Synchronic Cinema I Shadow Zones, Experimental Cinema History in Yugoslavia; Or a Cinema and a History Made Unmade by Maps

Excerpt, Shadow Zones. Live-generated film on map, B/W, sound, 30min.

Experimental and structuralist films are often intended to be anti-narrative, until a look in the archives reveals a complex of “characters” and “scenes”, each with their own lay of the land. Shadow Zones maps the weave of this social fabric in the Yugoslav context, a drama of mutual care, power, desire, and influence, on the Live road map generated film, a technique we define as Synchronic Cinema. With anticipatory suspense, structural conditions come to be inhabited as characters are embroiled in systems of the film’s circulation. Geopolitics, romance, style and suitcases of celluloid wind into a tangled transnational fabric. Travelling between moments in the production of “Croatian scenes,” the installation also circuitously tracks the border statuses of the Balkans within conceptions of “Europe” and “European” avant-garde film history: a snake in one direction can be a ladder in the other.

Archive materials: Croatian Film Association, Zagreb; Student Center Zagreb; Moderna galerija (MG+MSUM), Ljubljana and the “This is All Film” symposium; Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden; and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles. Additional materials: Scusa Signorina (Mihovil Pansini, 1963), Don Kihot (Vlado Kristi, 1961).

Narrated by Zone collective (Kirila Cvetkovska and Megan Hoetger), platform designed and developed by Luca Napoli.

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Project Supported by NL FILMFONDS, Mondrianfonds, Stimuleringsfonds, 2021-2022.
Project Synchronic Cinema is in collaboration with Quenton Miller.