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25.5.–
30.5.2022

Focus

This year’s focus of VIENNA SHORTS points the spotlight at our collective wealth of experience — at moving images and movies that move us: films that have accumulated in the archives as our memory’s raw material and have been interacting with the memories, perceptions, and interpretations of today. In the theater, the programs are accompanied by the projector’s rattling sounds, as we’re presenting only analog copies on 16 and 35 mm gauge.

In two guest programs by the Italian archival film festival Cinema Ritrovato and the National Film Board of Canada, the curators ask how we now look at films of the past — both in the textual sense of a change of ethnographical perception since the beginnings of cinema and in the formal sense of conserving technical expertise, for instance in the treatment of color and sound. 

In the three Collection On Screen programs — curated from the holdings of the Austrian Film Museum — today’s gaze, which has grown tired of the pandemic, meets a wide-awake cornucopia of shorts from one hundred years of cinema history (1903 – 2003). In SHAKE! we dance to jazz and with D.A. Pennebaker we dance till we drop. In BREATHE! we submerge and immerse ourselves with Taris and in Chantal Akerman’s world. And in WONDER! we marvel like Alice in Wonderland and about the marvelous Agnès Varda. The exclamation marks behind the titles may be read as prompts and invitations. 

Though the aforementioned programs will not be available online, we still want to offer some content of this focus in our streaming portal. After all, it is precisely the question of digitalizing historical films and making them available that has been advanced by archives and museums in the recent past — quite to the detriment of analog film, which keeps incrementally fading from public view. (de/​db)