PETER KUBELKA: Metaphoric films

The screening of metaphoric films of Peter Kubelka, a pioneer of experimental cinema, legendary Austrian director and theorist, one of the founders of the Austrian Film Museum and Anthology Film Archive. "I call these films metaphoric, because their content is told by metaphors between images and sounds", the author said about them. Peter Kubelka will visit Moscow for the first time since the 70s and will personally introduce his works at the festival. Films are screened from 16 and 35mm film.


Austria | 1955 | 16 min | 35mm
Kubelka´s motives for making the film lie in his belief that commercial films do not fully exploit cinematic possibilities. He declares that the place of the plot and its ostensibly disparate scenes in the screen, and the time shall be any time at which the film is shown. Alfred Schmeller

Today, Mosaic in Confidence is deemed the first Austrian avant-garde film. It is composed in a way that emphasizes the importance of its basic parts, the individual shots. The method of their combination does not obey any standardized, conventional pattern, but instead follows its own rules as conceived by the artist, referring reflexively to the construction of the film as a whole. It seemingly aspires to redefine the relationship of its component parts to the whole. The leitmotif: condensation. Mosaic in Confidence leads us directly to the portal of Adebar, the first, as Kubelka calls it, "metric" film, and the first truly structural film. Peter Tscherkassky


Austria | 1966 | 12 min | 16mm
A documentary in my view is a poem. If you go to the earliest events in mankind you will see that poetry came before pragmatism, every activity of daily life was poetic. Peter Kubelka

Behind the title Our Trip to Africa, suggesting a home movie at norm, a travelogue-travelorama at best, hides one of the most sophisticated visions in the history of the cinema. Like the monumental narratives Peter Kubelka´s film portrays the character of the traveller with as much precision as the continent travelled. P. Adams Sitney

The intensely concentrated quality of Our Trip to Africa stems in part from the multitude connections between image and image, sound and sound and image and sound, that Kubelka orchestrated into a unified whole. Fred Camper


Austria | 1977 | 12 min | 16mm
Arnulf Rainer himself is an artist of unique originality and intensity. His face art, which constitutes the source of imagery of Pause! is a chapter of modern art in itself. [...] During the first images I had an existential fear. Kubelka had to consume and to transcend not only Arnulf Rainer but also to transcend the entire genre of contemporary art known as face art. A few images more and my heart regained itself and jumped into exitement: both Rainer and Art disintegrated and became molecules, frames of movement and expression, material at the disposal of the Muse of Cinema. Jonas Mekas


Austria | 1996-2003 | 13 min | 35mm
Releasing Poetry and Truth, said Peter Kubelka, required some courage. A great many people who think highly of his previous film oeuvre could have been disappointed. The filmmaker himself claimed to have undergone a radical change in position, from the role of perfectionist artist to that of hunter and gatherer. For this reason the footage for three commercial spots which makes up Poetry and Truth must be considered intentionally gathered rather than found footage.
The beginning of all art is the ready-made. Even today an Inuit carver will carry an evocatively shaped stone around until he discovers the image it contains. Minimal changes are then made until this image becomes visible to others too. A minimally corrected ready-made is what Kubelka had in mind – at the same time leaving room for further archeologist questions we cannot imagine at present. The film already contains the answers. Peter Tscherkassky
Some films will be repeated: OUR TRIP TO AFRICA.


Peter Kubelka

Peter Kubelka, director and art historian, was born in Vienna in 1934.
Since the 1950's Peter Kubelka has been an influential figure of the international avant-garde of cinema. He is one of the founders of the Austrian Museum of Cinema, which he directed until 2001. And in 1970, together with Jonas Mekas, he founded one of the largest American archives of experimental cinema Anthology Film Archives. Peter Kubelka was a professor at the Städel Schule in Frankfurt.
Kubelka is also known as a non-writing theorist, using non-verbal elements, such as mimic, music, food, objects, tools in his lectures.
The screening is supported by Austrian Cultural Forum in Moscow
September 27
Stanislavsky electrotheatre, 16+
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