3 de febrero de 2007
45 films against the grain - 45 películas contra dirección
THE ART OF FILM
by Michael Snow
My having the honour to present some of my films and to play a solo piano concert at Xcèntric in May 2006 gave me the opportunity to meet and work with the Xcèntricians.
What they are doing and how they are doing it deeply impressed me.
There is an informed commitment to the fact (surprisingly little understood in the worlds of art, of painting and sculpture, of museums) that since the 1900s visual artists have been working with film as a medium, as a support (like canvas), independent of the "movie" business (which of course has "artists" too).
This area of artistic activity for some reason became more or less detached from the Museums of contemporary art and from the narrative film business and became identified as "Experimental Film".
The very varied body of work that has been produced and is being produced and presented under that categorical title shares one aspect - the work concentrates on the pictorial nature of the medium (not for eg. its story-telling capacities).
I had the good luck to live in New York City from 1962 to 1972, a period of great creativity in the "Experimental Cinema" (also known as Underground Cinema" in those days).
The historically informed decisions as to what work to present and how to properly present it (in the area of "film as art") by Xcèntric are amongst the best in the world today. (maybe Xcèntric is the best!). The commitment to and pleasure in "film-art" manifested by the Xcèntricians reminds me of the great force that Jonas Mekas was for "film-art" in New York in the 60s and after (and today!).
When I lived in New York he wrote a very influential column in the Village Voice, he was an editor of Film Culture, a great film magazine, he led the organization of new film distrubution with the founding of the New York Filmmakers Coop, and most important he organized/ curated regular screening in several theatres in New York. This activity culminated with his leading the creation of Anthology Film Archives, emphasizing the historical importance of the aesthetic achievements of the so-called "Experimental Cinema". As well he's a wonderful filmmaker!
Yes it's his deep appreciation of creativity in the use of the use of the film medium and desire to have as many art aficionados experience and appreciate that creativity that reminds me of the wonderful Xcèntricians I have seen in action in Barcelona.
(More information: http://www.cccb.org)