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Meeting with Rita Azevedo Gomes and screening of the film Danses Macabres, Skeletons, and Other Fantasies

19:30–21:00 Pavilion

March 12, 19:30

What if the danses macabres, beyond their grimacing folklore, staged the death of the Middle Ages in the middle of the 15th century in modern Europe? It is the hypothesis of writer Jean Louis Schefer. An investigation in the form of a conversation and walks between Paris and Portugal, with directors Rita Azevedo Gomez and Pierre Léon. A six-handed film which speaks about the pleasure and joy of sharing, about how people can generously share thoughts and ideas with each other. And how one can look at the world and art (as well as at life as art, art as a way to solve the puzzles of life.

During the talk at New Holland Island, Rita Azevedo Gomes, one of the most prominent Portuguese directors of the last 30 years, will talk about her work on the film and how it combines visual arts, theater and cinema. 

Rita Azevedo Gomes is a versatile and independent filmmaker. From the early 1970’s her work spans theatre, opera and cinema. During this time she has established a solid reputation for her graphic work in film catalogues and other publications. Her films have been screened and acclaimed in international film festivals in Venice, Locarno, Montreal, Rotterdam, Turin, Doc Lisboa, etc. Also she works as a programmer for the Cinemateca Portuguesa, curates exhibitions and publications.

Jean Louis Schefer is one of the most influential French art and film theoreticians. A graduate of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales on Les écritures figuratives, a problème de grammaire égyptienne (under the guidance of Roland Barthes and Algirdas Julien Greimas). When it was first published in French in 1980, his book The Ordinary Man of Cinema signaled a shift from the French film criticism of the 1960’s to a new breed of film philosophy that disregarded the semiotics and post-structuralism of the preceding decades. He has collaborated with the magazines Tel Quel and Cahiers du Cinéma among others.

Pierre Léon was born in Moscow, USSR. In 1975 he moved to Paris. Film director, scriptwriter, actor, film critic. He acted in movies by Jean-Claude Biette, Louis Skorecki, Anne Benhaiem, Jean-Paul Civeyrac, Jean-Charles Fitoussi, Serge Bozon, Bertrand Bonello, Rita Azevedo Gomes, etc. Wrote an essay on Jean-Claude Biette. He translated poems by Tsvetaeva and Blok and novels by the Vainer Brothers into French.

Danses Macabres, Skeletons, and Other Fantasies / Danses macabres, squelettes et autres fantaisies. Dir. Rita Azevedo Gomes, Pierre Léon, Jean-Louis Schefer. 2019, France, Portugal, Switzerland, 110 min

The lecture will be held in English with a consecutive translation. The film will be screened in French with Russian subtitles.

Admission is free. The number of seats is limited. Please register in advance (link in Russian).

Organized in cooperation with Spirit of Fire festival

The events will be held as part of the New Holland Island International Debut Film Festival Education Programme. The aim of the programme is to introduce the key European filmmakers and their creative methods as well as films by up and coming cinematographers and most current trends in contemporary cinema.

The New Holland Island International Debut Film Festival is a platform for daring cinema, whose aim is to open new horizons and challenge the established formats of filmmaking. The festival is part of the New Holland Island: Cultural Urbanization project and will take place in St. Petersburg.

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