Few cinematic movements have parameters as defined as those of the Czech New Wave – the films presented in this season were enabled during the comparatively relaxed period of political liberalisation in Czechoslovakia during the 1960s, a time of flourishing artistic creativity which came to an abrupt end during the Prague Spring of ’68 as the invading Communist forces reasserted the restrictive regime. This brief window of opportunity led a cadre of astute young writers and directors to act as a barometer, taking the measure of the times through their highly imaginative, politically engaged cinema.
The filmmakers we are focusing on, most of whom were students of FAMU, the Prague film school were smuggling damning critiques of the government into their state-funded films and hence many were indefinitely shelved or banned outright. We must recognise the deliberate aesthetic approach of these films as being symptomatic of a society emerging from a period of cultural conservatism, and as such they are mordant, slyly subversive slices of life under communism. Influenced by the subjectivity of the French New Wave and the cinema verite of Italian Neorealism, Czech directors used non-professional actors, improvised dialogue, allegorical subjects, spiky, associative editing and edgy camerawork to create highly personal and distinctive filmmaking styles.
Professor Jaromir Šofr, cinematographer on two titles in this season as our guest of honour; Prof. Šofr will participate in a discussion following Closely Observed Trains on Sunday 23rd April and in a career master-class on the evening of Monday 24th.
Welcome to the second edition of PLASTIK Festival of Artists’ Moving Image - a festival devoted entirely to artists working with the moving image. With films by over 40 artists and filmmakers, and including both contemporary and historical work, PLASTIK will take place at a range of venues in Dublin, bringing international and Irish work together to form a distinct programme, much of which will be screening in Ireland for the first time.
PLASTIK aims to represent the breadth and scope of innovative and experimental work being produced in this ever expanding field of practice, developing a platform for the moving image, with a focus on the cinema as exhibition space. The privilege of a festival of this nature allows an intensity of work, creating uneasy combinations, and challenging perspectives through its ability to affect.
All festival screenings will take place at the IFI. In addition to this, a series of discussions, talks and live performances will take place at partner venue Temple Bar Gallery + Studios (TBG+S), with many internationally acclaimed artists and curators in attendance, including James Richards, Erika Balsom, Yuri Pattison, Ann Hirsch and Benjamin Cook (LUX).
PLASTIK emerges from collaborations between LUX, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and the Irish Film Institute, and is made possible through the generous support of the Arts Council.
PLASTIK Weekend Festival Pass: €60 (€50 Concession)
To avail of the Weekend Festival Pass, please book in person at the IFI Box Office or by phone - 01 679 3477
All talks at PLASTIK Festival of Artists’ Moving Image are free of charge. However, advance booking is strongly advised. Booking available through the PLASTIK festival website - www.plastikfestival.com
For further details please visit www.plastikfestival.com
The IFI is supported by The Arts Council