Pordenone 2007 – a reconstructed diary of hypotheses

October 30, 2007 § Leave a comment

If you’ve never gone to Pordenone, then you just have to go next year. This was my first year, and what a treat it is! Gorgeous prints, even better musical accompaniment, and for someone like me who just doesn’t know anybody and doesn’t do much socializing, a chance to get lost in foggy thoughts about film, aesthetics, acting, lightings and staging issues — in almost perfect oblivion of the real world outside (almost: in the real world I missed my first flight to Italy and got to the festival a day late. Also in the real world, in the city of Pordenone, during that marvelous week, some crazy residents decided to take benches often used by immigrants to sit and turn them into a monument to Intolerance — benches that no-one can use anymore.)

If you’re looking for a clear diary of films shown at Pordenone this year, you might as well start at the indispensable Bioscope, which has a lot of notes on a lot of the films shown this year — even though Luke couldn’t stay until the end.

What I want to do here is reconstruct the thoughts and research ideas, however banal, that I’ve had during that wonderful week of movie watching (to allow you to skip to those I’ll write them in red). Watching six feature films a day (and then all those shorts in-between!) does something to one’s brain. It’s a highly pleasing experience that brings back happy memories of the film-filled afternoons of one’s lazy, Parisian youth. But it’s also a chance to test aesthetic hypotheses on the go. And the wonderful diversity of the Pordenone program, switching from Holland to Italy, Germany to the US, the 1910s to the late 1920s, really helps with providing a sense of perspective.

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