n01 portada eng



Gonzalo de Lucas


The Cinémathèques and the History of Cinema
Jean-Luc Godard

On a Screening of Ozu
Henri Langlois


Interview with Alexander Horwath: On Programming and Comparative Cinema


In this interview (realised in collaboration with Olaf Möller), Alexander Horwath takes Jean-Luc Godard's text 'Les Cinémathèques et l’histoire du cinéma' (1979) and his film Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988–98) as a point of departure to discuss: programming as a form of comparative cinema; the Cinémathèques as a place of production; different forms of criticism and writing on film; spatial vs. temporal (or consecutive) comparison; video as a tool to create a form different to cinema itself; programming as a form of historiography in the context of a Cinémathèque; and different programming methods (examples discussed include Peter Kubelka's programme «Was ist Film» [What is Film?] or Horwath's own programme for documenta 12 in Kassel in 2007). Finally, Horwath discusses the 1984 Congress of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), celebrated in Vienna and dedicated to 'non-industrial' films; the existence of an 'ethical-realist' critical tradition in France vis-à-vis the 'experimental' tradition; the role of the most important film-makers of the Austrian avant-garde in relation to the Austrian Film Museum in 1968; the work of film curator Nicole Brenez; and the so-called 'expanded cinema', which he distinguishes from current museum practices or the new digital formats that prevail today.

Álvaro Arroba (in collaboration with Olaf Möller)

History of a Journal: the Cahiers du Cinéma in 1981 through a programme at the Cinématheque. Interview with Jean Narboni


Jean Narboni considers a film programme that took place at the Cinémathèque Française in 1981 and which commemorated the 30th anniversary of the film journal Cahiers du cinéma, of which he was editor-in-chief from 1964 to 1972. The programme enables him to trace the history of the journal in relation to the social and political context in France: the creation of the Auteur theory, the increasing political radicalisation of the 1960s and 70s, and the progressive end of this era, marked by the film programme here discussed. In the programme, Narboni identifies the main ideological and critical tendencies that characterised the journal and the changes in critical value and interpretation throughout this period. The author discusses the critical interpretation of Antonioni, Eisenstein or Chaplin in the programme, as well as the confluence of new cinemas, the politicisation of cinema, and the late films by classical directors. According to Narboni, who was also the editor of Langlois's writings, thanks to this project the film critics associated with the journal discovered that programming is a form of montage based on these conceptual or formal associations established between films.

Fernando Ganzo


Godard's Science


In a lecture held at the Cinémathèque Suisse, Jean-Luc Godard reflects on the relationship between the Cinematheques and his own work on the history of cinema. In this way, the question regarding programming may be formulated as follows: what images to compare? In his quest to continue the work initiated by André Bazin on the ontology of cinema, Godard seems to have opted for a 'de-structuring' principle, or a breaking down the mechanism of cinema into atoms, a principle derived from previous enquiries found in the theories of montage of film-makers such as Dziga Vertov or Sergei Eisenstein. For Godard, it is the succession of discontinuous instants that creates cinema. The novelty resides in the fact that this method would lead Godard to work on the physics of cinema, replacing the concept of 'evolution' for that of 'fractioning', and the 'instant' for the relativity of space and time. This way of finding a form appropriate to the study of the history of cinema through montage finds a parallel in the practice of film programming as a form of comparative cinema.

Jean Douchet

Russian Film Archives and Roy Batty's Syndrome: On the Three Programming Criteria for 'Ver sin Vertov'


On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Dziga Vertov, in 2005–06 La Casa Encendida in Madrid programmed “Ver sin Vertov”, a retrospective season on non-fiction film in Russia and the USSR since Vertov's death until the present time. In this essay the film programmer reflects on the three programming criteria for that season. Firstly, he was interested in applying an negative methodology on the history of Russian and Soviet cinema, as it had previously been suggested by Naum Kleijman and used in the programme “Lignes d’ombre” that took place at the Locarno Festival in 2000. Secondly, the programme aimed to reflect the need to physically locate the experience of the spectator, conceicing of the screening as a film-event. And thirdly, the programme seeked to foreground the questions and paradoxes presented by the works themselves, taking them as models or arguments for the programme itself. Taking as a point of departure the particular circumstances of Vertov's death – 37 years after the October Revolution; 37 years before the fall of the USSR in 1991 – this programme performed a historical and biographical reading of Dziga Vertov's Theory of the Cinematographic Interval, and was an invitation to understand programming as an exercise in montage.

Carlos Muguiro

Discrete Monuments of an Infinite Film


Taking as a point of departure the suspicion that the history of film can only be written through film itself, Ricardo Matos Cabo brings together heterogeneous filmic materials and disposes them in such a way that the relationships amongst them emerges organically: it is a task that has at its centre the matter projected by films themselves. In this way, the cross-dissolve that takes place during a screening – since in the cinema images are shown one after the other, rather than one next to the other – is not of a visible order, but rather operates in an intangible manner, producing correlations between images and sounds, through which film speaks about itself. This essay aims to give an account of some of the analogies produced between the films selected by the Portugese curator in different contexts: 'To See: Listening, the Experience of Sound in the Cinema' (Culturgest, 2009), 'Histories of Film by Film Itself' (Culturgest, 2008) or 'Residues' (Portuguese Cinematheque, 2011). To speak about the histories that these programmes project is, to a certain extent, to trace paths across the different points of the infinite film of which Hollis Frampton speaks.

Celeste Araújo

Reflections on 'Rivette in Context'


The author discusses two programmes that he curated under the title 'Rivette in Context', which took place at the National Film Theatre in London in August 1977 and at the Bleecker Street Cinema in New York in February 1979. Composed of 15 thematic programmes, the latter sets the films of Jacques Rivette in relation to other films, mostly from the US (including films by Mark Robson, Alfred Hitchcock, Jacques Tourneur, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger). The essay notes and comments on the reactions of the US film critics to this programme, and also elaborates on the motivations that led him to the selection of films, which took as a reference the critical corpus elaborated by Rivette in Cahiers du cinéma alongside the influences that he had previously acknowledged in several interviews. Finally the article considers the impact of Henri Langlois's programming method in the work of film-makers such as Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais or Luc Moullet, concluding that it generated a new critical space for writers, programmers and film-makers, based on the comparisons and rhymes between films.

Jonathan Rosenbaum

‘Le Trafic du cinéma’: On the Relationship between Criticism and Collective Programming Through a Publication; the Case of Trafic and the Jeu de Paume


This essay studies the relationship between the critical task of a publication (Trafic) and its transposition into a film programme (the season organised by the journal for the Jeu de Paume in Paris in 1998). The author suggests that the dialogue established between the films included in the programme enabled both the critical discourse and the editorial line of the publication to move forward. The essay focuses on the films selected by Jean-Claude Biette (co-founder of the journal, together with Serge Daney) for this programme, and in particular on Biette's capacity to bring together recent and historical works, at times in a comparative manner. In this programme in particular, Biette sets the films of Adolpho Arrietta in relation to the work of Jacques Tourneur, an association which extends across the rest of the films selected (and which included works by Manoel de Oliveira, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet and Jacques Davila).

Fernando Ganzo

Memories of a Retired Film Programmer


Based on his experience as artistic director of the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Film (BAFICI) from 2001 until 2004, Quintín reflects on the editorial criteria and programming politics of the festival during this period. These aimed at creating a series of complementary sections, that would potentiate each other and avoid unbalanced hierarchies, so that the festival didn't turn around an expected centre and an ignored periphery, but was rather organised as a diversity as compact as possible. The core idea of the festival was to showcase 'genre and avant-garde' film, as a way to exclude what was most common in this context: the films produced for the festivals. Furthermore the essay also elaborates on the changes produced by digital access to films over that period, and the ensuing transformations in international festivals and film criticism. Finally, the article focuses on Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988–1998), as a perfect example of comparative cinema, and of a philosophy or thought on the relationship between cinema and the world.


Transmission at the Cinémathèques


The relationship between Henri Langlois and João Bénard da Costa is at the heart of the influence that the Cinémathèque Française exerted over the Portuguese Cinematheque, as well as of the transmission and circulation of ideas and programming models at play between both institutions. Commenting on some of the characteristic traits of both Langlois and da Costa, this essay also traces the evolution of the Portuguese Cinematheque, founded in 1958. Langlois's support was key during a period of great economic hardship, under the directorship of Manuel Félix Ribeiro, and further extended since da Costa became a regular collaborator. In particular, the article mentions the important retrospective dedicated to Roberto Rossellini in 1973, just before the Carnation Revolution that overthrew the dictatorship in Portugal in 25 April 1974. Furthermore, the author elaborates on the similarities and differences between both film programmers, and in particular analyses programmes based on the relationships or 'secret links' between films, from the early programmes created by Langlois in the 1930s to da Costa's later programmes, such as 'Lang in America' (1983) and 'Variations on Oz' (1992).

Antonio Rodrigues

14/09/1968, a Programme by Henri Langlois


Henri Langlois's programmes are well-known for tracing secret relationships between the films that were screened throughout a day, tracing conceptual and aesthetic links for an ideal spectator that could watch all of them. This essay analyses Langlois's film programme for 14 September 1968, which included Blind Husbands (Eric von Stroheim, 1919), The Big Sky (Howard Hawks, 1952), Bonjour Tristesse (Otto Preminger, 1958) and Bande à part (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964). The author looks for approximations and relationships of different nature, as if the four films – belonging to different historical periods and modes of production – were part of a montage that enabled us to perceive, or discover, new aspects of each of the films. The article proposes relations of two and three amongst the films, in search of links that could bring together the four films. It also suggests that it is precisely triangular relationships – the difficulty or impossibility to include three in a couple – that emerges as the common ground of all four films. Programming becomes thus an interpretative game.

Pablo García Canga

'Jeune, Dure et Pure ! Une histoire du cinéma d'avant-garde et expérimental en France'. Programming as a montage of films and thinking about film: a gaie audiovisual science


This essay discusses the retrospective of experimental and avant-garde French film 'Jeune, Dure et Pure !' (Cinémathèque Française, 2000) as an example of pragmatic thought on film. Film programming is here considered as a way of producing thought on filmic forms and the history of film that uses repetition and variations of images with reflexive and meta-historical ends, as well as aesthetic ones. The forms and procedures of this form of thought on film deserve to be analysed and questioned: is it even possible to speak of an act of theory? What is most striking about this programme is the reevaluation of a theoretically, but also socio-economically problematic term such as 'experimental film'. The relationships between the use of this term in film and in science have not been sufficiently studied so far. The programme introduces the distinction between 'experimental' and 'avant-garde' film, thus suggesting different forms of subversion. This form of comparison implies an underlying filmic thought based on the precise relationships established between the films programmed.

Emilie Vergé

Interview with Federico Rossin on the Retrospective 'United We Stand, Divided We Fall'. A Brief History of Radical Film Collectives from the 1960s to the 80s


Taking as a point of departure the film programme 'United We Stand, Divided We Fall' (curated by Federico Rossin, Doclisboa, 2012), this essay addresses collective film-making. In a conversation, the author and the film curator argue that the history of collective film-making is understudied at the moment and that it is a broad field of research that should be more extensively considered by film historians and researchers. Rossin suggests that collective film-making usually emerges in periods of economic and social crisis, and comments on some of its particularities, such as the ideological relationships established between the people in front and behind the camera. According to Rossin, collective film-making can enable us to recuperate a strong and profound belief in the real, since film is not only a machine to produce dreams, but also a strong medium to comprehend and analyse reality through enquiry. Furthermore the author analyses some of the theoretical concepts of collective film-making, focusing on the work of Jean Rouch and his way of filming rituals, and identifying two poles of collective film-making: exorcism and possession films. The author also distinguishes between two kinds of collective film-making: one that aims to erase the differences between its participants in favour of a common position and a propagandistic tone, and another one that seeks to promote and make visible the differences amongst its participants, facilitating discussion and debate.

David Phelps


Nathaniel Dorsky. Devotional Cinema
Miguel García



Deadline for submissions: [EXTENDED] January 30th, 2020.

More information HERE.



matweb ccc07


Notes on the Media Crisis
Peter Watkins

matweb ccc03


The Screenings: Watching Creation from Nearby
Cinema en curs

The Creation Process
Cinema en curs

matweb ccc03


Catallegory fatigue
Miguel Amorim