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The 2nd Experimental Forum at Thessaliniki

The Thessaloniki International Film Festival, committed to discovering and showcasing unique works and to providing exceptional and exclusive cinematic experiences, introduced during the 49th TIFF the Experimental Forum, which was extremely well received by critics and audiences alike. For the 50th edition of the TIFF, the Experimental Forum, which grants emphasis on experimental and avant-garde film and is programmed by Vassilis Bourikas, will present a wide variety of film programs and parallel events. The sections of this year’s Forum are the following:

Film Amateurism In Yugoslav Serbia

The Yugoslav film-club platforms, which emerged in the late 1940s, became an instant catalyst for cinematic experimentation and the challenging of mainstream aesthetics and ideas; they functioned as a springboard for the great directors of the Serbian and Yugoslav Underground cinema, such as Vojislav “Kokan” Rakonjac, Dusan Makavejev and Zelimir Zilnik.

During the 50th TIFF, in collaboration with Belgrade's Akademski Filmski Centar, seldom viewed films will be presented in their 8mm and 16mm original prints, in a series culminating in the Experimental Ex-Yu program, including exceptionally rare, influential films from filmmakers who later transcended amateurism to become professional exponents of Yugoslav cinematic innovation.

This program incorporates work by one filmmaker from each ex-Yugoslav republic: Karpo Godina (Slovenia), Bojana Marijan (Serbia), Zlatko Lavanic (Bosnia & Herzegovina) and Vlado Kristl (Croatia). Godina will attend the 50th TIFF to present I Miss Sonja Henie (1971), his omnibus project in which filmmakers such as Makavejev, Tinto Brass, Paul Morrissey, Frederick Wiseman and Milos Forman, collaborated under a strict set of rules to create an immensely bizarre and creative masterpiece.

Amantes Sunt Amentes

The Amantes Sunt Amentes (Lovers are Lunatics) program will present the work of filmmakers Carmelo Bene, Jeff Keen, Timothy Carey and Ljubomir Simunic.

The films of Carmelo Bene, the notorious Italian iconoclast who created extravagant kaleidoscopes of imagery and sound, have never been screened in Greece; Our Lady Of The Turks (Nostra Signiora Dei Turchi, 1968) and Salome (1972) will be presented during this year’s Experimental Forum.

The work of Jeff Keen, one of the earliest British underground filmmakers recently celebrated by the BFI, will be presented through a compilation of selected shorts; Keen’s work, which spans four decades, is known for its and wild combinations of animation techniques and live action footage.

Timothy Carey was an American character actor and underground legend, known for his outrageous antics and for roles in films by Kubrick and Cassavetes. He shot but never finished the psychedelic film Tweet's Ladies of Pasadena, which will be screened in Thessaloniki fresh from its first-ever European presentation in Vienna this October.

Finally, several of Ljubomir Simunic’s shorts will be showcased; the experimental Yugoslavian filmmaker’s work has only been shown once outside his country in 1979.

Farocki and Emigholz

The two most recent films by experimental filmmakers, artists and professors Harun Farocki and Heinz Emigholz will be screened together, not only because of their imaginative kinship, but also because of their common interest in architecture and the way it is so closely associated with the human condition.

Emigholz’s Two Projects by Frederick Kiesler is the latest film in his Photography & Beyond series, celebrating the work and mind of the visionary Austrian architect, while Farocki’s In Comparison focuses on the manufacturing of that small architectural building block, the brick, in different areas of the planet.

Avant Garde For Children

A compilation of selected shorts by Len Lye, Oskar Fishinger, Jonas Mekas, Robert Breer and programmed by filmmaker and composer Pip Chodorov, set out to prove that young children are as able to enjoy the structural and aesthetic concepts of experimental film as an educated scholar of cinema.

Expansions

Expanded/Derailed: The Expansions triptych of the Experimental Forum organizes the Expanded/Derailed program, a daily projection of 16mm films in the Thessaloniki central train station. For 60 minutes every day, experimental films will be screened in the station foyer, thus providing an unexpected experience for Festival guests and unsuspecting passersby alike. The program will include films in which the train itself is protagonist, such as The Georgetown Loop by Ken Jacobs, Dim I Voda by Dragoslav Lazic, and Lumiere’s Train by Al Razutis.

Performance by Metamkine: Founded in 1987, Metamkine (known in French as La Cellule d’ Intervention Metamkine) is a trio comprised of musician Jérôme Noetinger and filmmakers Christophe Auger and Xavier Quérel. They refer to their collaborations as “musico-cinematic” creations: through the use of mirrors, projectors, live soundtracks of tape fragments and synthesizer sounds, and inventive on-stage editing, they produce a new film live in each of their performances. Image, sound and audience response work in an equal partnership and a playful, improvisational spirit plays off well-rehearsed compositions to form a literally unique experience. Metamkine will be performing in Greece for the first time.

Video Installation by Marina Grzinic & Aina Smid: Marina Grzinic is an art critic, curator, professor at The Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Art. Aina Smid is a Professor of art history and editor of a design magazine and together they have collaborated since the 1980s in a punk band, performances and more than 40 video art projects, for which they have received several major awards. For the 50th TIFF, a selection of their works will be revisited, curated by Vassilis Bourikas and Marion Inglessi.

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