Cine Fan Showcases Absurdist Cinema
from Central and Eastern Europe
Continuing the momentum of the 43rd Hong Kong International Film Festival, the latest Cine Fan programme showcases a selection of European absurdist cinema – most of them rarely seen on Hong Kong’s big screen.
Guest curated by film scholar Gabriel M. PALETZ, the “Absurdistan” programme brings together seven unusual films from Central and Eastern Europe.
“Absurdity comes from the difference between the promise and the reality of these countries during the cold war period. These socialist states were supposed to be triumph of the ideals of Marx and Lenin, however the everyday reality experienced by the people was very different,” PALETZ explained the contradictions which inspired filmmakers to conceive their allegorical satires.
Extraordinary works selected in the presentation include Reenactment (1968) and Carnival Scenes (1982), two seminal films by Lucian PINTILIE – otherwise known as the godfather of the Romanian New Wave – whose works have strongly influenced a new generation of Romanian directors, including Cristi PUIU and Cristian MUNGIU.
From Czech New Wave cinema are Peter SOLAN’s The Barnabas Kos Case (1964) and Pavel JURÁCEK’s Case for a New Hangman (1970), through which the audience could venture into the absurd world of autocratic rules and witness the contradictions of an entire regime. Both films were banned during the time, but nonetheless survived as testimonies against totalitarian suppression.
Using surrealistic fantasy as a weapon against authoritarianism, Soviet director Kira MURATOVA, in The Asthenic Syndrome (1989), reflects reality in a mirror labyrinth of a huge mosaic made out of a multitude of tiny pieces. Likewise, in The Whimsical World of Zbigniew Rybczynski, the innovative Polish filmmaker embroils us in his surreal and critical visions through experimental animated films – his short film Tango (1980) was Poland’s first ever Academy Award winner.
Each film mentioned above has one screening left in May only. More information are available at http://cinefan.com.hk/. Tickets can be purchased online and through all URBTIX outlets.
Absurdistan: The Central and Eastern European Cinema of the Absurd
Film list for screenings:
1. The Barnabas Kos Case (1964)
2. Reenactment (1968)
3. Case for a New Hangman (1970)
4. The Whimsical World of Zbigniew Rybczynski (1973-80)
5. Carnival Scenes (1982)
6. The Asthenic Syndrome (1989)
7. Amazing Shorts from Absurdistan (1958-70)