In this online event we presented Leandro Listorti’s The Endless Film (La película infinita), originally scheduled for the 2020 Essay Film Festival. Following the film, there was an online Q+A between Leandro Listorti and researcher Nicholas Freeman.
The Endless Film is an expansive multi-layered compilation film assembled in the archives of the Buenos Aires film museum where the filmmaker is employed. This cinematic experiment retrieves fragments of films that were unfinished or lost, investing new life into objects considered incomplete and invisible, were it not for their reappearance in this new artistic context. The film acts as a valuable film-historical document, showcasing the various thematic and aesthetic currents that Argentinian filmmakers have engaged with from the 1950s to celebrated directors of the so-called ‘New Argentine Cinema’. Archives, memories, traces and remains, these are of fundamental importance for understanding the past, present and future of a country whose records have been routinely buried, burnt and destroyed. In this way, The Endless Film offers a window to forgotten memories, and the work becomes an elegy for the ghosts of Argentina’s dictatorial past. At the same time, the film offers an insight into the materiality of filmmaking, subtly drawing our attention to aspects of production processes such as countdown timers and pen-marked film strips, while the soundtrack makes use of extracts of dialogue and other extraneous audible elements that emerge from behind the camera on a film set. The use of damaged film footage (tramlines, scratches, faded colours, etc.) incorporates new physical elements into the texture of Listorti’s ‘endless film’.
The Essay Film Festival: Research, Critique, Practice
A call for proposals for a student-led symposium reflecting on EFF 2020
As part of its new collaborative partnership with CHASE, the Essay Film Festival is inviting proposals from doctoral students for a student-led symposium exploring essayistic forms and their relationship to academic research, social critique and artistic practice.
Everyone at Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image was very shocked and saddened to hear the news that Professor Thomas Elsaesser had unexpectedly passed away on December 4 while visiting China as part of his guest professorship in Beijing.
Most of us involved in BIMI and the Essay Film Festival team had known Thomas for many years. He had also visited us at Birkbeck several times in recent years, to take part in academic events here, but also as a filmmaker accompanying his marvellous essay work The Sun Island when we screened it in the 2018 Essay Film Festival.
Andrea Bussman is a filmmaker and social anthropologist based in Toronto. Her third film, Fausto, screened at the 2019 Essay Film Festival. Shot on 16mm on Mexico’s Oaxacan coast, it combines an ethnographical exploration of a pre-colonial folkloric world and loosely-adapted anti-empiricist elements from Goethe’s Faust. Her previous short films, 2016’s Tales of Two Who Dreamt and 2011’s Aquel cuyo rostro no irradie luz, similarly blended elements of documentary and fiction.