Film at the Pamplona Encounters is a series of screenings and debates organised on the occasion of Encuentros de Pamplona 72. Fin de fiesta del arte experimental (The Pamplona Encounters 1972. End of the Party for Experimental Art), held at the Museo Reina Sofía (28 October 2009 - 22 February 2010). According to Vicente J. Benet, the Encounters “offered an overview of audiovisual media characterised by a hybridisation that may seem somewhat baffling today. The array of options for the viewers ranged from the most heterodox trends in the new video media of the time to vestiges of the earliest films, slices of the historical avant-garde of the 1920s, recent experimental films, examples of professional-quality films with ties to modern writing and independent films”.
This selection analyses the importance of the ‘expanded cinema’ that was screened during the week of 26 June to 3 July 1972 in Pamplona. Henri Langlois, director of Cinémathèque Française at the time, created the series programme, designed to show how the boundaries of film blur between image and text, screen and canvas, and theatre and experience, exploring the social, temporal and contextual reflections of new cinema and the neo-avant-garde movements as they came together in the projected image.
Film at the Pamplona Encounters analyses the place of moving images at the event, drawing on two perspectives, the first designed to reconstruct the history of what was shown at the Pamplona Encounters, and the second to probe the interpretation that emerges from the testimony of the key players, filmmakers and artists at the screenings and contrast that with the later opinion of historians and critics.
The series includes Anti-cine (1969-1971) by Javier Aguirre (San Sebastian, 1935), one of the milestones of Spanish experimental film, seen for the first time in public in Pamplona - except for the short Che, Che, Che, which was not able to premiere until 1974 because of problems with the censors; films by the painters Rafael Ruiz Balerdi (San Sebastian, 1934-Altea, 1992) and José Antonio Sistiaga (San Sebastian, 1932) which resulted from a project under the patronage of Juan Huarte (whose family sponsored the Encounters) and X-Films; Isidoro Valcárcel Medina’s (Murcia, 1937) adaptation of Jealousy, the novella by Alain Robbe-Grillet, and two films from the series Películas de hierro by Gonzalo Suárez (Oviedo, 1934), in addition to another censored film, Lock-out (1973) by Antoni Padrós (Tarrasa, 1940). These pieces, in turn, share the spotlight with works by Dennis Oppenheim (Washington, 1938-New York, 2011), Philippe Garrel (Paris, 1948) and Stan Vanderbeek (New York, 1927-1984) which were also included in the programme.