Films on Saturday, April 8: Reading Remains

  • Chang Yŏnghye Junggongŏp, End Credits.

Programme 2: Reading Remains

Cultural Arena Gloria (Kulttuuriareena Gloria), address: Pieni Roobertinkatu 12,  9-11 p.m. Durance 88 min. After the programme Olaf Möller will discuss with artist Norbert Pfaffenbichler.


Film critic Olaf Möller tells the background story for his selection of films in Programme 2:

“Another element of Plate Convergences was an installation-performance called Smashing Exercise – a piece all about shards, the remains of objects, sometimes self-made sometimes found. This program is full of films and videos crafted from bits and pieces of discarded materials, as well as cine-ready-mades (ie. films found somewhere and exhibited sans alterations); two works involving language bracket the whole – same way that a film traditionally opens and ends with words.”

Take a look Programme 1: Imagining Japan.

Ihminen ja tiede  [x 3]

2011/17, Mika Taanila, 1’21’’, 16mm.

Mika Taanila found a film reel of television subtitles in a trashcan. Presented as an installation piece, projected as a loop, the click-clacking of the apparatus in concert with the almost impossible-to-read words on the film strip make for a hallucinatory, maybe a bit mystical experience. Here, we’ll show the footage thrice in a row – as a brief but ecstatic call to the Gods of avant-garde cinema, modern science and philosophy.


2016, Manfred Schwaba, 3,5’’, 35mm.

Manfred Schwaba always wanted to film serious waves. When he heard that a friend of his travelled to the Atlantic ocean, he handed her a small camera. Here’s what he found when he got the camera handed back… Atlantic35 is in fact only some three and a half seconds long. Like a breeze it will drift through the audience. Once asked about presenting the film in a loop as an installation he brusquely declined – Atlantic35 shall never be more than an apparition!

Perfect Film

1985, Ken Jacobs, 21’45”, 16mm.

Ken Jacobs didn’t know what he got when he bought a film reel – and found on it some film materials. Which turned out to be politically explosive: A series of eye-witness accounts detailing the assassination of Malcolm X on February 21st 1965 in the Audubon Ballroom, New York. Here it was, one of the most perfect allegories on the 20th century imaginable: Testimony pertaining a major political crime – treated as trash, probably because the victim as well as the (purported…) perpetrators were all black. The film treated as an objet trouvé tell it all.


1997, Norbert Pfaffenbichler & Jürgen Moritz, 4’, digital.

Norbert Pfaffenbichler & Jürgen Moritz wanted to try out what they could do with a then state-of-the-art digital zoom: what it would do with an image. From a pile of cans they’d recently acquired they chose one containing – some of modern Austrian history’s most loaded footage, showing the aftermath of the so-called Schattendorf trial (during which a group of right-wing vigilantes went away scot-free with murder). The two artists claim they had no overt political intentions with they choice of material – and yet, it’s difficult to ignore the implications once one knows the images’ origins and content, even if they’re deformed almost beyond recognition. Almost….

Futari no chōkyori Runner no kodoku

1966, Noda Shinkichi, 10’.

Half a minute from the 1964 Tōkyō Olympics: A runner unknown seems to emerge from nowhere and challenge Ābebe Bīk’īla, winner of the 1960 Rome Olympics marathon and on the way to do something unprecedented: defend his title. The other runner is just one of the many following the race from the sidewalk – judging by his looks, he just wants to celebrate the event. Yet, if he touches Ābebe, the Ethiopian champion will be disqualified – and the Olympics end with a scandal. Police officers prevent that. Noda Shinkichi looped those ~30 seconds 20 times, so that one can really ponder the moment’s many implications.

Discrepancy [12 screen version]

2016, William E. Jones, 9’36’’, HD.

For some time, the Central Intelligence Agency sold DVDs made from films they “got hold of” over the years. The films were made available only for a limited amount of time, and one never knew exactly what one actually got – one bought A North Korean Propaganda Short, Chinese Atomic Test Footage, etc. The All-knowing Trash Heap had become the site of a garden sale through which a US governmental agency tried to make some money with the (what they probably thought of as) trash they’d piled up over the decades. William E. Jones acquired whatever The Company released. Some of his finds he’d re-edit to fit a soundtrack featuring a condensed Lettrist tract on cinema. The version presented here contains all twelve shorts made that way, making for a mighty heady trip through the paranoid imagination of the 20th century.


1991, Eino Ruutsalo, 11’, 35mm.

As a sum symbolic of his life’s work in cinema, Eino Ruutsalo, arguably Finland’s first major proponent of experimental cinema, took deleted scenes from many of his films, damaged them physically in his studio and created this mash-up. Is it a piece of auto-analysis? Or a jestful gesture saying: You haven’t seen anything yet! Lots of sound, lots of fury.


2014, Fulvio Baglivi, 11’, 35mm.

Fulvio Baglivi works at the Cineteca Nazionale in Rome where he takes care of restorations. Over the years, masses of snippets from various movies have piled up under his editing table. One day, he took a broom, swept them all up, and started to look at what sense could be found in these random odd ends – what beauty all rhythm all structure could be created using mere movie remains.

End Credits

2007/14, Chang Yŏnghye Junggongŏp, 17’, digital.

The Sŏul-based collective Chang Yŏnghye Junggongŏp (that is Chang Yŏnghye and Marc Voge) creates text animations for the internet – speedy stories occasionally full of digressions and dead ends, animated with Adobe Flash and presented invariably in Monaco (a font those name pleases them; some prefer Wingdings 2…) This here is a story of death and mourning, as it becomes a program devoted to acts of worship performed mostly in analogue cinema’s twilight – it’s last gleaming; that this story comes from the digital Erewhon might amuse some.