In recent years, it has been pointed out that one of the identifying features of Spanish alternative film is the exploration of the real. This series, however, looks at the other side, the return to a narrative that, formulated upon the basis of allegory, expropriated stories and the renewed role of the spectator, flows beyond the space of stories.
Fiction, in the logic of film discourse, is usually considered a closed system that presents an airtight world set up by the filmmaker. The film shoot, following this idea, responds to a rigid staging process designed to ensure the translation of the work from screenplay to moving images. In contrast, the ten films chosen for this series challenge this condition which, using the ideas of Noël Burch, might be described as the exile of chance. With a variety of media and enunciations, the selected filmmakers and artists understand fiction to be a multiplication of experience and a cross between the subjectivities that give it meaning, a meaning that is anything but univocal and instead appears in an ongoing state of interrogation. If more orthodox film generally engages in an image fetishism that, in the sense put forward by Benjamin, erases any tie between the image and its means of production, the films included in Unending Stories use images and their narrative with the opposite intention: as a medium for questioning who, how and from which vantage point the story is told. So, here the story is not a life-like mask by which to convey the real, but rather an element with which to broaden the real.
The Unending Stories program looks into different ways of telling. In the first place, there is telling that uses history's fundamental archetypes, such as in the case of Història de la meva mort by Albert Serra and Finisterrae by Sergi Caballero, treated here from the perspective of allegory and the grotesque. Secondly, the telling can use objects found and resignified within the story, such as La casa Emak Bakia, by Oskar Alegría, and A Story for the Modlins, by Sergio Oksman. Thirdly, stories can be told by examining myth as the repetition that builds identity, whether that of a community, as with Arrianos by Eloy Enciso, or of a territory, as with Conxo in Fóra , by Pablo Cayuela and Xan Gómez Viñas. Fourthly, the telling might entail showing the role of the spectator in the construction of a supposed truth derived from the dispute between image and language, such as in El jurado, by Virginia García del Pino, and Invisible , by Víctor Iriarte. And lastly, there is the telling that develops the fiction as an archive from which to excavate the stories buried by the “film” institution, as in Hollywood Talkies by Óscar Pérez and Mia de Ribot and Negative Inchon by Adrià Juliá.
In short, Unending Stories features a series of recent audiovisual works driven by a new type of narrative that, far from exhausting the real, takes it to a new irreducible state.
ICAA (Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales)