Premiere of opera film Orfeusz és Eurydiké on the longest night

This year, the Hungarian National Film Institute (NFI) presents the newly restored opera film Orfeusz és Eurydiké (Orpheus and Eurydice, 1985) as part of the European project A Season of Classic Films. Enikő Eszenyi and Sándor Téry star in István Gaál’s version of the mythological work. The premiere will take place in the recently renovated screening room of the Film Archive on 21 December, the winter solstice. It will then also be available to view online for a week between the two holidays. The cinema screening is free of charge but registration is required.

With his final cinema piece made in 1985, István Gaál not only set Gluck’s iconic opera to film but he transformed it into an incisive auteur movie through rich visual images and intense symbolism. He portrays Orpheus not as a hero of mythology but rather as a fallible, struggling human who is confronted by the mystery of death. Sándor Sára was cinematographer on this spectacular film. It ranks among the classics of auteur opera films alongside Ingmar Bergman’s The Magic Flute and Joseph Losey’s Don Giovanni.

The movie Orfeusz és Eurydiké was made on the basis of the Vienna version (1762) of the opera that concludes in tragedy. However, Gaál made radical changes to the Gluck work: his Orpheus sings not in a castrato tenor or alto but instead – in line with ancient Greek mythology – in a masculine baritone, sung by Lajos Miller. Eurydice is sung by Maddalena Bonifaccio, Ámor by Veronika Kincses, while the part of Orpheus is played by Sándor Téry, Eurydice by a youthful Enikő Eszenyi and Amor by Ákos Sebestyén. The Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra and Hungarian Radio and Television Choir, with Tamás Vásáry in the role of conductor, provide musical accompaniment.

The film presentation is realised within the framework of the international project A Season of Classic Films organised by ACE (Association des Cinémathèques Européennes – Association of European Cinematheques) and sponsored by Creative Europe. The objective of this international project is to promote the digital restoration of gems of European film art and, by ensuring their widespread presentation, to draw attention to the work of European film archives.

In 2021, the NFI – Film Archive presented György Kovásznai’s animation cult movie Habfürdő (Bubble Bath) in the framework of this programme. This year, it is making István Gaál’s recently restored opera film available on the big screen and online.

REGISTRATION for the cinema screening at 18:00 on 21 December, NFI – Film Archive screening room (1021 Budakeszi út 51/E): https://nfi.hu/filmarchivum/urlapok/orfeusz-es-eurydike-operafilm-premier.html

ONLINE PREMIERE – 26 December 2022 – 1 January 2023, with subtitles in English, French and Hungarian: https://www.facebook.com/events/668636598258833

For dates and access links of the upcoming free screenings of A Season of Classic Films in cinemas across Europe and online, please follow ACE’s website and social media pages on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter.


 

ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION DES CINÉMATHÈQUES EUROPÉENNES (ACE)

The Association of European Cinematheques (Association des Cinémathèques Européennes – ACE) is an affiliation of 49 European national and regional film archives. Its role is to safeguard the European film heritage and make the rich audiovisual records collected and preserved by the various film archives accessible to the public. ACE members are non-profit institutions committed to the FIAF Code of Ethics.

Follow ACE news on social media  Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

 

 

Online Exhibition: FRAMES OF RECONSTRUCTION now available in 5 languages

The online exhibition Frames of Reconstruction. Realities and Visions of Recovering Europe. Documentary Film in Postwar Visual Culture is now accessible at www.frames-reconstruction.eu.

Available in English, Czech, French, German and Italian and providing access through a variety of different thematic, temporal and spatial entry points, the exhibition is the result of the EU-funded research project ViCTOR-E. Frames of Reconstruction tells a visual history of the European postwar reconstruction efforts through non-fiction films that functioned as witnesses and political agents alike. A crucial tool of communication of the transformative era, newsreels, short documentaries, and amateur films, are the main focus of the exhibition that also features oral history videos recorded with eye witnesses from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Italy. The exhibition also features focused e-learning activities, model lessons and sources for teaching Post-War history with and through film.

Several ACE member archives as well as other heritage institutions have contributed film clips, among them Narodni Filmovy Archiv, CSC – Archivio Nazionale Cinema Impresa, DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, who together with ACE and EFG – European Film Gateway were associated partners of the project.

The exhibition is connected to the European Film Gateway and gives access to a larger thematic collection of over 600 films relevant to the project theme.

The ViCTOR-E project ran from 2019 through 2022 and was coordinated by the Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany). Other project partners were the Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne, France, the Università degli Studi di Udine, Italy and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The online exhibition was designed by Athena Research Center, Athens. Funded by the HERA Joint Research Programme which is co-funded by BMBF via DLR-PT, CAS, ANR, MUR and the European Commission through Horizon 2020.

Explore the exhibition at www.frames-reconstruction.eu

Bregtje van der Haak: New Director of Eye Filmmuseum

Journalist and documentary filmmaker Bregtje van der Haak – long connected to the broadcaster VPRO as a programme maker, editor of the Tegenlicht programme and editor-in-chief – will succeed the current director Sandra den Hamer on 1 April 2023. Van der Haak was appointed by Eye’s supervisory board. The new director looks forward to leading a contemporary museum for cinema with a world-class collection that provides a unique opportunity to connect past, present and future as well as to question the world in transition around us on the basis of images, and to discuss film’s role in digital image culture.

Photo by Jordi Wallenburg

Much like her magnificent contributions to ACE, Sandra den Hamer – ACE President 2018-2022 and member of its Executive Committee 2010-2022 – leaves a museum that, since ‘crossing the IJ River’ in 2012, has undergone impressive development.

Over the past 15 years, Eye Filmmuseum has transformed into a bustling centre for film culture and a museum with international allure. Bregtje van der Haak (1966) will continue to further the museum’s ‘kaleidoscopic assignment’ to be a meeting place that showcases film in all its guises and provides context, from the earliest films to the most contemporary developments, and from meticulously restored classics to the latest digital experiments as well as exhibitions on contemporary artists and filmmakers.

Career

Van der Haak studied dance in Paris, law and politology in Amsterdam, and political theory and journalism in New York. She was a member of the board of the Prins Claus Fonds [arts and culture NGO] and the Erasmusprijs [a prize for the humanities, social sciences and the arts], a member of travelling biennial Manifesta X in Palermo’s artistic team. Van der Haak is also a member of IDFA [International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam] and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten [state academy of fine arts] in Amsterdam’s supervisory boards.

As the editor-in-chief for VPRO Television (2006/2007 with Frank Wiering) she initiated programmes including: Metropolis TV, Eeuw van de Stad and the 3D archive on urbanisation T_visonarium OPEN CITY (with Jeffrey Shaw). Van der Haak has been a visiting professor at the City University of Hong Kong and at USC in Los Angeles. In 2005, she made Lagos Wide & Close (with Silke Wawro, Rem Koolhaas & The Harvard Project on the City), one of the first interactive documentaries. During the economic crisis she reported on its societal consequences for sociologist Manuel Castells’ Aftermath Network. Until 2022, Van der Haak worked as a director and editor-in-chief for the TV programme VPRO Tegenlicht, where she recently presented the innovative project Archief van de Toekomst [archive of the future].

Lex ter Braak, (interim) chair of Eye Filmmuseum’s supervisory board: ‘The supervisory board has found its dream candidate in the shape of Bregtje van der Haak. With her knowledge of film and new media, and her educated convictions concerning the collection’s importance and societal impact, Bregtje van der Haak will create new options for Eye and its audience. She will intensify the dynamic between the museum and society, creating an urgent programme around it. Bregtje van der Haak will make Eye a multicoloured prism, a place for everyone.’

Bregtje van der Haak:

‘Under Sandra den Hamer, Eye became a fabulous public institute, an essential meeting place for everyone who thinks and dreams in images. I am very enthusiastic about the opportunity to further her work, cooperating with a team of excellent professionals who highlight film culture at ever level with passion and dedication. In my dreams I see Eye, the oyster on the IJ River, further opening itself to the world like a ‘brave space’ where cinema reveals itself in many ways and everyone feels welcome to enter into dialogue with the collection and the international film community: jointly arriving at a highly personal, yet shared diagnosis of our times.’


For more information, please contact: Maria Lam, Publicity Manager

Eye Filmmuseum. marialam@eyefilm.nl. +31630444429

A Season of Classic Films: The Balkan War

This year marks 110 years since The Balkan Wars (1912-1913). The Bulgarian National Film Archive (BNFA) will commemorate the event with a digital restoration of the film The Balkan War (1913, dir. Alexander Ivanov Zhekov). The film is a unique visual document of this important European military conflict. The presentation will include audio commentary by film historian Petar Kardjilov and new original music.

The world premiere screening of this restoration will be held in BNFA’s cinema ‘Odeon’ on Tuesday 13 December 2022 as part of ACE’s A Season of Classic Films. The event will be recorded and uploaded on BNFA’s YouTube channel for free online access until 31 December.

The Balkan War Балканската Война [Balkanskata Voyna] | Bulgaria, 1913, 55’, non-fiction

Director-Cinematography: Alexander Ivanov Zhekov. Producer: unknown. Physical characteristics of first release: 35mm, 55’, B&W, silent, Bulgarian intertitles. Film copy screened during A Season of Classic Films: Restoration premiere. DCP 2K (for cinema screening) and ProRes (online). 55’, B&W, silent, Bulgarian intertitles. Subtitles: English. Copyright: Bulgarian National Film Archive.

In the course of the First World War, Europe has gradually established means and methods in filming military actions. In 1912-1913, when this film was shot, footage of direct combat was rare.

As film historian Petar Kardjilov notes, “Only a few films in Bulgaria’s film making are said to be legendary. One of them is The Balkan War. It is a well preserved and unique cinema document of military conflict of recent European history. The Balkan War was one of the first large-scale armed conflicts after the beginning of the cinema age. It was a media event and film played its important part.”

* Free cinema screening: Tuesday 13 December 2022 at 18:00. Free tickets can be picked up at the ticket office of the Odeon cinema on the day of the screening.

* Free worldwide online premiere: The event will be recorded and uploaded on BNFA’s YouTube channel.

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Let’s celebrate International Animation Day!

ACE – Association des Cinémathèques Européennes and Creative Europe MEDIA join the celebration of the International Animation Day on 28 October, a perfect occasion to spotlight the magnificent contribution that the ‘grand dame’ of animation – Lotte Reiniger (1899 -1981) – has made to the field with her oeuvre of pioneering silhouette films.

To ensure that her legacy lives on, the DFF – Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum, is currently working to restore eight films from Reiniger’s early work. The films will premiere in a free screening with live music on 14 December, as part of A Season of Classic Films, an initiative by ACE that features free screenings of restored films and parallel activities across Europe to attract younger audiences to our shared cinematic cultural heritage, supported by Creative Europe MEDIA. Details about the screening event at DFF can be found here.

For dates and access links of the upcoming free screenings in cinemas across Europe and online, please follow ACE’s website and social media pages on Instagram | Facebook | Twitter.

About the International Animation Day

The International Animated Film Association (ASIFA) created the International Animation Day in 2002, to celebrate the birth of animation historically marked by the first public performance of projected moving images at Emile Reynaud’s Theatre Optique on 28 October 1892 in Paris.

Starting in France with 120 locations, ASIFA now coordinates and helps promote activities in more than 50 countries all over the world, putting the art of animation in the limelight in a global worldwide celebration of animation. Find out what’s happening this year at http://iadasifa.net/.

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New titles on Eye Film Player

New titles enrich the Eye Film Player’s selection. Recent additions are the films of Johan van der Keuken and The Forbidden Quest by Peter Delpeut.

Johan van der Keuken (1938-2001) was a man with an exceptional double talent, who filmed with a photographer’s eye and shot photographs with the eye of a filmmaker. Eye Film Player showcases the entire film oeuvre of Van der Keuken in the collection, from the classics Blind Kind (1964) and Beppie (1965) to his later work, including the now internationally celebrated documentaries, such as Amsterdam Global Village (1996) and The Long Holiday (2000). Eye Filmmuseum is currently devoting a major exhibition to the work of Johan van der Keuken (on display until February 5, 2023). Until February 5, Eye will publish two Van der Keuken films monthly on the Eye Film Player.


Eye Film Player is also the perfect place to discover The Forbidden Quest by Peter Delpeut, a magical story of the sole survivor of an expedition to the South Pole built with historical silent film footage. A compelling adventure film about murder, cannibalism and mystic salvation, a new digital restoration of the film by Eye is now available to watch free of charge worldwide. 
With films such as Lyrical Nitrate (1991), The Forbidden Quest and Diva Dolorosa (1999) Peter Delpeut –a former film programmer at Eye Filmmuseum– set a standard for working with archival sources. The old, restored pieces of film are presented as relics of history; their presence in the film archives inspires a stream of new narratives, representing a dynamic approach to the beauty of our filmed past.

 

FIAF Periodicals Indexing Project’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

This year FIAF celebrates the 50th anniversary of their Periodicals Indexing Project (P.I.P). To mark this milestone, the association has commissioned a special celebration book, which will be presented during a two-day event, that will be held 22-23 September in Copenaghen at the Danish Film Institute.

Other than the book presentation, the event will also feature an indexing workshop and a symposium (only open to members of the FIAF Community) – organized in collaboration with the FIAF Cataloguing and Documentarion Commission.

Click here to read the Periodicals Indexing Project’s 50th Anniversary Symposium schedule.

European Film Academy Starts Heritage Department

The European Film Academy is broadening its scope and embracing European cinema from the classics to the contemporary to celebrate the rich and diverse film heritage of Europe. This will, of course, include the work of the honorary award recipients, such as the European Lifetime Achievement and the European Achievement in World Cinema awards, going in 2022 to Margarethe von Trotta and Elia Suleiman respectively. From this year onwards, it will also focus on special anniversaries or specific theme programmes all relating to European film.

For this reason, the European Film Academy has set up a new European Film Heritage department, led by Pascal Edelmann. As a first step, the European Film Academy has been building up a pan-European film heritage network, where cinematheques, film archives and institutions can share information on anniversaries of filmmakers, films, institutions, or specific themes relevant to the cinema history in the various European countries and regions. From now onwards, the Academy aims to actively connect various initiatives and make them much more widely known among lovers of European cinema.

22 New Places Added to “Treasures of European Film Culture”

As one of the new department’s first activities and in light of this year’s 35th European Film Awards, the Academy adds another 22 places to the TREASURES OF EUROPEAN FILM CULTURE, increasing the total number to 35. The Treasures is the Academy’s list of places of a symbolic nature for European cinema, places of historical value that need to be maintained and protected not just now but also for generations to come.

Matthijs Wouter Knol, Director of the European Film Academy: “Instead of limiting our work to organising the European Film Awards, the European Film Academy will embrace European film history and the people who have made European film what it is today. This will result in new projects with exciting partners, but also become visible in all programming we will do throughout the year: in our work for young audiences, in our awards ceremonies, and in new services we will start offering for our members.”

 

The European Film Awards’ ceremony will include as always an “In Memoriam” sequence, a tribute to all those colleagues who have passed away since the previous edition. If there are any filmmakers to include in the context who haven’t been mentioned to EFA so far, please send their names their way.

Film Restored Festival in Berlin (21.9.–25.9.22)

Since 2015, the Film Restored Festival has been dedicated to film heritage in the digital age. Digital restorations celebrate their premieres here, filmmakers and restorers  report on practical aspects of digitization processes, and experts discuss relevant political and aesthetic questions.

The seventh edition of the festival, titled “For real?!”, explores the numerous layers of the documentary form, whether they are aesthetic, political, or technical. It takes its cue from the 80th birthday of exceptional director Werner Herzog on 5 September, who has constantly tested the boundaries between fictional and documentary representations in his work and who has set international standards with his films. Over the course of five days, the festival will shed light on the aesthetic, political, and material layers of the documentary form in film history.

In addition, by choosing this theme, Film Restored aims to draw attention to the vast documentary film history from all around the globe, which have so far hardly been considered in the context of film preservation and digitization efforts.

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Budapest Classics Film Marathon 2022 – Budapest, Vienna, Hollywood

The fifth edition of Budapest Classics Film Marathon, the international festival of restored films organised by National Film Institute is about to start and will run from September 13-18.

Over six days, the audience will be able to enjoy recently restored, popular classics and rarities for a total of 100 of the finest films from global movie history. The goal of Budapest Classics Film Marathon (BKFM) is to position the values of Hungarian film in the focus of domestic and international attention, and present the best of European film heritage to a Hungarian audience. Once again, the highlight of the festival is the transformation of the square in front of St. Stephen’s Basilica into a free open-air cinema for four evenings.

The main theme of the September festival is the Central European roots of Hollywood. The core of the programme comprises works by artists who, setting out from Budapest and frequently with stop-offs in Vienna and Berlin, made it to Hollywood where they achieved global fame. The lives of those individuals coming from territories that were formerly part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and exporting Central European culture to America were often just as exciting as the works they created.

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