Much of the earliest writing about film explored the idea of cinema as a Gesamtkunstwerk, a kind of total art, and since those early days, there has always been a natural affinity between film and the other artistic forms and media. Since 1983, the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal has been a vital platform for films and filmmakers that continue to explore those connections.
In some cases, the connection lies in the power of film to document those "ephemeral" arts such as dance or performance; in others, filmmakers have used the cinema to explore the backstories behind artistic creation. Still in others, a kind of marriage between the language of film and that of the other arts has been achieved.
This brief survey of films shown at the most recent edition of the festival offers an intriguing overview of the many ways that contemporary filmmakers attempt to create a dialogue between cinema and the other arts.
Ai Weiwei: Without Fear of Favour
Matthew Springford, 2010, UK; 55m
Two intimate portraits of two cutting-edge contemporary artists: the Chinese architect, photographer, curator and blogger Ai Weiwei and the Korean-born new media pioneer Nam June Paik.
SEP 20 @ 8:20PM
SEP 23 @ 7:30PM
Bone Wind Fire
Jill Sharpe, 2011, Canada; 30m
In Bone Wind Fire, director Jill Sharpe examines the work of artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Emily Carr and Frida Kahlo and how they were influenced by their environments. In The Stein Family, director Elizabeth Lennard shows us how the members of the famous American expat clan amassed their formidable art collections.
SEP 19 @ 6:15PM
SEP 23 @ 5:45PM
Eames: The Architect and the Painter
Jason Cohn & Bill Jersey, 2011, USA; 82m
James Franco narrates this fascinating, revealing look into the lives and work of husband-wife team Charles and Ray Eames, two of the most influential designers of the 20th century.
SEP 23 @ 4:00PM
Jiří Kylián: Forgotten Memories/Jiří Kylián, mémoires d’oubliettes
Don Kent, 2011, France; 52m
Two remarkable films on dance: a look at Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián as he returns to his native Prague for the staging of a new piece, and At the Edge of the Scene, a portrait of three Montréal choreographers and their respective creative processes. SEP 21 @ 6:15PM
SEP 22 @ 6:15PM
At the Edge of the Scene, portrait of choreographers Virginie Brunelle, Frédérick Gravel and Dave St-Pierre
Produced by George Martin
Francis Hanly, 2011, UK; 87m
Testimony by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Jeff Beck and many others lends insight into the unique role of producer George Martin in creating some of the finest pop music ever recorded. SEP 19 @ 8:15
SEP 22 @ 8:20
Revolutions of the Night: The Enigma of Henry Darger
Mark Stokes, 2011, UK; 104m
Armed with new research, Mark Stokes’ informative portrait of the reclusive author and artist Henry Darger sheds new light on Darger’s work and places it in the contexts of both contemporary art and literature.
SEP 20 @ 6:15PM
SEP 22 @ 2:00PM
Thomas Thümena, 2011, Switzerland; 88m
This long-overdue portrait of one of the most popular, and influential, sculptors of the 20th century traces his development from his boyhood in Switzerland to his crucial stay in Paris in the early 1950s, as well as his encounters with surrealism, pop art and arte povera.
SEP 22 @ 4:10PM
Alysa Nahmias & Benjamin Murray, 2011, USA; 86m
In 1961, in the flush of revolutionary fervor, Fidel Castro and Che Guevara invited three Cuban architects to create what they hoped would be the most spectacular and futuristic art school in Latin America. Forty years later, Castro invites the architects back to complete their unrealized dream.
SEP 21 8:20PM
SEP 23 2:00PM
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