Kort Geknipt (“Cut Short) – later called De Andere Film (“The Other Film)– was a television programme on Belgian television from 1969 until 1976, which showed new, innovative, international, experimental and marginal productions in order to rebel against dominant mainstream narrative cinema. Art Cinema OFFoff revives this programme in honour of this idiosyncratic programme which never eschewed controversy.
For seven years Eric De Kuyper and others brought poetic non-narrative pure cinema to Belgian television screens, like Werner Schroeter’s Eika Katappa (1968), Stephen Dwoskin’s Dyn Amo (1972) and Chantal Akerman’s Saute Ma Ville (1968). The cinematic forms are eclectic and the content is morally challenging. Taboos such as orgies, prostitution, drug use, socialism and homosexuality are not shunned. Enduring sabotage, appalled viewers and internal struggles inevitably bring the programme to an end. De Andere Film was nevertheless a victory for film as an artform. Thanks to the programme, the Belgian audience encountered various underground productions such as Das Neue Kino and London Film-Makers’ Co-Operative.
For the third time Art Cinema OFFoff recreates an episode of De Andere Film which this time features Robert Nelson's War is Hell and Bleu Shut and Standish Lawder's Necrology.
- Robert Nelson; War is Hell, 1968, 29’, B/W, 16mm
War is Hell is perhaps the most challenging film the American director Robert Nelson has ever made. In collaboration with William Allen, Nelson created a war film that does not shy away from the horror of the Korean war. The inevitability of violence, sexual aggression and senseless bloodshed are recurring themes. However, these cruelties are combined with experiment and even wit. War is Hell is a bizarre war circus, where realistic representations of war are seamlessly interwoven with vaudeville gags.
- Robert Nelson; Bleu Shut (30 Minutes), 1970, 33', Colour, 16mm
During 33 minutes we get to see "a boat-game and entertainment". There are several pictures of boats, everytime a boat appears the off-screen players get one minute to choose the right name from five options - for example Huluvit, Aft-r-yew, Please Doo, Dagnabbit, Herump and Gobsa Gals II. If they choose quickly, various images of dogs, Hawaiian dance parties or a love-making pair will appear. If not, a buzzer sounds. Blue Shut (30 Minutes) is typically Nelson, a mix between absurdism and structuralism in which cinematic time is explored in a playful way.
- Standish Lawder; Necrology, 1970, 12', B/W, 16mm
The American film maker, photographer and film historian Standish Lawder is best known for his structuralist and conceptual cinema. In Necrology, dozens of commuters play the leading role, thrown together on an escalator in the New York Grand Central Station. Where they are going is unclear, but in slow motion and played backwards, the commuters seem to be rising to heaven - after all, necrology is a list of the dead. Lawder paints a portrait of people on their way, whose goals, desires and idiosyncrasies slip past the camera's eye.