece of this event will be the 10 video-letters Erice and Kiarostami have been exchanging the past 3 years at the suggestion of Alain Bergala. This could be as consensual and formulaic as a portemanteau project commissionned by a third party who imposes an idea to creators who don't need directions. But this project sounds really exciting.
Both filmmakers who happen to share the same age of 67 are discreet and introverted (especially Victor Erice who makes one new movie per decade) accepted to interact artistically by investing the short format of video-essay. Looking at the sent dates, Kiarostami seems less motivated or slower, but looking at the stills from the videos his contribution seems less literal (in a penpal way) and more abstracted, poetical (in the production of stand-alone pieces). Imagine if we could have a trace of a correspondance between Tarkovsky and Bresson, Satyajit Ray and Kurosawa...
- 1) El Jardin del Pintor (Erice/Spain) VE to AK, 22 april 2005, 9'30"
- 2) Mashhad (Kiarostami/Iran) AK to VE, 5 Sept 2005, 10'
- 3) Arroyo de la Luz (Erice/Spain) VE to AK, 22 Oct 2005, 20'18"
- 4) The Quince (Kiarostami/Iran) AK to VE, dec 2005, 12'
- 5) José (Erice/Spain) VE to AK, 18 Jun 2006, 7'19"
- 6) Sea Mail (Erice/Spain) VE to AK, 10 aug 2006, 3'49"
- 7) A Rainy Day (Kiarostami/Iran) AK to VE, 11 mar 2007, 11'10"
- 8) A la deriva (Erice/Spain) VE to AK, sep 2006 - mar 2007, 13'24"
- 9) Treasure Map (Kiarostami/Iran) AK to VE, apr 2007, 7'23"
- 10) Escrito en el agua (Erice/Spain) VE to AK, may 2007, 2'35"
Accompaning these videos, an exhibition of multimedia works by the two artists around the themes they have in common : childhood, landscape, roads, trees, silence... Notably there will be an artificial forest scenographied by Kiarostami himself. As well as their latest short films : Roads of Kiarostami (2006/Kiarostami), made for the Korean festival, and La Morte Rouge (2006/Erice), made for the original exhibition in Barcelona. The good news is also that Victor Erice is currently working on a new series of films called "Memories and Dream"!
RETROSPECTIVE (list of films projected)
Of Victor Erice I've only seen 2 (El Espiritu de la Colmena, El Sol del Membrillo) so I'm most excited to finally discover El Sur, and his short films.
I know very little of Kiarostami (Close Up, The Wind Will Carry Us, The Taste of Cherry), his films are not projected very often, especially the lesser-known. Thus I'll be able to catch up with this major oeuvre of our time that everyone around is praising.
I would love to see everything, and I'll try but if I can't, please let me know which titles I must not miss in priority.
ERICE'S CARTE BLANCHE
Since Erice filmography is considerably shorter he was offered a Carte Blanche to show alongside films he liked.The original list Erice submitted was declined by the curators because the titles were too familiar for the French public and had enough exposition already. So these films will not be shown at the exhibition but it's important to know Erice elected them originaly to illustrate, inspire, nourish and dialogue with his own filmography :
- The Kid (1921/Charles Chaplin/USA)
- I was born but... (1932/Yasujiro Ozu/Japan)
- Treasure Island (1934/Victor Fleming/USA)
- Germany Year Zero (1947/Roberto Rosselini/Italy)
- The Bicycle Thief (1948/Vittorio de Sica/Italy)
- Los Olvidados (1950/Luis Buñuel/Spain)
- Moonfleet (1954/Fritz Lang/USA)
- The Night of the Hunter (1955/Charles Laughton/USA)
- Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959/François Truffaut/France)
- Ivan's Childhood (1962/Andrei Tarkovsky/Russia)
- Mouchette (1967/Robert Bresson/France)
Meanwhile, it's a pleasure to discover, instead, more films recommended by Erice as his favorites, ones we never heard of or aren't as widely available as the above titles. So here is the final list, that will be screened :
- Las Hurdes (1933/Luis Buñuel/Spain) Short DOC
- Espoir, Sierra de Teruel (1939/André Malraux/France) director's cut
- The Saga of Anatahan (1953/Josef von Sternberg/USA)
- Chibusa yo eien nare (1955/Kinuyo Tanaka/Japan)
- Acto da Primavera (1963/Manoel de Oliveira/Portugal) DOC
- El verdugo (1963/Luis Garcia Berlanga/Spain)
- La Tía Tula (1963/Miguel Picazo/Spain)
- Uccellacci e uccellini (1966/Pier Paolo Pasolini/Italy)
- My Childhood (1972/Bill Douglass/UK)
- Queridísimos verdugos (1973/Basilio Martín Patino/Spain) DOC
- L'Ordre (1974/Jean-Daniel Pollet/France) Short DOC
- Lost, lost, lost (1976/Jonas Mekas/USA)
- My Ain Folk (1976/Bill Douglas/UK)
- We Can't Go Home Again (1976/Nicholas Ray/USA)
- My Way Home (1978/Bill Douglas/UK)
- Dalla nube alla Resistenza (1979/Straub/Huillet/Italy/France)
- La verdad sobre el caso Savolta (1980/Antonio Drove/Spain)
- El viaje a ninguna parte (1986/Fernando Fernán Gómez/Spain)
- A Comedia de Deus (1995/João César Monteiro/Portugal)
One last choice was denied by the right holders :
Khaneh siah ast / The House Is Black (1962/Forough Farrokhzad/Iran)
The recurring theme here would be "resistance". I love to look at a Carte Blanche listing, because like a favorites list, it tells so much about someone's personality and particularly about their cinema vision and sensibility. And it's the opportunity to share a part of this filmmaker's cinephile culture.
Related : Exhibition coverage in e-Cahiers (Sept 2007); Errata podcast, Robert Davis and J. Robert talk about Kiarostami's Homework (1989); Girish : Abbas Kiarostami's Early Films; Zach Campbell : Kiarostami Until 1987