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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Return to Reason
Return to Reason

Return to Reason

director: Man Ray
original title: Le Retour à la Raison
country: France
year: 1923
running time: 3 min.

synopsis

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.

biography

American artist Man Ray (1890-1976), real name Emmanuel Rudzitsky, expressed interest in painting and photography while still in high school. From the 1920s, he also shot films, which he created using collage and “rayograms”, a technique in which the imprints of objects are exposed on film without the use of a camera.

more about film

director: Man Ray
cast: Kiki de Montparnasse

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
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
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
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
Pure beauté
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.
personal program

Pure beauté

Alexandre Alexeïeff
France / 1954 / 1 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Central 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
Flaming creatures
This legendary film on the free poetics of the body works with the DIY aesthetic, sprightly staging, performances, and humor. It transgressively refers to the approaches of melodrama and burlesque which Smith uses to create an unconventional and - for the period - radical depiction of sex. For its erotic scenes, it was banned in many countries, and in the United States it ignited a debate on censorship.
personal program

Flaming creatures

Jack Smith
United States / 1963 / 45 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Czech 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
Hold Me While I'm Naked
The sharply ironic allusion to both Hollywood and avant-garde cinematography thematizes sexual frustration in a fictitious situation of a depressive freelance director asking an actress to be naked in the shower. Thanks to the combination of humour and a low-quality aesthetic, this is the most famous underground short film by Kuchar.
personal program

Hold Me While I'm Naked

George Kuchar
United States / 1966 / 15 min.
section: Fascinations: Eroticism
Central European 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
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
Ministerstvo kultury
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