Essential filmmakers like Joris Ivens, Werner Herzog, Harmut Bitomsky or the Lumière brothers share space in the six programmes that round off the extensive retrospective devoted to the central theme of this edition: FLYING. These six programmes include films that offer a vertical look to see beyond the clouds, reflect on the flight of the legendary B52 bomber, present the philosophers who have turned falls like that of Icarus into art or compile experiences of passion for flight through a census of different inhabitants who populate the skies.
FLYING 4-THE VERTICAL LOOK (56 min)
The division is clear: there are filmmakers who look to the sky and filmmakers who are tied to the ground. Here, we welcome the former, the recorders of a vertical look that flies with the eyes and tries to scrutinise beyond the clouds, like Antonioni in his memoirs. Their films are an invitation to place your hands behind your head, lied down in the grass and look upwards and to do so wordlessly. With the permission of James Benning, there are seven skies here.
1-Sky Blue by Maki Satake (2003, 1 min, no dialogues)
2-Two Skies by Lukas Marxt, (2013, 4' 25 min, no dialogues)
3-Des nuages aux fêlures de la terre, by Philippe Cote (2007 / silent / 18 min)
4-Heathrow, by Dryden Goodwin (1994, 13 min, English phrases)
5. Proximity by Inger Lise Hansen (2006, 4 min, no dialogues)
6-Tranquility, by Siegfried A. Fruhauf (2010, 6 min, no dialogues)
7-Clouds, by Peter Gidal, (1969, 10 min, no dialogues)
FLYING 5-PORTRAIT OF A BOMBER
B-52, Hartmut Bitomsky's (1998, 104 min)
On this occasion, our programme on flight is taken to the Navarra Film Library to show the B side of aviation: the air can be enjoyed from the sky, the dream of connecting distances can be fulfilled, feeling like a bird… but this command can also be used for war, espionage and other evils of the human being developed from the skies. The great German documentary maker, Harmut Bitomsky, made a credible portrait of one of these monsters of the sky in this film at the end of the 1990s, the mythical B52 bomber, which is a portrait of North America’s command of the sky in our century. In his peculiar style, the director from Bremen does not stay in the air and also seeks the other side on earth. Bitomsky gives the voice to the American pilot who launched 2,250 tonnes of bombs and then interviews the Vietnamese man who found his wife cut into two in his demolished house. The plane’s black box is fully stripped, from Palomares, which is not far from us, to Vietnam, Kosovo and Iraq… until the historic plane is turned into scrap that is recycled in diving equipment or in pieces of art that are cast into columns for an altar. The film, which was premiered in Berlin in 2001, is an example of how to pilot a documentary and the presence of the director to debate it will help: Harmut Bitomsky, film essayist, author of 40 documentaries and editor of the prestigious magazine, Filmkritik, for a decade.
FLYING 7-THE BASE OF THE AIR IS RED. AND GREEN. AND BLUE. (120 min)
Three experiments to capture the hardest thing in film: the wind. After scrutinising the sky and its clouds in the previous programme, we move on to another of the basic elements: the air, where the greatest freedom of flight occurs, among other things: gliding. Three looks that are heard for what is not seen and once more present us with man faced with the mystery of the unattainable. It is a poetic, committed and conceptual film, in which the micros aren’t wearing windbreakers.
1-Maître-vent, by Simon Quéheillard, 22 min, 2012
2-Plastic Bag, by Ramin Bahrani, (2009, 18 min, English dialogues)
3-Une histoire de vent, by Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan (1988, 80 min, French, Chinese dialogues)
FLYING 8- AIR WALKERS (96 min)
Under Ionesco’s verse, some inhabitants who transit the sky are presented: bird men, ski jumpers, divers, springboard divers, parachutists and other illustrious challengers of gravity who make the air their home. Wind figures who share with stylists – those preachers like Simon of the Desert – the love for caressing the air in the face and the desires of abandoning the earth to jump into the sky, even for a few moments.
1-Death Jump - Franz Reichelt jumps off the Eiffel Tower (1,36” / 1912)
2-Del tuffarsi e dell'annegarsi, by Paolo Gioli (1972, 11’)
3-Clockshower, by Gordon Matta-Clark (1973, 13’)
4-The Great Ecstasy of the Woodcarver Steiner, by Werner Herzog (1974, 43’)
5-Carniceros del aire, by Enrique Urdanoz (1992, 25’)
FLYING 9- ICARUS AND COMPANY (56min)
Philosophers who have made art from falling like Icarus, Yves Klein, Bas Jan Ader… and these three filmmakers, where the legend of the son of Daedulus and the topic of the fragility of his wings is revisited from different points of view, but through a common pulse: failure as a significant part of the flight and its regeneration.
1-Ten Minutes Before The Flight Of Icarus, by Arunas Matelis (10’, 1990).
2-Fall, by Tom Dewitt (1971, 16' 30’)
3-The Fall of Ikar, by Yuri Shiller (2003, 30’, Russian dialogues)
FLYING 10-AEROPHILE (63 min)
The passion for flight, this drug of the air and winged happiness that consumed Saint Exupery and Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron, and kicks off here in film, with the Lumière brothers filming the flight of a dirigible balloon twice. A century later, airspace is extended like a huge human laboratory to challenge vertigo and gravity. Closing your eyes and dreaming of the air, from the heights of a lost village in Lithuania or from the darkest corner of the sidereal kingdom. It all started in childhood, when the bed of the first dreams becomes a space ship capable of transporting us to the end of the universe.
1-Expérience du ballon dirigeable by M= Santos-Dumont: II, (1901, 50 sec) Lumière Brothers Association.
2-Panorama pris d'un ballon captif, (1898, 50 sec) Lumière Brothers Association.
3-Antigravitacija (Anti-gravitation), by Audrius Stonys (20 min, 1995)
4- Meteor, by Matthias Muller & Christoph Girardet (2011, 15 min)
5-Spin by Martin Hansen (1986, 8 min)
6-Orbit by Giuseppe Boccassini (2016, 15 min)
7-Atlas by Jakub Korselt (2013, 3 min)