With this new section, Oberhausen wants to foreground a facet of cinema that usually commands little attention: the archiving and restoration of experimental films. Occasional gala screenings of elaborately restored feature films are only the tip of the iceberg – the fact is that the majority of worldwide efforts in this field, in particular involving short films, remain largely invisible to the public. In order to change that, Oberhausen will begin in 2013 to annually invite film archives to present restoration projects and discuss their strategies and methods.
Kicking off the programme in 2013:
The Cinémathèque Française, founded by Henri Langlois, is one of the most renowned film archives in the world. Their film screenings in the 1940s and 50s influenced directors like Robert Bresson and René Clément and, most of all, the filmmakers of the Nouvelle Vague. The Cinémathèque will present films by Albert Pierru, most notably Fantaisie sur 4 cordes (1957) and Surprise Boogie (1957), both with music by Robert Gambier. Painted on the print and inspired by jazz music, they illustrate the importance of those experiences between jazz and direct print painting. The prints were restored in collaboration between the archive, the family of Albert Pierru and Les Films du Jeudi.
Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
The Pacific Film Archive is part of the art collection founded by the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963. The archive's holdings, today encompassing 14,000 films and videos, focus on innovative, experimental and socially critical work. Presentation, teaching and research are its main missions.
In Oberhausen, the Pacific Film Archive will show excerpts from Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945 à 2000. The project, curated by Kathy Geritz, Steve Seid and Steve Anker, includes a publication, an exhibition and an extensive film and video series featuring both well-known works and rediscoveries.
Slovenska kinoteka, Ljubljana
The Slovenska kinoteka, launched in 1996 by the Slovenian government. It has the mandate to build, preserve and present a collection of films from all over the world. The Kinoteka also organises exhibitions, conducts research projects and issues publications on the history of film.
In Oberhausen, the Kinoteka will present three recently restored early works by Karpo Godina: Pes (1966), Divjad (1965) and A. P. (1966), all three shot on Super 8 with camerawork that, in contrast to what we've seen in better-known films like Gratinirani mozak Pupilije Ferkeverk, proves to be extremely agile. Karpo Godina will put in a personal appearance in Oberhausen.