The special programme dedicated to the choreography art in cinema comes back at the Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival (BIEFF) due on March 14th-20th with the first fictional dance film/opera-film shot in Switzerland at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which is the headquarter of the Largest Particle Accelerator ever built in the world.
The dance movies are rejoined this year in the Of Love and Other Demons programme, a projection that has been sold-out last year at BIEFF, made in partnership with Cinedans – Dance on Screen Festival Amsterdam. The programme is presented with the support of Switzerland, Israel and the Netherlands embassies in Bucharest.
The Transgressive Bodies programme focuses in the cultural, sexual, economic or psychological constraints faced by the human body. Sometimes celebrated, sometimes discredited, these transgressions help us understand our human nature more thoroughly.
Early bird passes providing access to all the BIEFF screenings and events are available as of Tuesday for the promotion price of RON 75 (also including the catalogue of the festival). The offer is valid from March 1st to March 8th with the passes being available online on Eventbook. Details on the films and news are available at www.bieff.ro.
Of Love and Other Demons
The digital art, dance and physics are intertwining in the Symmetry, where Ruben van Leer masterly uses a mix of choreography and sound to present the two sides of our comprehension, the rational and the emotional ones. The movie tells the story of a researcher who is passionately working on the theory of the integral, as well as on the one of the smallest particle. His efforts are interrupted by soprano Clarin McFadden’s voice, who leads him to an inner world, a metaphor of the way that the impulse for the rational knowledge is springing out of the deepest layers of the emotional level.
Choreographer Mor Shani embarks on a long study over intimacy in Love-ism, searching for questions related to the love and dependence to another human being, on a scale that oscillates from sin to sacredness.
In A Short History of Madness, Isabelle Hayeur signs the choreography of the psychiatric proceedings practiced in Quebec through the past century and a half. From the Victorian-type desert mental hospital, to the sordid warehouse from the outskirts and to the room of a teenager who is trying to recreate a family environment but who is failing, the female director takes us into a exploration journey through the ways that society is treating the dreadful but fascinating madness.
Gianni Grot’s goal to advertise hip-hop as a form of theatre is brightly taking shape in the Farm of Memories, the touching portrait of a young man yearning for love and safety. The heavy emotional choreography is molding a fluid story that oscillated from conscious to unconscious and which is inhabited by visions probably unleashed by the content of a syringe injected in the vein.
Transgressive Bodies – subversive approaches over human sexuality and corporality
The Transgressive Bodies theme program compiles five films that push the boundaries of the body and its cinematographic representation. Mixing genre film, video art, documentary and activist forms, the selection threads themes of memory, sexuality, rivalry and childhood through actual or hypothesized conditions of the body.
BIEFF’s longtime favourite Bertrand Mandico returns with another tale of the psycho-sexual bizarre, the aptly titled Our Lady of Hormones, successfully screened at Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival 2015. Shot in textured Super 16mm and bursting with the artistic glee of a passionate genre cinephile, Mandico’s film employs rear-projection, stunning technicolour and a lively and decadent mise-en-scene to tell the erotic story of rivalry between two actresses who become obsessed by a living-and-breathing, hairy lump of meat. A veritable surreal experience which genre-hops through comedy, suspense and horror, Our Lady of Hormones is a cautionary tale of human nature’s impotence of domesticating the very (primal) impulses we desire.
Working at the threshold of documentary, diary and essayistic cinema, Antoinette Zwirchmayr’s The Pimp and His Trophies is an oneiric recall of the director’s childhood memories of her grandfather – one of Salzburg’s most infamous pimps. Winner of the Best Documentary Film Award at Diagonale Graz 2014, screened in the prestigious festivals such as Toronto International Film Festival 2015, Festival dei Popoli etc., the film is beautifully shot on 35mm and exuding the claustrophobic ambience of conflicting memories, employing archival photographs and atmospheric shots of the brothel’s plush interiors as associative stopgaps for the voiceover narrations. At the center of it all lies a structuring absence enveloping the corporeal spectres of the family’s illicit business. Hearing of the grandfather’s love for hunting, the titular mementos take on a new life, materializing from the limbo-state of memory through the process of cinematic reflection.
Renowned Romanian artist Călin Dan marks his return to BIEFF with Still Life, Poire Gelée, a meditative companion-piece to his 2012 film Still Life, 20th C. Where the former film operated within the tradition of fiction and documentary cinema, Still Life, Poire Gelée goes deeper within the conceptual realm of video-art. Ideas of architectural form, memory and maternal lineage all converge in the symbolic life-cycle depicted the gradual build-up and eventual erosion of a mound of white powder. Beneath it all lies the female form, tranquil and contemplative, pulsating to the rhythm of life within the granules of time.
Paedophilia – a taboo that elicits immediate and unshaken aversion, but what if you were the one afflicted by it? Best International Short Film at the Montreal International Documentary Festival 2015 and winner of the Uppsala Award in Memory of Ingmar Bergman at Uppsala International Short Film Festival 2015, Guido Hendrikx’ Among Us takes us through the confessions of three highly-educated, closeted pedophiles, as they describe their history of discovery, repression and (impossible) reconciliation with this affliction. Hendrikx captures the poetic bliss and dizzying confusion of the three subjects’ self-confessed trigger of visualization by focusing on the greyscale palette of the black-and-white cinematography. Never exploitative or sensationalistic in dealing with the unsettling dimension of its subject, Among Us operates as a non-judgemental platform for the avowal of repression’s life-long trauma. he film is presented at BIEFF with the kind support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
With YOU ARE BORING!, Vika Kirchenbauer (Uppsala International Short Film Festival 2015, New YorkQueer Experimental Film Festival 2015, Hamburg International Short Film Festival 2015) delivers a steady but assured wake-up slap in the face to our repressed, closeted spirit. Through soothing and beckoning direct-address, a choir of people take turns addressing the camera, looking at (you!) the patient, passive, pent-up viewer. Their aim: to sell you, through stiff-and-stuffy yet campily nonchalant rhetoric, their performative bodies of difference and vicarious experience for your personal fantasy wish-fulfillment. Wonderfully subversive and confrontational, YOU ARE BORING! forces us to take a long, hard look at our inner (prudish) limits, while pondering the outer ramifications of our cultural hegemony’s consumption of difference. Rather than a jolt, the film leaves us with a warm, embraceful slap to the politics of representation of our normative society.