May 9, 2023 | Featured, News

  • The Briton Anthony McCall will be bringing his works of “solid light” to A Coruña, while the Canadian Barbara Sternberg, an exemplary woman in avant-garde cinema, will be just two of the international names in this year’s (S8).
  • Among the highlights in our programme, within the section Overflows (Desbordamientos), there are the notable performances being brought exclusively to (S8) by the Canadian John Price and the Korean Hangjun Lee. 
  • The Mostra is also dedicating an extensive programme to the Argentine filmmaker Benjamin Ellenberger. 

The dreamlike, idealized and dreamy world of Urbano Lugrís lends its image to the 14th (S8) Mostra Internacional de Cinema Periférico. We pay tribute to the “artist of the sea”, the greatest exponent of surrealism in our country and a native of A Coruña, much of whose work was inspired in the city of the Tower of Hercules. Furthermore, as every year, in this fourteenth (S8) we include a thematic programme in keeping with this image, dedicated to films seeking to rediscover one’s vision from childhood: “ENCHANTED landscapes” like those painted by Lugrís. The session will open with the international première of And so it came about by Charlotte Pryce, and there will be films shown by leading contemporary filmmakers such as Gaëlle Rouard, Ute Aurand and Jennifer Reeves, as well as the legendary Czech creator Jan Svankmajer.

The festival or Mostra, which will be held from 26 May to 4 June, will be screening more than 180 works from a dozen countries (the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Argentina, France, Chile, Germany, Czech Republic, South Korea, Portugal and Spain). One more year, we will see key figures of avant-garde and experimental cinema gathering in A Coruña. Among them, there will be the British resident of New York Anthony McCall, known worldwide for his work on “solid light”, a series that began in the 70s with his famous Line Describing a Cone, in which a volumetric form composed of projected light slowly evolves in three-dimensional space. His work has been exhibited in many international museums and art galleries. On this occasion, McCall will be at (S8) in A Coruña, visiting our country for the first time in the context of a film festival. The Mostra will be putting a spotlight on him, showing his collective films Argument and Sigmund Freud’s Dora, and the filmmaker will also be the taking part in closing the festival with a simultaneous staging of his lighting works in analogue format. In addition, Anthony McCall will be giving a master class aimed at professionals and the general public, where he will delve into his idea of cinema and the evolution of his performances.

 Anthony McCall | Light Describing a Cone (1973), Anthony McCall

The Canadian artist Barbara Sternberg will be another of the international guests at the fourteenth festival promoting the work of women filmmakers whose work has not seen the distribution it deserves in our country. Sternberg began making films in the 1970s. Her films deal with personal and political matters, and the cycles of life and death, and they have been screened internationally at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Kino Arsenal in Berlin and the MoMA in New York. In 2011 she won the highest award in the world of visual arts in Canada. Her work stands out for highlighting the properties of photochemical film, exploring all the possibilities of colour, mechanics, chemistry and film optics. Sternberg’s work can be compared in richness and importance to the work of artists such as Barbara Hammer and Carolee Schneemann. The focus that we will be placing on her will be seen in two programmes that include the première in Spain of much of her filmography, shown in its original 16 mm format. The screenings will also be a unique opportunity for the general public to get to know this exemplary filmmaker of avant-garde cinema.

Barbara Sternberg | Sunprints 1, 2, 3 (2022), Barbara Sternberg

Desbordamientos: film performance with John Price and Hangjun Lee

The section Desbordamientos (Overflows), entirely dedicated to film performance, boasts two of the festival’s highlights: the proposals from the Canadian John Price and the South Korean artist Hangjun Lee.

Classified as one of the “new impressionists” of cinema, John Price has been producing experimental films, dance and film diaries since 1986. His passion for photography has led him to the world of experimentation, working with traditional cameras and expired emulsions to reveal reality by and with other media. Research and visual enjoyment blend together in his work, as can be seen in There is Light at the Top of the Tower!, the performance inspired by the Tower of Hercules that he has designed exclusively for our Mostra. It is a proposal concerning the sea and lighthouses, whose mechanisms Price equates to those of the movie camera. It is a unique experience that will also count on a live sound performance by the Galician artist TORSO. Price’s films, which address themes such as nature, time and the human condition, will also have a space at the festival via two programmes in which we will also see the première of three new pieces, including the last of his Sea Series, a set of films that come close to the pictorial concept of seascapes.

   John Price | There is Light at the Top of the Tower!,  John Price 

There will also be the hitherto unseen performances that the South Korean Hangjun Lee will be bringing to (S8). He is dynamic figure in the experimental film scene in his country. As well as a filmmaker, he is a researcher and was head of programming for the EXIS festival, a leading avant-garde event in Korea. Hangjun Lee will be creating a mise-en-scène that combines a screening in 16 mm of his works Film Walk and Phantom Schoolgirl Army, using the film projector as an instrument to create sound. By manipulating the film by means of the projector’s mechanisms, he is capable of generating quadraphonic sound and thus creating a unique visual and sound show that will most certainly surprise the people attending the festival.

        Hangjun Lee | Film Walk (2012), Hangjun Lee

The Mostra, a port of entry for Latin American avant-garde cinema

The (S8) continues to work along the lines of building bridges with the experimental cinema being created on the other side of the Atlantic. To this end, this year (S8) is hosting one of the most exciting creators today from Argentina: Benjamín Ellenberger. The festival will take a comprehensive tour of his work, including the world première of the latest piece in his series Reflejo Nocturno (Night Reflection), a set of films that create a record of the space of Buenos Aires. In them, Ellenberger uses various techniques to take the sensitivity of film a step further and capture the night, which has rarely been portrayed faithfully in photochemical format without the use of lighting. Moreover, the retrospective will also feature Ellenberger’s performance work in combination with a live performance by the sound artist and researcher Xoán Xil.

Benjamín Ellenberger | Reflejo nocturno (2020), Benjamín Ellenberger

Support for the 14th (S8)

The fourteenth (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico, which will take place from 26 May to 4 June in A Coruña, has the backing of the A Coruña City Council, the Tourism and Congresses Consortium, the A Coruña Diputación (Provincial Council), the Galician Agency for Cultural Industries of the Xunta (Regional Government) of Galicia, the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) and the Luis Seoane Foundation. It can also count on collaboration from the Afundación – ABANCA social work projects (Obra Social).

In addition, it has been possible to invite Barbara Sternberg, Hangjun Lee, Enrico Camporesi, Jessica Sarah Rinland, Helena Gouvenia, Scott Hamen to this (S8) thanks to the Programme by the state company Acción Cultural Española (Spanish Cultural Action or AC/E) to Internationalize Spanish Culture (PICE), in its visitor format, which makes it easier for Spanish cultural entities and institutions to invite international cultural exemplaries to Spain to take part in their activities and programmes so as to get to know what Spain’s creative and cultural scene has to offer directly and in person.

The images by Urbano Lugrís belong to the ABANCA art collection and their use has also been made possible thanks to collaboration from the artist’s family and from the Asociación Cultural O Mural.