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The complete letters: Filmed correspondence on view at the CCCB in Barcelona
José Luis Guerín and Jonas Mekas established an epistolary relation of the first order.
BARCELONA.- On view through 19 February 2012, the CCCB presents “THE COMPLETE LETTERS. Filmed Correspondence”. The exhibition is a co-production by the Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco (CCUT), in Mexico; the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB); La Casa Encendida, in Madrid, and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), with the collaboration of the Culture Department of the Generalitat de Catalunya Catalan government. Jordi Balló, Head of Exhibitions at the CCCB, is the curator.

“THE COMPLETE LETTERS. Filmed Correspondence” brings together the filmed letters exchanged by six pairs of filmmakers. Filmed correspondence is an experimental format for communication between directors who, despite being geographically distant, are united by the desire to share ideas and reflections about anything and everything that stimulates their work. In this space of freedom, the filmmakers who make up the exhibition look at affinities and differences, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and shared interests, and establish important formal variants in each individual correspondence.

The works presented in “THE COMPLETE LETTERS” constitute an innovative cinematographic format by means of which filmed ideas are exchanged by these great twosomes:

• José Luis Guerín (Barcelona) - Jonas Mekas (New York)
• Isaki Lacuesta (Girona) - Naomi Kawase (Nara)
• Albert Serra (Banyoles) - Lisandro Alonso (Buenos Aires)
• Víctor Erice (Madrid) - Abbas Kiarostami (Teheran)
• Jaime Rosales (Madrid) - Wang Bing (Shaanxi)
• Fernando Eimbcke (Mexico City) - So Yong Kim (Pusan/New York)

This exchange of letters responds to a reality: the homeland of a filmmaker is shared with other of the world’s directors, and in this filmic continent creators are always alive to the work of others. The simultaneous, juxtaposed presentation of these collections of filmed correspondence in a single expository space creates a space of dialogue and reflective intimacy.

The creative relation between Víctor Erice and Abbas Kiarostami generated by the exhibition “Erice-Kiarostami. Correspondences” (CCCB, Barcelona, 2006) gave an impetus to this new cinematographic format: the exchange of filmed ideas between two filmmakers. Since then, the CCCB has invited other directors to explore this format in an experience that went under the title “Cinergies” (CCCB, 2008-2009).

“THE COMPLETE LETTERS” brings together the six filmed correspondences produced by this initiative and presents them at the CCCB. In the words of the exhibition curator, Jordi Balló, “these filmed letters were created to be shown in a public space, conquered by the cinema. This infectious function is essential: the fact that we are working with an expository space where spectators can walk from one projection room to another is in no way detrimental to the filmic language—quite the opposite. The exhibition is actually designed with the cinema in mind”.

The filmed correspondences

José Luis Guerín and Jonas Mekas

José Luis Guerín and Jonas Mekas established an epistolary relation of the first order: a monthly letter governed by a principle of Mekas that Guerín adopts as his own: cinema as a reaction to life. Following this premise, a series of nine letters, filmed in very varied places around the world, produce a personal relation that reveals impressions and affinities between two directors united by the desire to share their concerns and viewpoints.
2009-2011 • HDV, DV, colour and black and white • Total duration: 1 h 39 min • 9 letters

Isaki Lacuesta and Naomi Kawase
In Between Days is a filmed correspondence between two directors who coincided briefly at a festival where their respective works were presented. The faint memory of a brief meeting forms the basis for a whole new kind of filmic work, a succession of images of intimacy filmed before and after a further meeting, this time with an audience, at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, the place where this initiative came into being.
2008-2009 • DV, 16 mm, colour • Total duration: 43 min • 7 letters

Albert Serra and Lisandro Alonso
This filmic exchange is based on two works that reflect on the way each director films, on the crew and the actors, on the way they see and make cinema. Albert Serra took the characters of Honor de Cavalleria and his regular team of collaborators to follow in the steps of Quixote. Lisandro Alonso returned to La Pampa province to film his work, for which he recalls Misael Saavedra, the lead of his first film, La Libertad.
2011 • DV, 16 mm, colour • Total duration: 2 h 49 min • 2 letters

Víctor Erice and Abbas Kiarostami
The cinematographic letters of Víctor Erice and Abbas Kiarostami are sequences of their most immediate reality, which they use to construct a new filmic reality that has become foundational. To date, the two have filmed ten letters, so spectators in Barcelona can see up to six letters more than were presented in the 2006 exhibition.
2005-2007 • DV, colour • Total duration: 1 h 36 min • 10 letters

Jaime Rosales and Wang Bing
Rosales and Bing wanted to correspond with their respective filmic imaginaries, but in this case without using the epistolary recourse. Their idea was to create short stories that reflect two worlds that are geographically and culturally remote.
2009-2011 • DV, 35 mm, colour • Total duration: 49 min • 3 letters

Fernando Eimbcke and So Yong Kim
These two filmmakers belong to the same generation, and share an aesthetic approach and sense of humour and intimacy. Their correspondence produced an epistolary exchange that employs a minimalism of gesture and motif to follow the lives of the two filmmakers for a whole year.
2010-2011 • HDV, colour • Total duration: 41 min • 8 letters




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