Release Date: April 3, 2014
Films Series Celebrates Experimental Cinema from Eastern Europe at the National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art presents the series Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960–1990, from April 5 through June 14 to celebrate the rich and bold heritage of alternative cinema from Eastern Europe. Though it is justly associated with political restrictions on creativity and meager resources, the Cold War era in the former Eastern Bloc nevertheless saw makers of film and video creating independent and experimental work on their own terms. This series focuses on films that defied the established traditions of both narrative and documentary cinema and were produced outside large state-run studios.
Borrowed from archival collections across the region as well as from U.S. and Western European archives and the personal archives of several filmmakers, the films offer fresh insights into the artistic explorations of time-based media undertaken by artists, amateurs, and professional filmmakers in the region. The countries whose filmmakers are represented include Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Germany. Seen today, these films are as potent as any work produced contemporaneously in the Cold War West.
Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960–1990 runs concurrently with two other series at the Gallery and the American Film Institute that also explore Eastern Europe’s cinematic heritage: Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema (April 13–June 8), a retrospective of the modern cinema of Poland from 1956 through 1989, curated by the famed director, and Independent of Reality: Films of Jan Němec (April 6–25), the first complete retrospective in the United States of the feature films of Czech filmmaker Jan Němec, curated by Irena Kovarova.
These film programs will take place in the East Building Auditorium. Seating for all film events is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Doors open 30 minutes before show time. Whenever possible, works are presented in their original format.
View the full schedule of the series Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960–1990 at http://1.usa.gov/1gnOFyu.
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