The 50th Thessaloniki International Film Festival

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Karpo Godina, Litany of Happy People (1969-71)

Changing notions of what now constitutes ‘mainstream culture’ mean that ideas such as ‘underground’, ‘avant-garde’ or ‘oppositional’, are also in flux. The particularly thorough approach that Bourikas brings to the presentation of avant-garde film allows us to, as he says, “extract the context’” which, in the 20th century, gave the ethos of art experimentation such vitality.

TIFF’s Serbian Kino Clubs screenings, for instance, revive to memory the role that filmmakers in (then) Yugoslavia played in the international conversation about avant-garde film. A legacy of Tito’s program for ‘popular technological education’, the true origins of the Kino Clubs are in avant-garde notions about the revolutionary potential of film technology itself.

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Vassily Bourikas talks to Rosemary Heather

July 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Vassily Bourikas

Vassily Bourikas programmes the Experimental Forum at the Thessalonikki International Film Festival. His passion for the format, combined with an exceptional ability to root-out lost and forgotten film artifacts, make for viewing experiences quite unlike any other. His Amantes Sunt Amentes programme, seen at the 50th edition of TIFF in November 2009, brought together: unknown 8-gage films by the Serb, Ljubomir Šimunić; an equally obscure feature-length film made by Hollywood character actor, Timothy Carey; Super-8 epics from Jeff Keen, an overlooked progenitor of the early British underground; and sui generis feature film experiments by the mad Italian theatre director, Carmelo Bene. Seen together, these works have the effect of demolishing notions one might have that experimental film is a completed project.

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