FRIENDS OF INVIDEO
The "Friends of INVIDEO Cultural Centre" was set up to support the initiatives of Invideo and at the same time to come up with fresh proposals for film seasons, seminars, meetings and so forth to offer an increased range of services to its ever more numerous audience (now some 8,000 visitors annually).
Friends of INVIDEO joined UICC, the Italian Union of Film Clubs, which explains why our shorts cover the full range of multimedia: from the Internet to the Super 8 revival, from film to digital and back again.
Friends of INVIDEO competitions:
· Food and the Ego 2002
· Film and the Ego 2004
· Time and the Ego 2005
For further information: www.amici-invideo.com
Depersonalising of the self and the trend towards the uniformity of codified lifestyles stand out as typical of the era in which we live. The media put out a distorted image of our lives and daily routine. We do not recognise ourselves in the formats which they insist on day by day. We feel our "ego" is different, infinitely more varied. The videos entered for the Competition attempt to give an interior view, showing us the "ego" that risks becoming lost in anonymity. By focusing on their own vision of the story narrated, the videomakers take the responsibility of putting their own selves at stake. Moreover, the fact that most of the works involved are largely self-financed attests to their total engagement in the process.
· Food and the Ego
In 2002 we chose “Food and the Ego” perhaps because we were tired of the many manifestations of real or affected modesty which place us in the role of spectators of other people’s actions, through the keyhole or the distorting lenses of the media. Voyeurs who almost never put their own identity on the line, least of all with self-irony or self-quotation. Who but we should best know our own Ego? That Ego is the one entity we feel is really our own, and like it or not, each and every day we have to come to terms with it. Bringing out one’s own Ego takes a lot of effort. Our limitations often make it difficult for us, but once we face up to reality we can successfully (who can say?) learn to live with it.
Food as nourishment. Nourishment of the body, the mind, the passions, the drives. Not only as the satisfaction of a physiological need but as a system of communication, of meanings which belong to a particular culture, and which once conveyed become part of an inheritance shared by all. Communicating ourselves through food.
The call for entries in our competition merely gave the subject. Rightly, in my view, the videomakers realised that food is part of our Ego and indeed is its most patent metaphor. Are we what we eat, in the end? And what about sex? As Giacomo Casanova wrote: “Feeling myself born for the opposite sex I always loved it (…) and I was transported, too, by my love for fine food”.
In the works entered in the competition food is seen as “a gift to an absent lover” or as a dinner which is really an excuse to show off one’s work to one’s guests; or again as a source of hallucinations which, like art, allow deep-lying experiences to come to the surface. It can also be an opportunity to enact an ancient Japanese ritual, Nyotaimori, in which high-ranking men eat sushi off a naked virgin’s body; or a pretext to induce people to reveal intimate details. Flesh (in the sense of food) is still flesh, whatever animal it belongs to. Butchers have been warned! And why should any Italian have to give up their plate of spaghetti?
What I have done above is borrow a few passages from the synopses which accompanied the entries. As may be seen, the theme of Food and the Ego gave rise to a large number of variations.
One final consideration. Although today there are many men who cook, it remains true that the bulk of food has always been prepared by women, to the point where this atavistic chore has probably become part of their DNA. Is that, perhaps, the reason why 80% of the entries in the competition were made by “the other half”?
Ex aequo prizes:
· Ami by Marcello Gori Italy 2002 1’
direction, written, camera, photography, editing: Marcello Gori
cast: Oliviero Nobili
· Ich liebe dich by Michela Lorenzi Italy 2001 2’ 54“
direction, production: Michela Lorenzi
editing: Manuel Maggio
Special jury mention:
· The Food & I di Brunella Battista Canada 2002 11’
script, production, editing: Brunella Battista
direction: David H. Lyle
photography: Tom Evans
camera: Fernando Ignazio
· Film and the Ego
The 2004 “… and the Ego” competition cast film, in the broadest sense of the term, as interlocutor of the ego. Once again the onus was on videomakers to put themselves on the line, not without self-irony, and use pictures to tell the story of what film means to them. Film in the widest, freest, most ambiguous sense possible, together with one’s own ego. The ego that we all have to come to terms with, day after day, whether we like it or not. Surely film, metaphor of vision, is also a part of our imagination and thus of our ego itself?
It is our hope that in the future the works entered for the Competition will form a kind of ‘video archive of individual memory’, expressing through images the need to tell one’s own story (think of the current craze for blogging). The involvement of the Friends of Invideo is premised on video art, but at the same time we are determined to go beyond that dimension, with works that are not only the result of personal research but also contaminated by other genres and cultures, not excluding the world of short films. To monitor the whole range of audiovisual production, the cross-pollination between styles that often occurs even in a single work, plus a reflection/rethink of photography.
To return to this year’s Competition, the jury felt that some of the entries were too remote from the subject. The videomakers had put product before producer, perhaps taking it for granted that behind every auteur film is the ego that wanted to make it. But what we wanted to see put before the camera was the same ego as the one filming behind it: Film and the Ego. Not that the videomakers had become slaves to the fashions that lead to the elusive goal of public success, at the expense of personal research; what predominated was the desire to tell stories about the world and the self, sincerely and with one common denominator: the love of the cinema. It couldn’t really have been any other way, given this year’s theme, but – like all loves – the love of film is a many-splendored thing, and its prisoners express it in different ways, not forgetting that love and hate go together in every passion.
The winning video:
· Earth Men Lake. Dialoghi sulla produzione del film documentario by Alberto Signetto Italy 2004 10
filming: Luciano D’Onofrio, Pier Milanese, Alberto Signetto
editing: Marcello Varaldi
post-production: Kinoetika, Torino
Alberto Signetto (Cordoba, Argentina, 1954) has been working in film and communications since 1970. In Turin, where he lives, he was one of the founders of the ARTINKO cooperative (a quality film distributor: Wenders, Laing, Wajda…) and became head of the film, theatre and communication department of the Comunardi bookstore. In 1984 he joined in the setting up of a film production concern, the Rosebud Company. Since 1992 he has been working with the Turin-based cooperative Index and since 2002 has also been involved with his own company, Red Rhino Productions. Since going into direction in 1982 he has made numerous films.
“A la manière of a sixties underground movie, a well-known producer, two independent directors and an absent-minded cameraman discuss the state of documentary film in Italy: production difficulties, the amateurishness of filmmakers, the motionless desert of the national television industry, all immersed in the wonderfully surreal location of the set for The Weeping Meadow, the latest film by veteran Greek helmer Theo Anghelopoulos. A divertissement featuring the time of reproduction of the image and the reproduction of the image of the time (as Godard might have said).” (Alberto Signetto)
· Time and the Ego
Always with the aim of promoting quality filmmaking in mind, the Friends of INVIDEO Association has chosen Time as this year’s subject for its third “….and the Ego” Competition. As in previous years, however, the Ego as it emerges in the films selected is by no means shut up within itself and cut off from the world and society. Not the ego of St. Augustine of Hippo, for whom “Amare mundum non est cognoscere Deum”. The ego brought into play by our competing filmmakers is not just egotistical, either, but open to the world, to the perception of a present which is neither divorced from history nor still less a slave to fashion-led consumerism.
There was really no way of telling how the filmmakers would respond to the notion of time, with all the dark sides it contains and suggests. Time past, present, future; objective, subjective, synchronous, diachronic time. Mathematical, physical, relative, quantum time. Psychological time, the time for joy, boredom, waiting, loving… The exact nature of time has always been an open question, so it was more than likely that the directors’ creativity might get lost in such vast dimensions of knowledge and awareness, meandering through the blurred-edge zones where time blends into the material, into space.
In loop theory, “time does not exist: physical reality is a-temporal, while the illusion of time obtains entirely because of our ignorance of the state of things” (Prof. Carlo Rovelli, in La Repubblica newspaper, 26/5/2005).
The works entered in the Competition reflect the complexity of the subject. All of them refer to the actuality of the present, because it is in the present that they place their filmic profile, just as they find in time their sole possibility of existing. They tell stories and convey emotions whose link with time is not always immediately apparent. Only more detailed analysis reveals that time is present as a common denominator, though only rarely conjugated explicitly. We should add that there were, too, filmmakers who took time as their direct inspiration, and that these obviously attracted the jury’s attention. Be that as it may, in the call for entries for the Competition, we borrowed the words of Alain Resnais to recall that “All films are about time”. A prophetic and illuminating quotation.
The Competition is intended to be a window open to all kinds of film expression, without limits on contamination between genres. We are proud to present videos made by directors of all ages, just as we will once again be delighted to host filmmakers from several generations before the Spazio Oberdan audience. Could it be that – like time – age, too, is only an illusion?
Ex aequo prizes:
· Forma tempis by Lorena Tortora, Italy 2005 6’
direction, script, editing: Lorena Tortora
3D processing: Gabriele Roveda
words: Gabriele Roveda
Lorena Tortora (Milan, 1967) After gaining a diploma in graphic techniques and advertising, she has worked for years in the communication and image industry. Together with Gabriele Roveda she founded ARCENCIEL, a studio for creativity applied to communication and new media. In 2003 a placement with Studio Azzurro saw her take part in the creation of the video installation Montagna, Arte, Scienza, Mito at MART, the Trento and Rovereto Museum of Modern Art. Her interest in videomaking has led her to experiment with the interaction of moving images and sound.
“The time that makes things finite and decisions irrevocable. Often we run the risk of becoming trapped, crushed, by a space where time has stopped, the paralysis that comes before making every decision. Contradictions constantly work their way in between quality time and quantity time. The sometimes painful pressure of having to live with a pace and time we’re not meant for”. (Lorena Tortora)
· Un attimo dopo by Nicola Fanini Italy 2005 2’57”
cast: Lorenzo Fornaciari
words: Edoardo Datteri
original music: Francesco Carmignani
production: Occhi produzioni
Nicola Fanini (Lucca, 1977) Graduated in Film, Music and Theater at Pisa University. As a director, he works with photography, digital image processing and 3D synthesizing, experimenting with the use of processing in both sound and video. Many of his works have been selected for national photography and video art competitions.
“Time told, the time of other people’s lives, as we see them lived out in front of us, seems ordered and logical. Observation gives meaning to events. On the contrary, however, every moment of time lived – the continuous present of subjective time – can never be reconciled with what comes after and what goes before. One moment later we are no longer the same.” (Nicola Fanini)
Special jury mentions
· Chora by Lorenzo Adorisio Italy 2004 15’
music: CANTODISCANTO – NIDIDARAC
production: LUMIERE audiovisivi srl
Lorenzo Adorisio (Rome 1962) After high school and a degree in anthropology and mediaeval art history, in 1984 he gained a diploma in photography at the Rome Design Institute. Since 1990 he has worked as a director of photography on films and commercials. CHORA is his first feature as director.
“The short CHORA is set in Cirò, a semi-abandoned town where a young boy tackles his first relationship with death. Pain through the perception of time past, present, future.” (Lorenzo Adorisio)
· Sala d’attesa by Rolf Mandolesi Italy 2003 10’
Rolf Mandolesi (Milan, 1933) President of FILMVIDEO (International short film exhibition), Committee member for UNICA (Union Internationale du cinéma – UNESCO). He lives and works in Merano. His films have garnered many awards, too numerous to detail here. Some thirty ‘one-man shows’ featuring his work have been organized by cultural associations in Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain and Russia.
“Another day in the life of an old people’s home. Sit down and …wait, eat and …wait, remember and …wait. They don’t talk, they don’t listen… they wait…” (Rolf Mandolesi)
· Panorama_ROMA. Seconda parte - Il tramonto by ZimmerFrei 2004 13’
production: Monitorvideo&contemporary art
“Panorama ROMA is an original experiment in visualizing the passing of time, which blends visual art and early experimental cinema (the dioramas and panoramas of the Lumière brothers, Edison and Albert Khan). Downtown Piazza del Popolo was chosen as it is walked across by office workers, store clerks, tourists and churchmen. On this natural, elliptically-shaped set, the camera revolves like the hand of a clock through 360° in 60 minutes. The work experiments with extra-ordinary passage of time: 8 hours worth of footage were speeded up by twenty times, resulting in 24 minutes of compressed video.” (Zimmerfrei)
Extraordinary mention by the Friends of INVIDEO
· Video minute by Rosario Gennaro
production: Dormomale Production
An extraordinary mention goes to this work for having tackled the relationship with time by ironically taking up the Competition details published by the Friends of Invideo as the inspiration for its video minute. A video maker tries to make his time pay but ends up by wasting it more than ever. Bravo!