E.Zeltsman, R.Levchin. OH, FESTIVALS!

aвтор визуальной работы - Photo by V.Kupriianov, idea by Iu.Proskuriakov.

OK, lets's start with 9th Chicago Underground Film Festival. Of course, there was a lot of interesting things (for example, Doris Wishman's Dildo Heaven), but the first and the best thing for us were the films by Alfred Leslie (and he in person!), big surprise and big gift. We knew that American culture is very special, but we didn't know how much special it is. Alfred Leslie is much more surprising, than, say, George Cuchar. A filmmaker, writer, and visua artist, he entered the post-war era of art in 1946 and joined the group of abstract expressionists, who didn't want to do narrative and propagandistic art (he said, "…There was that sense of comradeship and sense of community. It was intergenerational and interdisciplinary… When John Cage had a concert the audience was not other musicians, it was the painters. And the preferred drug at the time was alcohol").
So we did see A.Leslie films, Pull My Daisy, narrated by Jack Kerouac, where featured Allen Ginsberg, Gregoru Corso, and others (it was so strange to see them young and to know: this is the classical underground film! Or, as director said, it was his first realistic, but non-naturalistic work); The Last Clean Shirt, that is now considered a structuralist masterpiece, the story about young lady in the taxi, talking on unknown language, and all story repeats twice with different subtitles; and, of course, The Cedar Bar, Leslie's most important work, wich consist images from hundreds sources. It is based a steged reading of a play that Leslie wrote in 1952, lost in fire 1966 and rewrote in 1986. This is the history of artistic movement, and the pop-culture inventive myths about the abstract expressionists, and a rememberance of a night of heavy art discussion between the artists, now known and famous, as Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, with critic Clement Greenberg. The film intercuts the reading with an assortment of images that evoke the mood of that cultural moment and provide a running commentary of the conservation. The film become more and more complex with each layer, each allusion, with each new clip, changing their contrast, color, speed, rhythm. Some of clips are close-up of hard-porno, and it gives an additional dimention.
A.Leslie himself said, " …The Cedar Bar is a musical, an abstract work. It is non-naturalistic but real, Brechtian in the sense that its reach is in trying to get the audience to participate, to think."
From this very moment we have photo of Alfred Leslie on our computer as a screen saver.
On 38thChicago International Film Festival we enjoyed mostly Monday Morning by Otar Ioseliany, who is, of course, a genius (well, personally we'd say so about S.Paradzhanov, but that's the long story…) and Chinwaseon by Kwon-taek. If the second one is about 19th-century great semi-legendary artist, who was also alcoholic, rebellian, womanizer (in short, romantical hero), the first one is about very usual, common man, who is also an artist and adventurer, who went to Venice from his boring suburban life and met the some sighn NO SMOKING! (Ioseliani himself is playing the old pretentious aristocrat.) So this filmseems absolutely antiromantical, but it isn't! Especially because everywhere we can see the image of Saint-George and his dragon!
On 19th Annual International Children Film Festival we liked very much An Angel for May by Harley Cokeliss. Very contemporary teenager enters a fireplace in an old ruined home and then finds himself in 1940, England of the time of WWII. The fireplace is a time machine, and Tom became sort of profet, because he knows the future. He met girl May, who need older brother, friend, supporter. But after returning in his time he understood that old crazy homeless woman of his time was this girl! And he takes the great risk of rewriting the past!
On the 1st Chicago International Doc Film Festival we were hit by Pier Paolo Pasolini and a Dream's Reason by Laura Betti, and Pier Paolo Pasolini: A Purelu Intellectual Murder by Paolo Bonaldi and Francesca Nesler. Both films were about some unknown Pasolini: poet and marxist, but not the great filmmaker. But really impessive was Bejart Into the Light by Marcel Schupbach about legendary French choreographer Maurice Bejart, his endless experiments and his miracles. Yeah, this festival was something, that we have never seen before!
So, see you next year, folks! We'll meet again. And again. And again…

следующая 4th page of cover of #14 (21)

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