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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Pure beauté
Pure beauté

Pure beauté

director: Alexandre Alexeïeff
original title: Pure beauté
country: France
year: 1954
running time: 1 min.

synopsis

A lyrical composition of sculptural fragments of the body is celebrated for its precise framing, editing and animation techniques that explores the connections between abstract shapes, sensuality, and erotic attraction. The film was shot using “totalization” - long exposures of movement result in the impression of a static object.

biography

Alexandre Alexeieff (1901-1982) was a Russian-born artist, filmmaker and illustrator who spent most of his life in Paris. Together with his second wife, artist Claire Parker, he invented and used the pinscreen animation and a technique called totalization. He often took inspiration from works of Russian classical music, such as Modest Mussorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition, 1972) and Nikolai Gogol (Nose, 1963). He also created advertisements and illustrations.

more about film

director: Alexandre Alexeïeff
music: Francis Seyrig

other films in the section

steifheit 1–3 / 7
Long term observation of masturbation. Sackl, who uses extreme methods to explore ways of depicting the human body, used a time-lapse camera to record himself masturbating once every ten years, compiling the individual frames and films into a radical ascetic film showing aging and physical transformation.
personal program

steifheit 1–3 / 7

Albert Sackl
Austria / 2018 / 9 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
International Premiere
Ai (Love)
The body and sensibility are celebrated by the renowned Japanese avant-garde artist with a poetic montage of the details of muscle and tissue movements, irritating glances at the crevices and vacant lots. In the spirit of abstract documentarism and accompanied by certain music from Yoko Ono, the skin surfaces touch each other in rhythmically composed approximations of crinkles and crumpling.
personal program

Ai (Love)

Takahiko Iimura
Japan / 1962 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Central European Premiere
Baby Doll
New York go-go dancers Ferne and Irene are preparing to perform and talk about their work. In a witty and empathetic observation, they reflect on their experience, their own dignity and the transformation of the perception of public behavior, which was more of an art form than a utilitarian service.
personal program

Baby Doll

Tessa Hughes-Freeland
United Kingdom / 1982 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Return to Reason
The magnum opus of Dadaist film celebrates the photogenics of discreet objects, where among the captured objects, their mobile rayograms, and engaging asymmetrical shadows, we see a shot of the naked body of Kiki from Montparnassus, muse of the entire interwar artistic generation in Paris, who becomes a graceful projection surface for the penetration of light through the window in a perfect geometry of desire.
personal program

Return to Reason

Man Ray
France / 1923 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Removed
In her collage of pornographic films from the 1970s, Uman uses white paint and nail polish remover to erase the actresses. The blank spots in the shape of the female bodies emphasize and critique their position within the filmed act of sex and seduction, ironically reducing the men to cheap gazes and possessive physical contact.
personal program

Removed

Naomi Uman
Mexico, United States / 1999 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Geography of the body
The wrinkles and curves of a naked female and male body, shot from unexpected angles through a magnifying glass, provoke an associative stream of commentary by British poet George Barker, whose ornamental tongue wrapped with a raw gaze of the skin is concluded by Aristophanes's exclamation: "The desire and pursuit of the whole is called love."
personal program

Geography of the body

Willard Maas
United States / 1943 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
East European Premiere
The Mechanics of Love
A controversial film for its time that transforms the act of sex into a fragile composition of shots of objects from the lovers' bedroom and the everyday artifacts that resemble it in form, movement and appearance. The playfully symbolic, rhythmic collage is complemented by a poetic commentary by photographer, composer and art critic John Gruen.
personal program

The Mechanics of Love

Willard Maas, Ben Moore
United States / 1955 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
East European Premiere
Gilette o Juliette
The intensities of physical experience and mental passion are reflected in physical and metaphorical splices of cultural, political and personal mythologies. In intimate scenes of transforming photographs into food or masturbation with a razor blade, the image and body become the subject of borderline desire, injury, disruption and harm.
personal program

Gilette o Juliette

Sirio Luginbülh
France / 1978 / 15 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Central European Premiere
Fuses
A classic work of avant-garde cinema, in which the intimacy of a sensual experience meets the materiality of the medium in a spontaneously poetic celebration of physical existence. The filmmaker utilizes burning, painting, and drawing on the film stock, modifying the speed of shots, and layering multiple exposures in a non-narrative structure of scenes from nature and sexual scenes in which the filmmaker performs with her partner.
personal program

Fuses

Carolee Schneemann
United States / 1967 / 30 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Erotique
This poetic found-footage collage explores how little is needed in order to recognize desire. Through the use of rapid-cut close-ups of the female face and body, sometimes nearly unrecognizable flashes of arms, eyes, and lips, and accompanied by a similarly fragmentary composition of sounds, the film creates a set of pulsating allusions to physical and fantasy delight.
personal program

Erotique

Peter Tscherkassky
Austria / 1982 / 2 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Fireworks
This classic example of experimental and queer cinema weaves together a sadomasochistic fantasy of a violent conflict between the main protagonist and a group of well-built sailors. The film’s director, appearing in the role of the young man, explores desire and the imagination, supplementing sexual motifs with references to the conservative American dream shortly after the Second World War.
personal program

Fireworks

Kenneth Anger
United States / 1947 / 14 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Sexual Meditation: #1 Motel
This material experiment and a film avant-garde classic uses both physical and chemical interferences with the film stock, creating a parallel between the shown (human) body and the (celluloid) body of the 8-mm film in the situation of a single-occupied hotel room.
personal program

Sexual Meditation: #1 Motel

Stan Brakhage
United States / 1970 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
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Evropská unie
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