Fictitious Nonfiction – Silent films and live music

12 September, 2022

Image & Sound, the online platform of the “Cultural Center for Image and Sound” NGO, launched a new project, Fictitious Nonfiction – silent film screenings and live music. The program includes four thematic sets showcasing documentary and fiction films made between 1913-1940, curated by film critic Călin Boto and with music by artists Dan Michiu, Irinel Anghel, Andrei Raicu and Mihaela Vasiliu.

The project aims to bring the Romanian silent film archive to the public’s attention and, at the same time, support the contemporary experimental music scene.

With the help of the National Film Archive, six short films featured in the program were digitized for the first time, and the historical film Ecaterina Teodoroiu (dir. Ion Niculescu-Brună, 1931) was remastered.

Fictitious Nonfiction, the current project, started long before we realized it, perhaps when we were in awe of the ending scene of the first Romanian feature film in history – The Independence of Romania (1912) – more precisely, the two minutes of footage documenting the army parade on May 10, 1912. Same with the medical, microscope images inserted in Jenő Janovics’s Transylvanian melodrama Terrors of the World (1920). With each viewing, we ended up researching a part of the early cinema that became crystal clear, that blur between fiction and documentary: between setup and mise-en-scene, between what the camera sees and what it wants to see. Thus, four very different thematic sets took shape, comprising some short films overtly faithful to the curatorial concept and rounded by others rather peripheral to it, but central to the idea, the «story». Because we too – either curators or composers – tell stories using cinematic ready-mades coming from afar; in fact, the inevitable fiction lies not only in what the camera wanted to see, but also in what we wanted to have seen in its time. Or to have heard.” – Călin Boto, curator of the program

The event runs between September 8-29, in Bucharest, with the screenings taking place every Thursday, from 8pm, outdoors, at Rezidența9. The next film sets showing are:

  • 15.09 – Photosensitivity disorders (1931) – medical documentaries, live music by Irinel Anghel;
  • 22.09 – Working people (1914-1939) – ads and industrial documentaries, live music by Andrei Raicu;
  • 29.09 – Military personnel (1914-1931) – newsreels and a fiction film, live music by Mihaela Vasiliu.

Each screening will be followed by discussions with special guests, critics and film historians.

For more details, visit the Image and Sound website and Facebook page.

Photographer and editor, she co-founded Dissolved Magazine. For Films in Frame she brings the news from the film world, in the Monday News column. She likes stories, Monty Python and going to the seaside.