Machines of the visible, cinema against spectacle
Where: Palau de la Virreina
La Rambla, 99

Previous activities / Seminars and talks

in conversation, jean-louis comolli, mercè ibarz

Machines of the visible, cinema against spectacle
Jean-Louis Comolli and Mercè Ibarz

22.02.2017 – 24.02.2017


Please note that for reasons beyond the control of the organization we have had to cancel the conferences to be held today, 22 February at 7 pm, and Friday 24 February at 7 pm, offered by Jean-Louis Comolli and Mercè Ibarz as part of the IN CONVERSATION series.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Wednesday 22 and Friday 24 February, 7 pm
Espai 4
Language: French (with simultaneous translation) and Catalan
Free entry. Limited places

The vast cinematographic work of film director, critic and educator Jean-Louis Comolli (1941) focuses strongly on the documentary, and his influential writings span four decades. His impressive body of work places in question the status of the viewer and our relationship with the images and narratives of our world of screens. From the first text, released in English in 1971 as Machines of the Visible, to the last essay in the book, Daech, le cinéma et la mort (2016), from the first film to the last, Cinéma documentaire. Fragments d'une histoire (2015), Comolli induces us to resist the conversion of life, history and the present into a spectacle.
The intellectual and creative history of Comolli as a filmmaker is dealt with in two sessions of dialogues: a conversation with Mercè Ibarz (Wednesday, 22 February) and the projection and discussion of his latest film (Friday, 24 February).

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Comolli sees everything as cinema: making it, producing it, writing it, seeing it; reading, writing and talking about it; thinking about it, investigating it, editing it, disseminating it, scheduling it, presenting it... In the living room on the TV, computer, tablet or cell phone. In celluloid, video, television or digital format. At the museum, in the street, on the underground, even in the torture room. Past, present and what is to come. It is only important to really see, to see through the moving images that have been put together. No matter who does it and who sees it.

Comolli started to work at Cahiers du Cinéma in 1962, where he was editor-in-chief for a few years, at the beginning of the Nouvelle Vague. He was an actor in the first films by Rohmer and Godard. He wrote brilliant texts that soon became influential and were widely translated (in Spanish, Ver y poderMayo francés. La cámara opacaCine, modo de empleoCine contra espectáculo; Cuerpo y cuadro. Cine, ética, política). In 1968 he decided to make films, and from then on he was guided by a single ideology: the mission of the cinema is to show that everything changes.

Comolli's conversation with Mercè Ibarz (Wednesday 22 February) will explore his varied and harmonious career.



Friday, 24 February 2017

Documentary film. Fragments of a story (2015) (Spanish subtitles)
Projection of the film and discussion with Jean-Louis Comolli

The latest film by Jean-Louis Comolli, Cinéma documentaire. Fragments d'une histoire, is a cinematographic essay of historical reflection that takes stock of some fundamental principles of moving images, for both filmmakers and viewers. Focusing on technological developments, perspectives and attitudes in relation to documentary film, it goes from the origins to 1975. From Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory by the Lumière brothers to Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord, Comolli reviews documentary filmmaking before the video and digital era. The examples (Buñuel, Van der Keuken, Rouch, Vertov, Riefensthal, Marker, Ivens, Marceline Loridan, Drew, and a tip from Hitchcock) make up a legacy of lessons for the present, which Comolli brings together by tracing an architecture of reality and how to film it.

This session is complementary to the Comolli’s dialogue with Mercè Ibarz (Wednesday 22) and will also be attended by the filmmaker. The projection of the film (55 minutes, Spanish subtitles) will be followed by a debate.

Documentary film. Fragments of a story (2015) (V.O.S.E. del

Jean-Louis Comolli (1941) is a French filmmaker with a long career in documentary cinema and an influential writer on critical film theory. He was editor-in-chief of Cahiers du Cinéma between 1966 and 1971 and has directed forty films. He received the SCAM (Société Civile des Auteurs Multimédia) Prize in 2003 for his lifetime achievement and teaches in film schools in Paris and at several international universities.

Mercè Ibarz is a professor of Audiovisual Communication at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. She received her doctorate with a thesis on documentaries by Buñuel, which was published and featured at an exhibition at the IVAM (Institut Valencià d'Art Modern). She has been a journalist and cultural critic since 1976 and is currently a columnist. She has published several essays and fiction titles.

dziga vertov, in conversation, la virreina centre de la imatge
Dziga Vertov, 'The man of the camera'
Jean Rouch, moi un noir, en diàleg, la virreina centre de la imatge
Jean Rouch, 'Moi un noir'
marceline loridan, joris ivens, in conversation, la virreina centre de la imatge
Marceline Loridan and Joris Ivens filming