Albert Serra en libertés !

2022 Programme

Albert Serra

“So there is this invisible room inside of us where we torture, without any object present, humankind, and from which we mysteriously, unfathomably get the sense or the early awareness of the sublime.”
Jean Louis Schefer, The Ordinary Man of Cinema

Trigger warning: cinema. We still do not know what it is, except that it looks like a torture chamber, like a workshop for counterfeit sublime, like a last dawn before the end of the world, or like death or life itself. But you only need to watch the films of Albert Serra, the 1975-born Catalan filmmaker, to start believing again that cinema exists a little and that it can do anything. Or worse, that it wants to do anything: it wants at all costs to take the dangerous, dark path to the invisible chamber inside of us. Out of not much, but in total luxury, Albert Serra has invented from the middle of the 2000s an artistic cinema that will expand its powers to the hidden dimensions of the world and its History for many years to come. From Honor de cavallería (2006), his counter-Don Quixote, to his latest Pacifiction, his anti- Apocalypse Now, Serra makes figures (myths) and actors (bodies) clash, always treating the latter like the non-actors they are, or are not but should become again so as to carry the films on their very flesh. From Lluís Serrat and Lluís Carbó, his loyal non-professional first loves since Honor de cavallería, to “giants” like Jean- Pierre Léaud (The Death of Louis XIV), Helmut Berger (Liberté) or Benoît Magimel (Pacifiction): the actor-man, in all his worn-out, terminal masculinity, occupies the royal, supreme place, at the centre of device-films which are given total freedom, until indecisiveness and beyond, to dissolution. Performance is the key word in Serra’s work, yet nothing is ever overstated, minimal conditions are set so that the film, either shown in a movie theatre or as an installation, seems to be “making itself” in the style of Andy Warhol, by turning around
its figures, with a form of radical and prolix indifference that always ends up welcoming us. Or even carrying us away, captivating us, after getting our defences down. “Only the perverse fantasy can still save us”, this quote by Goethe, used as an epigraph in one of Serra’s bedside books, Amos Vogel’s Film as a Subversive Art,
is also Serra’s credo and motto. Save us? Never. From what? What is Serra ceaselessly filming? Power, i.e. NOTHING, and all its connections, sources and charms which cinema, as a baroque art, seems to have been invented one night to describe, expose and subvert. As a formalist who wants to break up the form, to destroy it just to see what’s left, Albert Serra offers us cruel splendours, which are theoretical to the blood (or sperm, shit, love), abusive and tender, sentimental. All this theatre of paradoxes is freedom put into practice. It is Serra’s way to open up spaces and make us feel our freedom, before getting out of the chamber in extremis – unless we stay there, as an audience then. An audience either transfixed or tricked, but in any case transformed by the experience.
Luc Chessel

Synopsis

Albert Serra High commissioner De Roller, who represents the French government in French Polynesia, tries to make his way through the forces involved, in a wild, political-fiction version of...

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Albert Serra en libertés ! 2022
Synopsis

Albert Serra A forest at night somewhere in Europe, in an 18th century that looks like the end of times, becomes the theatre of experimental sexual encounters among libertines of some anonymous...

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Albert Serra en libertés ! 2022
Synopsis

Albert Serra Once again, after the masterpiece The Death of Louis XIV, with Jean-Pierre Léaud, we get to witness in Roi Soleil the death of the famous King, only this time as the declared form of...

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Albert Serra en libertés ! 2022
Synopsis

Albert Serra In disbelief, we follow the making of a film that does not exist, together with the director and his crew, who travel across La Mancha on the real sites of Cervantes’ Don Quixote. The...

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Albert Serra en libertés ! 2022
Synopsis

Albert Serra Lost in the countryside, locked outside or at the margins of Cervantes’ famous book, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza remember, often silently, their past and future adventures. This film...

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Albert Serra en libertés ! 2022
Synopsis

Filmmaking as stations of the cross. Serra’s only “series” to date, in fourteen short episodes – one for each station of Christ’s martyr – was commissioned by the MACBA in Barcelona for...

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Albert Serra en libertés ! 2022
Synopsis

The film takes place in Ireland – an Ireland where people speak Catalan with a Fassbinder accent – from the 1930 to today, and follows in several parallel directions the sprawling saga of two...

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2022