15.03.2018

Amber, George Clark, Aurélien Froment, Leah Millar, Raúl Ruiz  
 
Fri 16 – Sun 18 March 
 
This weekend is an invitation to think about the history and legacy of political film, cultural displacement, collective memory and how cinema captures or reflects reality. Contemporary artists George Clark, Aurélien Froment and Leah Millar explore cinematic continuity and rupture through site-specific new production, projection and restaging. Responding to the legacy of the 1970s in work by Newcastle-based Amber Film collective and a focus on Chile’s most internationally recognised filmmaker Raúl Ruiz.  
 
 
 
FRIDAY 16 MARCH 
 
George Clark: Double Ghosts 
 
Star and Shadow Cinema, 7.30pm, 75min + discussion 
FREE, doors open 7.15pm 
 
Double Ghosts is a new film work by George Clark that responds to the legacy of Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz (1941-2011). In 1995, Ruiz flew to Taiwan to film Comedy of Shadows / La comedie des ombres. The film was shot but never finished. The incompleteness of Ruiz's film is the starting point for Double Ghosts, an invitation to think through divergent cultural, social and geographical contexts. Considering the echoes of unrealised political histories from the legacy of the short lived socialist government in Chile to life under martial law in both countries, Double Ghosts attempts to use the space of cinema as a site of projection between the past and the present. 
 
For this site-specific event, Clark will present a selection of new 35mm footage shot in Taiwan and Chile, in dialogue with rare short films by Raúl Ruiz exploring his homeland through the prism of his exile and work by the artists group CADA (Art Actions Collective) made during the military dictatorship in Chile. 
 
An incomplete film in an unfinished cinema.  
 
 
 
SATURDAY 17 MARCH 
 
 
Panel Discussion: George Clark, Aurélien Froment and Leah Millar 
Side Cinema, 12pm, 60min. FREE no booking required 
 
Join contemporary artists George Clark, Aurélien Froment and Leah Millar at the beginning of cinema weekend to discuss their different approaches to thinking about filmmaking, the history and legacy of political film and collective memory. 
 
 
Leah Millar: New Commission + Short Films 
Side Cinema, 2.30pm, 80mins + discussion. FREE no booking required 
 
In this new commission, artist and experimental filmmaker Leah Millar looks at marginalised land space bordering the River Tyne, exploring themes of trace, collective memory and social history through the post-industrial riverine landscape. Millar's use of 16mm film as a physical and structural material, which bears a trace of the processes of its production, creates embodied synaesthetic connections to her subjects. This site-specific new work thinks through the collective meaning of subjectively authored documentary cinema, as it follows the flow of power and socio-economic change down Tyne's river course.  
 
In dialogue with her work, the artist has selected a programme of films, which have documented Tyneside industries and their impact on the local community since the Second World War.  
 
Three short films are shown following the premiere of Millar’s new film, including Launch (1974) and Quayside (1979) by Amber Films collective, and Tyneside Story (1944) scripted by Jack Common.  
 
 
Aurélien Froment: Slow Retrospective 6 
Raúl Ruiz: Socialist Realism (Considered as one of the Fine Arts) 
 
Side Cinema, 6pm, originally 270 min, Chile, 1973, £5 / £4  
 
Socialist Realism (Considered as one of the Fine Arts) was improvised mainly on the factory floor, as Ruiz and his group invited workers to debate the politics of factory occupation and the Chilean revolution. These sequences are intercut with scenes of middle-class intellectuals to form a dialectical structure. On one side, an advertising agent for the opposition gets closer to the far left. On the other side, a worker gets closer to the far right. Considered a traitor for his past work with the enemy, the intellectual hires a bodyguard – the expelled far right worker. Meanwhile, the worker starts plotting solo terrorist actions…  
 
Made during Salvador Allende's short-lived socialist Popular Unity government, the film was lost following the 1973 military coup in Chile. This screening will restage the film based on the only surviving elements drawn from the Royal Belgium Cinematheque. Responding to the theme of occupation at the centre of Ruiz's film, the event will insert Socialist Realism into Howard Hawks' 1951 sci-fi 'The Thing from Another World' made at the height of McCarthyism.  
 
Slow Retrospective is a project by artist Aurélien Froment, showing the works of Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz in a potentially life long retrospective. Screenings follow the chronology of the films’ production and are hosted around the world in theatres, galleries and other spaces. Previous screenings include La Maleta (Cinema Liberty, Mumbai, 2015), Trailer for El Tango del Viudo (Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, 2016), Tres Triste Tigre (Le Cratère, Toulouse, 2016), La Colonia Penal/Ahora te vamos a llamar hermano (Le Cratère, Toulouse, 2016) and Nadie dijo Nada (M Museum, Leuven, 2017). 
 
 
 
SUNDAY 18 MARCH 
 
 
Raúl Ruiz: The Suspended Vocation / La Vocation suspendue 
Side Cinema, 1pm, 90min + intro, 16mm, 1977, £5 / £4 
 
After the 1973 Chilean military coup Raúl Ruiz was forced into exile and relocated to Europe. The Suspended Vocation is a highly original literary adaptation of philosopher Pierre Klossowski’s novel. As Ruiz has stated 'this book talks about all the quarrels inside the church, of different factions in the Catholic Church. This was not very different from the discussions and quarrels inside the Left movement in Latin America.' Shifting between two time periods and mixing colour and black and white, the film blurs ideologies to question our co-dependent relationship to institutions. This labyrinthine work reflects the trauma of the radical left, whilst seeking a way out of the political impasse of the 1970s with a new form of subversive aesthetically playful political cinema.  
 
 
Raúl Ruiz & Valeria Sarmiento: The Wandering Soap Opera / La Telenovela errante 
Tyneside Cinema, 4pm, 80min + intro, 1990/2017, £7.50 / £6 
 
Following the lifting of martial law in 1990, Raúl Ruiz returned to Chile where he filmed The Wandering Soap Opera with local actors and old collaborators. Ruiz approached contemporary Chilean society as a competition between conflicting television dramas, based on the assumption that 'Chilean reality does not exist, but rather is an ensemble of soap operas. […] Political and economic problems are dissolved in a gelatinous fictional melange divided into evening episodes. The entire reality of Chile is viewed from the point of view of the soap opera, which acts as a filter revealing this reality.' Left unfinished until 2017, The Wandering Soap Opera was recovered by Valeria Sarimento, Ruiz's long-term collaborator and partner. This remarkable cinema archaeology has reintroduced a central Ruiz work.  
 
UK premiere.  
 
 
Amber Films: Tyne Lives 
Side Cinema, 8pm, 60mins. £5 / £4 
 
A feature length film by Amber Films collective blending narrative and documentary, as it relates the reality of working class life on the River Tyne in 1980.  
 
Selected by Leah Millar. In dialogue with her work, the artist has selected a programme of films, which have documented Tyneside industries and their impact on the local community since the Second World War.