1977. 35 mm, colour, 57’. Original version (Spanish subtitles). Screening format: Digital archive
The last film by the Neo-realist director, produced for television and commissioned by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, shows, at a distance, the redefinition of the museum as a major culture factory at the end of the 1970s. The film opens with the cinematography of Spaniard Néstor Almendros, showing the colossal and formless structure rising above the historic city while crowds wait expectantly at the entrance. A far cry from the museum illustrated as a laic and civilising ritual, or the modern museum as an independent and individualistic space, Rossellini seems to outline a new post-modern museum: massive, fetishised and characterised by the predominance of unconnected views facing discursive narration. The once encyclopaedic space of the collection is subsumed by a new industrial order, where art co-exists with its own reproducibility under equal conditions. The media library, library or collection are equivalent orders in this new multidisciplinary regime, replacing historical time with the present continuous. “People confuse culture with refinement, […] the Beaubourg is the exhibition of refinement at any price,” declares the film-maker.