Neo-realist essays on the Catalan countryside, home images of agonies and deaths, and avant-garde experiments make the offer of Heterodocsias Rewind 2011. In two sessions under the general title Amateur Film Under the Influence, the section that probes the depths of the least orthodox, sometimes forgotten, Spanish film is to focus on Spanish amateur films of the 1930s-1950s –films shot under the wing of avant-garde and neo-realism. Although studies of amateur film in Spain do exist, it is still an unexplored field for contemporary audiences. This is why Heterodocsias Rewind is taking it up: to show some of the most valuable specimens to today’s spectators. Moreover, the avant-garde session will feature the live music of Mursego, the solo project of multi-instrument player Maite Arroitajauregi.
Shot by amateur filmmakers who openly flirt with the avant-garde and neo-realist styles, these are films in which “cineístas” (this is how amateur filmmakers used to call themselves) go beyond their referents to break away from formal, narrative, and even political traditions. For instance, El nostre pa de cada dia, a 10’ film shot by Ramón Bardés and Joan Blanquet in Sabadell in 1950, described in the credits as a “neo-realist essay.” Or In memoriam de la abuelita Mercedes, the 8’- film in which Pere Font feverishly recorded the agony and death of his mother, which questions many of the clichés of family films.
The selection includes films by some of the most remarkable amateur filmmakers in Spain, like Delmiro de Caralt, and the work of legendary director Lorenzo Llobet Gracia, whose only commercial title, Vida en sombras (1948), is now considered to be one of the masterpieces of Spanish film. To these we should add recently recovered or restored films, such as Una aventura vulgar (Antonio Crespo, 1953) or El andamio (Rogelio Amigo, 1958), which showed a Spain quite different from the one depicted in pro-government media.
To cap it off, the avant-garde session will include the live music of Mursego. The multi-instrument player Maite Arroitajauregi, who worked with Victor Iriarte in the trailer of Punto de Vista 2010, has released her second album, Bi. She is now adding the soundtrack to several films, which she will perform live during their screening. The recontextualisation of these films in the present and their screening at Punto de Vista mean the rewriting of the history of Spanish film beyond the traditional boundaries and constraints that have led to the distinction between professional and amateur filmmaking.