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The Wolf of Royal Vineyard Street
The Wolf of Royal Vineyard Street

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) announced the first part of its Deep Focus 2017 selection.  In Deep Focus – one of the festival’s four program sections – IFFR focuses in on cinema itself, in all its diversity, through retrospectives, masterclasses, compilations and countless other manifestations. Film art cultivated in all it’s variety.

Alongside the Signatures main program, the Deep Focus section comprises of the program elements Regained, the one-off Nuts & Bolts program and retrospectives dedicated to the work of Jan Němec and Su Hui-yu. A new element this year is Frameworks, a separate selection of films by artists as part of the Signatures program.

In Signatures, IFFR presents new work by established makers, auteurs and festival veterans. From Lav Diaz’s The Woman Who Left (an award-winner in Venice) to Albert Serra’s La mort de Louis XIV and Ulrich Seidl’s latest film, Safari. Almost ten years after his legendary Historias Extraordinarias, Mariano Llinás’ new epic project is nearing completion. The first part of La Flor, which is made up of two distinct parts, will have its international premiere during the festival. Bill Morrison and Patrick Bokanowski – two exceptional filmmakers, each of whom has developed a highly personal form of filmmaking – have also been confirmed for Signatures. In Dawon City: Frozen Time, Morrison reveals a treasure trove of stories on nitrate film, buried for decades in Canadian soil. With Un rêve solaire, the visual alchemist Bokanowski has created perhaps the most hallucinogenic film in his oeuvre.

Under the label Frameworks, IFFR shows films made by visual artists. These films work just as well in a cinema setting as in a museum or gallery space, bringing with them a contemporary art frame of reference. Highlights include Fiona Tan’s poetic photo montage Ascent; the conceptual detective film Where is Rocky II? by Pierre Bismuth and Jungle Book remake Die reine Notwendigkeit by media artist David Claerbout, which has its world première at the festival.

In the Regained section, new light is cast on existing film material by means of restored classics, films about film, experimental works and installations. John Torres’ People Power Bombshell: Diary of Vietnam Rose will have its international première during IFFR. This reconstruction of an uncompleted film is experienced as a feverish trip that acts as a metaphor for the Philippine nation and its traumas. With Conner’s Crossroads and The Exploding Digital Inevitable, American film archivist Ross Lipman will present a live performance based around Bruce Conner’s notorious film Crossroads, which combines nuclear explosions with minimal music. To create the project Homeless Movies, which has its international première on the Schouwburgplein in special individual film cabins, six luminaries of the Belgian arts scene pored over amateur films.

IFFR will present the most extensive retrospective of the work of Jan Němec ever assembled. Alongside familiar classics, the program will also present seldom-seen works from the fifteen-year period of Němec’s exile. Comprising of fiction films, documentaries, shorts and television films, this program reflects the huge diversity of the Czech filmmaker’s oeuvre. Heart Beat 3D (2010), an experimental work that has hardly ever been shown, will have its international première in Rotterdam, as will his last film The Wolf of Royal Vineyard Street (2016).

While his latest film Super Taboo has been selected for the Tiger Competition for Short Films, IFFR is also presenting a short program of previous works by this Taiwanese artist. Su Hui-yu: The Midnight Hours gives an overview of his recent hypnotic video works, dealing with what people get up to in the hours after the clock has chimed midnight. Made up principally of festival premieres, the program shows Su Hui-yu’s investigations of late-night TV and how the media, technology and social conventions shape human behavior.

DEEP FOCUS: Signatures
La Flor (Parte 1), Mariano Llinás, Argentina, international premiere
Confirmed titles
Beduino, Júlio Bressane, Brazil
Belle dormante, Adolfo Arrieta, France/Spain
Big Big World, Reha Erdem, Turkey
Dawson City: Frozen Time, Bill Morrison, USA
La mort de Louis XIV, Albert Serra, France/Spain
Un rêve solaire, Patrick Bokanowski, France
Safari, Ulrich Seidl, Austria
Der traumhafte Weg, Angela Schanelec, Germany
The Woman Who Left, Lav Diaz, Philippines
Yourself and Yours, Hong Sangsoo, South Korea

DEEP FOCUS: Frameworks
I’m coming up, Ting Ming-wei, Singapore, international premiere
Die reine Notwendigkeit, David Claerbout, Belgium, world premiere
Sanctuary, Ashley Sabin & David Redmon, Canada/USA/UK/Ireland, world premiere
The Silent Eye, Amiel Courtin-Wilson, Australia, international premiere
Tonsler Park, Kevin Jerome Everson, USA, world premiere
Confirmed titles
Ascent, Fiona Tan, Netherlands/Japan
Tony Conrad, Invented Acoustical Instruments, Cameron Jamie, Germany
Where is Rocky II?, Pierre Bismuth, USA/France

DEEP FOCUS: Regained – theatrical
Accelerando (part of 1917 – Europe’s Optical Illusion), Georg Wasner, Austria, short film, international premiere
L’amatore, Maria Mauti, Italy, international premiere
Conner’s Crossroads and The Exploding Digital Inevitable, Ross Lipman, USA, world premiere
People Power Bombshell: Diary of Vietnam Rose, John Torres, Philippines, international premiere
Escapes, Michael Almereyda, USA, world premiere
Mansfield 66/67, David Ebersole & Todd Hughes, UK/USA, international premiere
Por la Libertad, Laurence Garret, Mexico/France, world premiere
Raoul Ruiz, contre l’ignorance fiction, Alejandra Rojo, France, international premiere
Confirmed titles
1917 – Europe’s Optical Illusion, Georg Wasner, Austria
Break Up, Marco Ferreri, Italy
David Lynch: the art of life, Jon Nguyen, USA
Epistolar, Alejandra Rojo, France, short film
Exprmntl, Brecht Debackere, Belgium
Family of Man, combined programme:

  • Answer Print, Mónica Savirón, USA, short film
  • As crianças fantasmas, João Vieira Torres, Brazi/France, short film, European premiere
  • Conseil d’Etat, Fanny Zaman, Belgium, short film
  • Sergei/Sir Gay, Mark Rappaport, France/USA, short film, international premiere
  • What Happened to Her, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, USA, short film

Le film à venir, Alejandra Rojo, France, short film
How I Fell in Love with Eva Ras, André Gil Mata, Portugal/Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tony Conrad: Completely In The Present, Tyler Hubby, USA
where were we, combined programme:

  • Burning Mountains That Spew Flame, Samuel M. Delgado & Helena Girón, Spain, short film, European premiere
  • Colossal Cave, Graeme Arnfield, UK, short film
  • A Place I’ve Never Been, Adrian Flury, Switzerland, short film
  • Remote, Eva Giolo, Belgium, short film, international premiere
  • The Stability of the System, Sasha Litvintseva & Isabel Mallet, UK, short film, international premiere
  • Tempo of Tomorrow Revisited, Josh Gibson & Annie Gibson, USA/Cuba, short film, European premiere

DEEP FOCUS: Regained – non-theatrical
EXPRMNTL PAPERS, Xavier Garcia Bardon, Belgium @ Printroom
Homeless Movies, combined programme, Belgium @ Schouwburgplein
Jointed Film, Imai Norio, exposition @ Gallery Joey Ramone
Jan zonder vrees, Jef Cassiers, live score by Alain Pierre, Belgium @ WORM
Lost Landscapes of L.A., Rick Prelinger, USA @ Schouwburg Mediawall

DEEP FOCUS: Jan Němec Retrospective
Heart Beat 3D, Jan Němec, Czech Republic, international premiere
The Wolf of Royal Vineyard Street, Jan Němec, Czech Republic/Slovakia/France, international premiere
Confirmed titles
The Party and the Guests, Jan Němec, Czechoslovakia
Between Minute 4 and 5, Jan Němec, Czechoslovakia, short film
Code Name: Ruby, Jan Němec, Czech Republic
The Czech Connection, Jan Němec, West Germany, short film
Diamonds of the Night, Jan Němec, Czechoslovakia
The Ferrari Dino Girl, Jan Němec, Czech Republic
Flames of Royal Love, Jan Němec, Czechoslovakia
GEN: Arnošt Lustig Through the Eyes of Jan Němec, Jan Němec, Czech Republic, short film
GEN: Ester Krumbachová Through the Eyes of Jan Němec, Jan Němec, Czech Republic, short film
GEN: The Life of Singer Marta Kubišová Through the Eyes of Jan Němec, Jan Němec, Czech Republic, short film
Golden Sixties: Jan Němec, Jan Němec, Czech Republic
Heart Above the Castle, Jan Němec, Czech Republic
In the Light of the King’s Love, Jan Němec, Czech Republic
Landscape of My Heart, Jan Němec, Czech Republic
Late Night Talks with Mother
, Jan Němec, Czech Republic
A Loaf of Bread
, Jan Němec, Czechoslovakia, short film
Martyrs of Love, Jan Němec, Czechoslovakia
A Memory for the Present, Jan Němec, Czech Republic, short film
Mother and Son, Jan Němec, West Germany/Netherlands, short film
Oratorio for Prague, Jan Němec, Czechoslovakia, short film
Pearls of the Deep, Jan Němec, Czechoslovakia
Toyen, Jan Němec, Czech Republic

DEEP FOCUS: Su Hui-yu: The Midnight Hours
A Man After Midnight, Su Hui-yu, Taiwan, world premiere
Man Carrying Shame, Su Hui-yu, Taiwan, world premiere
Ne Quan, Su Hui-yu, Taiwan, world premiere
Stillnox Home Video: The Midnight Hours, Su Hui-yu, Taiwan, world premiere
Thou Shalt Not Self-pollute (Dr. Kinsey), Su Hui-yu, Taiwan, world premiere
Tevens bevestigd
The Upcoming Show, Su Hui-yu, Taiwan

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