Amos Vogel celebrated at the Viennale 2021
The Viennale Film Festival will take place between October 21-31. This year’s main theme is the importance of creating a common space that can be shared by everyone and which should be used to better understand the many changes our society undergoes today. The re-opening of geographical and spiritual borders we’ve been hoping for for so long is the motif of this year’s festival poster.
The trailer for the 59th edition of the Viennale is by British filmmaker Terence Davies, to whom a monography is also dedicated this year. The short film BUT WHY? encapsulates in little more than one minute an elegy to time and life. Cinema has the ability to interpret our epoch through the subjectivity of its authors and multiply these interpretations through the eyes of the viewers.
The Viennale program includes a selection of memorable contemporary features such as Annette (dir. Leos Carax), A River Runs, Turns, Erases, Replaces (dir. Shengze Zhu), All Light, Everywhere (dir. Theo Anthony), Bergman Island (dir. Mia Hansen-Løve), Bloodsuckers (dir. Julian Radlmaier), Petite Maman (dir. Céline Sciamma).
The film as subversive art 2021: A tribute to Amos Vogel
2021 marks the centennial of the birth of filmmaker Amos Vogel (1921-2021), who was forced to emigrate from Austria to the United States at the age of 17, where he managed, throughout his life, to become one of the most influential film curators. He is the founder of Cinema 16 film society and co-founder of the New York Film Festival.
The retrospective does not seek to reproduce any of the film programs put together by Vogel, but to understand his process as an explorer of the cinematic present. In his curatorial practice, the artist has focused on the relation between cinema, politics, and the consciousness of society, bringing to light the unsaid and digging beneath the surface.
The section presents a series of fundamental cinematic productions that have recently been restored. Among them is the last film by Sara Goméz (1942–1974), De Cierta Manera (1977), which is also the first Cuban feature-length film directed by a woman. Here, Goméz explores the question of how to dismantle the legacy of a racist and sexist colonial society.
Documentary filmmaker Segundo de Chomón (1871-1929) is one of the first special effect masters, along with Georges Méliès and Gaston Velle. In collaboration with the Filmoteca de Catalunya, Viennale brings to the public a selection of restored films, which de Chomón directed or collaborated on.
Thoughts and imagination. Works by Fabrizio Ferraro
Deeply inspired by music, philosophy, and poetry, Ferraro’s films reflect on the possibilities and potential of language. In our times, his films become acts of poetic and ethical resistance.
The public will have the opportunity to (re)discover the impressive oeuvre of contemporary director Terence Davies, including his latest film, Benediction, which premiered this year at the Toronto Film Festival and the San Sebastián Film Festival.
Another filmmaker to whom Viennale dedicates a retrospective is actor, director, and screenwriter Henrik Galeen, largely known for his work in the fantastic horror genre – Nosferatu (1922), Waxworks (1924), The Student of Prague (1926), Alraune (1927). Less known to the public are his adventure films or dramas, which now festival-goers will have the opportunity to watch perhaps for the first time.
The Viennale Film Festival will take place between October 21-31. For more info, visit the festival website.