Âge d’Or 2023

Sodom (Luther Price, 1989)

Âge d’Or is back again for a long weekend dedicated to unconventional cinema. With a series of short films, a science fiction quadriptych, a roundtable discussion, unbound archives and an installation, this year’s festival aims to help think about memory, oblivion and preservation. Film archives preserve something of us, of our personal and collective stories, of the history of cinema. What stories are we talking about and for whom? What role can archives play in shaping our present?

The weekend begins with two screenings conceived as dialogues between contemporary films and films from CINEMATEK’s archives. From Here: Expanded Archive aims to build bridges between historical and contemporary film practices, in particular between Pierre Voland’s Belgian film Signal GPS Perdu and Mangosteen by Thai director Tulapop Saenjaroen.

Researchers and archivists Annabelle Aventurin and Léa Morin are invited to present their project Non-Aligned Film Archives. In collaboration with the Open City Documentary Festival and starting from unfinished films or archives that disappeared because they were on the political margins of a dominant film history, Non-Aligned Film Archives proposes a restorative gesture: to bring out the potential of these minority works by presenting other films, sometimes recently restored and themselves long marginalised, together. Aventurin and Morin will explain their approach, followed by a screening, at a meeting with the Future Archives Research Cluster of KASK & Conservatorium Gent in the framework of KASKcinema’s Archives in Dialogue programme.

Taking a similar approach, Black Archive proposes to deconstruct racial stereotypes seen in films and revisit the representation of black bodies and subjectivities through experimental films. A roundtable discussion with film collectives and practitioners is considering the circulation of these films, and in anticipation of the festival that will take place at Beursschouwburg, CINEMATEK welcomes Black Archive with their carte blanche The Passion of Remembrance by the Sankofa Film and Video Collective.

During the weekend, three screenings are dedicated to contemporary cinema. Hors-champs brings together five filmmakers documenting historical events and acts of resistance, with the intimate driving an archival practice. Tissages temporels brings together four films around handmade objects that question what is hidden or revealed from our gaze.

Arboretum Cycle, a set of seven films by Nathaniel Dorsky about the plant world, shot over a year on 16mm, is a memorable experience in itself.

Eva van Tongeren’s installation In the Belly of the City explores how collecting and archiving can act as an anchor for a situated understanding of the world.

To close the festival CINEMATEK welcomes artist Shu Lea Cheang for a four-part show of queer science fiction films. Androids, technological waste, data collection on sexual pleasure, transgenic humans, mutating viruses. The cinematic and craft objects central to Shu Lea Cheang’s films sketch traces to evoke what could be a future archive.

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