Short Sounds: Silent Romanian Documentary
06.04.2021 – 15.11.2021
An audiovisual project aiming to revive the Romanian silent and soundless* film archive by presenting five thematic selections of documentaries made between 1897-1942 along with original compositions by significant contemporary sound artists and musicians in the field of experimental music in Romania. Eight short films included in the programs were digitized for the first time with the help of the National Film Archive.
Film curator: Călin Boto
Music: Makunouchi Bento, Sillyconductor, Micleușanu M., Simina Oprescu, Somnoroase Păsărele
* among the curated titles are some made after the appearance of sound in Romania, only that their soundtracks have been lost over time
It is flattering to have history fall into your hands; still, however humbled, the pitiable will have the hardest time shaking off the apprehension of the imperfect choice – why one rather than two?, why two rather than three? We’d been muttering like this for weeks.
Only to reach, ultimately, five clusters, four groups of shorts and a featurette, each with a thematic quirk and promises of its own; one way or another, we had to pledge a plentiful database to the musicians; rarities to the cinephiles; a pedestal to History; leeway to histories. I never stop marveling at the sheer number of ethereal layers of history that encompass the slightest moving instant.
In its early years, the Romanian documentary film didn’t bet on extravagance; the lack of a stable industry, on the one hand, and of an avant-garde, on the other, pushed a great deal of nonfictional efforts to lend themselves to immediate utility – newsreels, commercials, utilitarian film, and others. Which doesn’t mean nothingness or platitude – not at all! We still have a ways to go before the native, pre-Socialist documentary is available to us. And what we do have is scant, around four or five hours; with this handful of films we salute our colleagues, the archivists, researchers, critics, all the restless folk dusting off the roll. (Călin Boto)
Between 3 and 30 September, in partnership with Rezidența BRD Scena9, we presented SHORT SOUNDS: Silent Romanian Documentary program, a series of silent film screenings with live score and Q&A sessions with the invited artists moderated by Călin Boto, in the courtyard of Rezidența BRD Scena9 in the Icoanei neighborhood (st. I.L. Caragiale 32, Bucharest).
Between 8 and 10 October, in partnership with Simultan NGO, we presented Short Sounds TM program, silent film screenings with live score, ending with a Q&A session with the artists, film curator and organizers, at MultipleXity (Bd. Take Ionescu, nr. 56-58, Timișoara).
The five clusters accompanied by sound compositions specifically conceived for the selected films (with English subtitles) are available on the following pages.
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Project curator: Elena Dobîndă. Project coordinators: Emilian Mărgărit. Project assistant: Ionuț Tudor. Film curator & moderator: Călin Boto. Translation of curatorial texts: Cezar Popa. Film processing & subtitles: PRISMA FILM (translation by Daniel Sebin, synchronization by Daria Turbăceanu, technical coordination by Cosmin Tița). Media web application development: Studio Black & Field (Ioan Ovidiu Cernei). Visual identity: Bogdan Ceaușescu. PR: Elena Dobîndă. Photo: Petre Fall, Flavius Ungureanu. Technical support: Sorin Grigoreanu.
Organizer: Image and Sound.
Partners: Rezidența BRD Scena9 (Fundația9), Simultan NGO, MultipleXity, National Film Archive, PRISMA FILM.
Media partners: Zeppelin Magazine, Telekom Electronic Beats, Films in Frame, Aarc – All About Romanian Cinema, FILM MENU, Revista ARTA, Propagarta.
Cultural project co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The project does not necessarily represent the standpoint of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN cannot be held liable for the content of the project or the manner in which the outcomes of the project may be used. These shall devolve entirely on the beneficiary of the financing.
The project is co-funded by the Bucharest Municipality through ARCUB within the „Bucharest – Open City 2021” Program. The content of this page does not necessarily reflect the official position of Bucharest Municipality or ARCUB. For official information on the Non-refundable Financing Program of the Bucharest Municipality through ARCUB, visit www.arcub.ro.
Cultural action carried out with the support of the Timișoara Municipality and the Timișoara Local Council. The cultural action does not necessarily represent the standpoint of the Timișoara Municipality and the Timișoara Local Council. The Timișoara Municipality and the Timișoara Local Council cannot be held liable for the content of the cultural action or the manner in which the outcomes of the project may be used. These shall devolve entirely on the beneficiary of the financing.