Online Roundtables


The memory of the real: preservation, archive and tradition


In the 20th century, the memory of the world ceased to depend upon the oral tradition, the written word, paintings, monuments and architecture to verify that there was a past and that the histories of peoples were inscribed in it. Indeed, the invention of the moving image, to which sound was later adjoined, added an unprecedented dimension to the recording of the passage of time. Time returned to us like a ghost. It could be reviewed, looked at over and again, resulting in an absolute change in our consciousness of it. For this reason, the fact that films can disappear if there is no state and global preservation policy is much more than a historical dilemma for cinema: it is an ontological crime perpetrated against the memory of all humanity. And isn’t it even more so when the priorities of preservation rarely fall upon nonfiction films? What is the current situation of documentary film memory? Who decides what to preserve? What memories or traditions will survive? And something pressing but not quite perceived: how will the digital cinematographic memories of our present be stored?


Panelists: Paula Félix-Didier (Argentina); Jurij Meden (Slovenia); Haden Guest (United States)
Moderator: Roger Koza (Argentina)



Filming everyday life


Irrefutable evidence: there are too many images of everything, and yet they reveal little of the world, but rather duplicate it. A hypothesis: there are few cinematographic images that make the world speak differently. Images increasingly determine everyday life, and unproductive time is dissipated by watching images. How to film free time and unproductive moments? What mise-en-scène is required to glimpse an extraordinary dimension of the world in times without narration or in hours detached from praxis? Some filmmakers have been able to find the beautiful and the living in the passing of everyday acts, tasks and actions that without the mediation of a camera seem insignificant.


Panelists: Ignacio Agüero (Chile); Gustavo Fontán (Argentina)
Moderator: Roger Koza (Argentina)



Poetics and rhetoric of documentary cinema


In the middle of the last century, the appearance of smaller cameras and the less expensive possibilities of recording direct sound led to a change in the way of filming reality. Something similar happened at the turn of the century and with it the gradual replacement of analogue cinema with that of digital. After 23 years of the new century, the digitalization of cinema in all its orders instituted a new dimension for documentary cinema: the epistemological status of the image has changed, the modes of production are different, which is predicated on unprecedented possibilities in the poetics of the real and in the rhetorical ways with which an experience of the real is transmitted today. What has changed then? There are new possibilities of registering and recording, as well as assembly and editing. In addition, the concept of story may permeate any field of reality. What is the nature of documentary cinema?


Panelists: Jonathan Perel (Argentina), Zhang Mengqi (China) and Giovanni Cioni (Italia)
Moderator: Roger Koza (Argentina)