From ecstasy to rapture

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Impresiones en la alta atmósfera (José Antonio Sistiaga, 1989)From ecstasy to rapture. 50 years of the Other Spanish Cinema is the name of the touring retrospective, a co-production between the CCCB and SEACEX. featuring an anthology of the Spanish experimental cinema from the mid-1950s and on. The retrospective will be divided in six themed programmes featuring 43 works, screened in 35mm and Betacam, all of them featuring restored and/or new prints. The list of authors selected for this anthology is impressive: representatives from the late 50s (José Val del Omar, Joaquim Puigvert and Eugenio Granell), the 1970s (Carles Santos, Javier Aguirre, Eugeni Bonet, José Antonio Sistiaga and Iván Zulueta) and the younger generations from the late 1990s-2000s (David Domingo, Oriol Sánchez and Laida Lertxundi). The retrospective has already eigth confirmed venues: ACMI, Melbourne (Oct.2009), Anthology Film Archives-New York (Mar.2010), National Gallery-Washington (Jan.-Feb.2010), Bass Museum of Art of Miami (Jan.-Feb.2010), Image Forum Experimental Film Festival-Tokyo (Apr.2010), MNCARS-Madrid (May.2010), CCCB-Barcelona (May.2010) and TATE-London (Mar.-Apr.2011); and nearly twenty more in preparation for the next three years.

The retrospective will have a 2-disc DVD catalogue featuring 31 films and a 160-page booklet, to be released by Spanish publisher Cameo next October 7th.

From ecstasy to rapture. 50 years of the Other Spanish Cinema. A co-production by the CCCB and SEACEX. Retrospective curator: Antoni Pinent; DVD curators: Antoni Pinent and Andrés Hispano; Coordination: Gloria Vilches; Direction: Carolina López.

Programme 1. Documentos / Itinerarios (Documents / Itineraries)
The opening programme in the retrospective starts with a piece by José Val del Omar, visionary filmmaker and inventor, and one of the most outstanding figures in spanish cinematography. Fuego en Castilla ('Fire in Castille') is part of his unfinished work “Tríptico elemental de España” ('Elemental Tryptich of Spain'). Other filmmakers appearing in this programme are the architect Gabriel Blanco, usually know as an animator, but who is featured here with a documentary film showing us the daily chores of a spanish citizen in any given Sunday in the suburbs; multidisciplinary artists Benet Rossell and Antoni Miralda take us on a journey throgh bellic inconography; and José Luis Guerin, who after making his debut with the feature film Los motivos de Berta (1983) made this short film reminiscent of what's called today essay film. Closing the programme, a documentary film by Virginia García del Pino about the laboral identity of those working with death, filth and sex.

- Fuego en Castilla (José Val del Omar, 1958-59)
- De purificatione automobilis (Gabriel Blanco, 1974)
- Miserere (Antoni Miralda y Benet Rossell, 1979)
- Souvenir (Silvia Gracia y José Luis Guerin, 1985)
- Lo que tú dices que soy (Virginia García del Pino, 2007)

Programme 2. Apropiaciones / Gran Super 8 (Appropiations / Great Super 8)
This programme presents a batch of pieces shot in Super8, a film format that was born in 1965 and is still in use today and another one of found-footage films. Some works belong to both genres, such as For/Against by Eugènia Balcells or Súper 8 by David Domingo. This programme creates a dialogue between filmmakers from separate generations: those who formed part of the avat-gardian attempt in experimental film in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia in the 70s (commanded by Eugeni Bonet, Juan Bufill, Manuel Huerga and Eugènia Balcells) and the new filmmakers from the late 90s and on.

- For / Against (Eugènia Balcells, 1983)
- Minnesota 1943 (Toni Serra, 1995)
- Alice in Hollywoodland (Jesús Pérez-Miranda, 2006)
- Súper 8 (David Domingo, 1997)
- Bloodfilm (Marcel Pey, 1975)
- Roulette Wheel (Luis Cerveró, 2005)
- Signaturas (síntesis) (Juan Bufill, 2008)
- I Love You Because (Lope Serrano Sol, 2007)
- 22arroba (Maximiliano Viale, 2008)
- Photomatons (Eugeni Bonet, 1976)
- A escala del hombre (David Reznak, 1991)
- Copy Scream (Oriol Sánchez, 2005)
- Brutal Ardour (Manuel Huerga, 1979)

Programme 3. Experimentos Animados: Ritmo, Luz Y Color (Animated experiments: Rythm, Light and Colour)
This collective programme spans very different periods of time in the history of Spanish cinema, though all the pieces are joined by the common denominator of experimentation in animation films, from narrative to abstraction. The techniques used and their results are diverse: classic studies on the correspondence between colour and music (Aguirre, Mestres, Sirera), cameraless cinema (Puigvert, Artigas, Granell), stop-motion animation (Marimón, Pié Barba), the stroke as an outline (Amat, Oñederra, Etcheverry), collage animation (Herguera) and sand over glass animation (Vicario).

- Forma, color y ritmo (Josep Mestres, 195)
- Ballet Burlón (Fermí Marimón, 1959)
- Exp. I / II (Joaquim Puigvert, 1958-59)
- Pregunta por mí (Begoña Vicario, 1996)
- Pintura 63 (Ton Sirera, 1963)
- Hezurbeltzak, una fosa común (Izebene Oñederra, 2007)
- Ritmes cromàtics (Jordi Artigas, 1978)
- Spain loves you (Isabel Herguera, 1988)
- Espectro siete (Javier Aguirre, 1970)
- Lluvia (Eugenio Granell, 1961)
- La 72.024 mil'lèssima part d’un any (Marcel Pié Barba, 2008)
- Danse noire (Frederic Amat, 2006)
- Monos (Juan Pablo Etcheverry, 1997)

Programme 4. Pintura – Movimiento (Painting / Movement)
...ere erera baleibu izik subua aruaren... , a set of words without any meaning, form the title of the first and only feature film in the histoy of spanish cinema fully painted, using the technique of cameraless animation. José Antonio Sistiaga uses 35mm film as a blank canvas – transparent, to be precise-, applying the paint directly on celluloid. Made over 17 months, without any figurative elements or soundtrack, the result is a piece unable to be descripted with words, made to be contemplated in its film form. A peerless pleasure for the eyes.

- …ere erera baleibu izik subua aruaren… (José Antonio Sistiaga, 1968-70)

Programme 5. Investigaciones / Metacine (Investigations / Metacinema)
The last of the collective programmes tries to reflect the essence of cinema in its different angles, from the reflection on the medium itself or the metacinematographic essay (Lertxundi, León Siminiani, Rivera, de Pedro) to the blank screen (Casas Brullet), and the diverse relations of cinema with other arts such as dance (Marimón y Ramos), performance (Santos), photography (Lacuesta, Cosmen) or cinematic poetry (Padrós).

- Blanc Dérangé (Blanca Casas Brullet, 2008)
- Límites (1ª persona) (Elías León Siminiani, 2009)
- Travelling (Lluis Rivera, 1972)
- Teoría de los cuerpos (Isaki Lacuesta, 2004)
- Figura (Gonzalo de Pedro, 2007)
- In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni (Jorge Cosmen, 2003)
- BiBiCi Story (Carles Durán, 1969)
- Farce Sensationelle! (Laida Lertxundi, 2004)
- In crescendo (Joan Marimón y Jesús Ramos, 2001)
- Ice Cream (Antoni Padrós, 1970)
- LA RE MI LA... (Carles Santos, 1979)

Programme 6. Arrebatado (Enraptured)
The retrospective closes with the masterpiece in Iván Zulueta's filmography, a cult film in spanish cinema. The filmmaker uses here many of the techniques he previously used in his short films such as A Mal Gam A, Frank Stein or Kinkón, filmed in Super8, and sticks together many different topics that had him obsessed since his childhood. An hypnotic feature film, carrying no little mysticism and susceptible of diverse interpretations, Arrebato has been unfairly overlooked outside our borders.

- Arrebato (Iván Zulueta, 1980)