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Scratch Collection / October 3, 2023


Light Cone presents the third edition of Scratch Collection, a journey through our catalogue of 6,500 films whose goal is to draw up a great world atlas of experimental cinema and reaffirm Light Cone as an evolving and thriving collection.

Light Cone entrusts the programming of this screening series to a guest (film historian, curator, programmer, filmmaker) who undertakes a residency in order to revisit the history of experimental cinema by exploring this exceptional collection; without any encyclopaedic pretension, since it is not a question of creating an anthology of classics, the programmer-in-residence is invited to take a fresh and personal look at Light Cone's film catalog, marked by her or his own subjectivity - including possible lapses and obsessions... Each edition is thus a rediscovery of a film collection in perpetual evolution.

The 2023 Scratch Collection screenings will take place at the Luminor Hôtel de Ville (Paris 4th) in addition to our monthly Scratch Projection screenings, our biennial Scratch Expanded evening at the Voûtes (Paris 13th), an event dedicated to expanded cinema forms. The closing night will take place at the Berthelot Theater in Montreuil, in collaboration with Les Instants Chavirés.

We have entrusted the programming of this third edition to Mika Taanila, filmmaker and artist from Helsinki who works on the edge of experimental cinema, documentary film and video art. To embark on this challenge, Mika Taanila has decided to explore Light Cone’s collection through the prism of what was, for him as a teenager, the gateway to the art world: music. He thus composed six programmes that he conceived as "a mixtape in six movements", a compilation of music and other sonic adventures that retrace his own world as a music lover and invite us to "listen to the images".

For me, music was the gateway to art. In my family there was not that much exposure to the arts in general. My father was a geologist and my mom a pharmacist.

When we were teenagers, there were lots of fresh new things going on in popular music: punk, new wave, early synth pop and, of course, the vast gray area that would come to be called “post-punk”. I used to get all the exciting recommendations, news, records and tapes from my friend Anton Nikkilä. My mind was blown away by the music of Wire, This Heat, Tuxedomoon, Cabaret Voltaire et al. At the tender age of 15 – in 1980 – our six-piece band Swissair was formed in Helsinki. That same year, I ventured into home tape experiments under my solo moniker “Musiikkivyöry”. Quite soon, our interests were sliding from intuitive DIY practices towards more conceptual, abstract stuff like the music and ideas of Alvin Lucier and John Cage.

A little bit later, Anton took me to the screenings of the Finnish Film Archive held at Kino Joukola. I guess that’s when my day-dreaming about making films began. I’m glad that I’ve been fortunate enough to collaborate with composers and musicians later on in many of my own films, combining visual sensations with music.

It’s been a great pleasure to watch films at Light Cone and to put together this cycle of music-driven films. I’ve arranged them in loosely thematic sets. It’s a mixtape in six movements. There will be beautiful electronic scores, brutal riffs, careful sonic collages, sweet melodies, joyful musique concrète…and, hopefully, a few totally genre-free sonic adventures. I hope that the ideas and the sheer energy contained in these films and in their great soundtracks will spill and bounce between the programs, as well. I am happy that I’ve also managed to sneak in five totally silent films, where it was necessary for the sake of drama.

Warm thanks to the fantastic Light Cone team for this opportunity, advice, help and encouragement in all phases of this invitation to imagine a “subjective history of experimental film”.

I hope you have a good time listening to these images!

– Mika Taanila


Screenings at the Luminor-Hôtel de Ville (starting at 8:30 pm)

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Closing evening at the Théâtre Berthelot in Montreuil, in partnership with Les Instants Chavirés (doors open at 8:00 pm)

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

With the support of

Finnish Cultural Foundation

In partnership with


email lightcone@lightcone.org