Screening introduced by Gisèle Rapp-Meichler, in the presence of filmmakers Patrick Bokanowski, Rose Lowder and David Wharry
No actors, camera, image, sound, screen, or even projector or movie theater: in their work with the film material and all the way to its reconstitution on the screen, the filmmakers examine the notion of absence.
In this program, experimental research intersects with efforts to make films perceptible to audiences with visual impairments by using audio description. But how would the authors of audio descriptions narrate experimental films, which often have no narrative? In order to make room for perception, one must describe without interpreting. Like a sensitive plate, the spectator has to pick up sound clues in order to construct a mental image. So how can one render perceptible the rapid and alternating montage of Rose Lowder's Bouquets or the dreamlike images arranged outside of any chronology in Germaine Dulac's Disque 957 and Patrick Bokanowski's La femme qui se poudre? Wouldn't the audio description yield a new version of the film's original intention?
The program opens with Wishful Thinking by David Wharry, a filmmaker who sets out to surprise us by deconstructing the codes and conventions of narrative cinema and who explores here the fundamentals of the cinematic spectacle, in particular through the notion of projection. Maurice Lemaître, alongside the Lettrists, made "imageless" films. To Screen on the Sky, at Night, made with transparent film, must be watched with a sheet of paper rolled up like a telescope.
While these filmmakers deconstruct a process in order to make it perceptible, audio description constructs a system that must lead to the very perception of the film being projected. "The day when audio description is truly successful, we will be able to broadcast films on the radio..." (J. L'Herbon de Lussats); a cinematographic paradox illustrated by Tony Hill's A Sense of Place, which tells, against a black screen, the path of a blind woman describing what she perceives. Produced for a program of short audio works and intended to be presented in a darkened cinema, this film was broadcast on an American radio show.
Specially created for this screening, the setup of the screening will give all audiences — those who see and those who don't — the opportunity to become aware of their capacity to perceive and (re)construct a film. The screening will be followed by a debate with the filmmakers.
General Picture - Episode 3
by David WHARRY
1978 / 16mm / b&w / sound / 4' 15
À PROJETER SUR LE CIEL, LA NUIT
by Maurice LEMAÎTRE
1979 / 16mm / color-b&w / silent / 9' 00
by Germaine DULAC
1928 / DCP with audio description / b&w / silent / 6' 00
by Rose LOWDER
1994-1995 / DCP with audio description / color / silent / 11' 33
LA FEMME QUI SE POUDRE
by Patrick BOKANOWSKI
1970-1972 / DCP with audio description / b&w / sound / 18' 00
A SENSE OF PLACE
by Tony HILL
2003 / DCP / b&w / sound / 5' 00
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