Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960–1990

05.04. bis 14.06.2014
National Gallery of Art
4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington DC 20565

Though it is justly associated with political restrictions on creativity and meager resources, the Cold War era in the former Eastern Bloc nevertheless saw film and video makers creating independent and experimental work on their own terms. This series focuses on films that defied the established traditions of both narrative and documentary cinema and were produced outside large state-run studios. Borrowed from archival collections across the region—including Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic, as well as U.S. and Western European archives and the personal archives of several filmmakers—the films offer fresh insights into the artistic explorations of time-based media undertaken by artists and amateurs, as well as by professional filmmakers in the region. Seen today, these titles seem as potent as any work produced contemporaneously in the Cold War West. With special thanks to the Embassy of the Republic of Poland, the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia, and the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia.

Workshop of the Film Form and Beyond:
Shorts from 1970s Poland
showing Sat May 17 (2:00)
venue East Building

An established Polish avant-garde cinematic tradition continued under Socialist rule in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań, and especially Łódź, where the National Film School made it possible in the 1970s for a whole generation of young filmmakers and artists to investigate film’s formal conventions. (Total running time
75 minutes)