Master of Film

The Master of Film lecture series

Every other Wednesday night the Master’s department of the Film Academy invites guests to come and give a lecture. Speakers can be film makers, visual artists, composers but also philosophers, scientists or film theoreticians. The aim is simple: to broaden our horizon and to get inspired by a diversity of approaches and perspectives.

The lectures are free and open to all who are interested. For most lectures a reservation won't be necessary, but if you want to be sure to have a seat: please use the online RSVP form.

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Programme season 2015/2016

1 December 2015

The Self-licking ice cream syndrome is a term coined by Pentagon analyst Chuck Spinney to point at a self-perpetuating system to hold a government hostage in order to steal public money for ever increasing defense spending. A part of this syndrome is the creation of a reality-tunnel of fear. Chuck Spinney is one of the many interviewees from Johan Grimonprez’ new feature film ‘Shadow World’, zooming in on these specific themes.

The itinerary of this lecture will trace the trajectory throughout Grimonprez work, from ‘dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y' via ‘Double Tak’e to the most recent film ‘Shadow World’, still to be premiered earlier next year. This trajectory spans the move from media manipulation explored in the earlier work towards what one could call a political ontology, or rather how diplomacy scholar James der Derian, also interviewed in the film, would phrase it: as a “zombie ontology” - a state of the world caught in an ontology of fear, where we are all forced to embody the terror-paradigm.

Informed by an archaeology of present-day media, Grimonprez’ work seeks out the tension between the intimate and the bigger picture of globalization. It questions our contemporary sublime, one framed by a fear industry that has infected social dialogue. By suggesting new narratives through which to tell a story, his work emphasizes a multiplicity of histories and realities. Grimonprez is, in his own way, trying to make sense of the wreckage wrought by history. In a world abundant with mass-produced images, what is of enduring interest is how one is still able to tell a personal story.

Johan Grimonprez' curatorial projects have been exhibited at museums worldwide, including the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; and MoMA. His works are in the collections of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa; and Tate Modern, London. His films include ‘dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y’ (1997) and ‘Double Take’ (2009). Traveling the main festival circuit from the Berlinale to Sundance, they garnered several Best Director awards, the 2005 ZKM International Media Award, a Spirit Award and the 2009 Black Pearl Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, and were also acquired by NBC Universal, ARTE, and FILM 4.

In 2011 Hatje Cantz Verlag published a reader on his work titled ‘Johan Grimonprez: It's a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards’, with contributions by Jodi Dean, Thomas Elsaesser, Tom McCarthy, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Slavoj Žižek. Grimonprez currently divides his time between Brussels and New York, where he participated in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and lectures at the School of Visual Arts. His current film project (with author Andrew Feinstein), ‘Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade’, was awarded a production grant from the Sundance Institute.

9 December 2015

Life in soundspaces | Cilia Erens

Cilia Erens is a sound artist, working with sounds from daily reality. To her the world is a series of sound spaces to be explored, each with its own identity which only becomes manifest when sound and sight are no longer in sync.

During her lecture, Erens will discuss how she listens to how life manifests itself in sound and how she makes these vital processes part of her work. She will elaborate on her working process by referring to some of her recent activities: ‘Via Dolorosa’ (2013), a short documentary by video artist / filmmaker Menno Otten that has received multiple awards, ‘Niets laat me vermoeden’ / ‘There’s nothing to tell me’ (2015), which is an interactive sound landscape in nature about World War 1, and her most recent research project: a 'listening trip' to urban China. After 29 years Erens went back to record, again, the sounds of China, hoping that by capturing the changing sounds, it's possible to document the explosive scaling that is taking place in urban China. This will lead to a new work, ‘Time Lapse China’.

Erens, who lives and works in Amsterdam, pioneered the concept of the soundwalk (1987) but also creates installations for public spaces. Her ongoing fascination is with making ‘collective silences’, as well as urban development, audible. Her background is in urban and regional planning. Erens exclusively uses binaural recordings, a technique which enables us to experience the sound environment as space. Her approach is interdisciplinary.



Time & place

Date & time:
Every other Wednesday night,
19:30-21:30 hrs.

Film Academy cinema

Please use the RSVP form