IL MONDO VIVENTE Eugène Green Retrospective

Rome 19-23 MARCH 2019

 edited by Federico Francioni, an Artdigiland event 

Which films have you liked most over the past few years?

Films that haven’t met with great success, but endure. Independent, like Toutes les Nuits by Eugène Green. It’s very interesting: I’d put in in the top 100.

Jean-Luc Godard


With the launch of the volume Il Mondo Vivente – Conversazione con Eugène Green, edited by Federico Francioni, edizioni Artdigiland is sponsoring in Rome, in the presence of Eugène Green, a retrospective of his films, with the collaboration of Casa del Cinema, Palazzo delle Esposizioni – Bookshop, Apollo 11, Cineclub Detour, Libreria Stendhal.

From March 19-23, a series of encounters will allow the public to meet Eugène Green and get to know his early films and his literary production. Film-maker and writer, belonging ideally to that particular movement defined as “transcendental” by Paul Schrader, Green approached the cinema at the age of fifty, after many years devoted to the revival of baroque theatre traditions in France, on which he is one of the leading experts.

His first film, Toutes les Nuits, won the Delluc Award for a first work in 2001, also winning the appreciation of the French master Jean-Luc Godard. His works have been presented at major international cinema festivals (Cannes, Berlin, Locarno, Rotterdam, Turin). Fundamental to familiarity with his work in Italy was the Turin Film Festival, which devoted a complete retrospective to him in 2014, edited by Massimo Causo and Roberto Manassero. In Rome, however, his films are still largely unknown.

Green is also the author of several novels, some published by Gallimard (La bataille de Roncevaux; La communauté universelle; Les atticistes), and important essays on baroque theatre (Le parole baroque, Desclée de Brouwer) and on the nature of cinematography (Poétique di cinématographe, Artes Sud).

The book and the retrospective show will be presented on March 19at 4 p.m. in the library of Palazzo delle Esposizioni, launching a series of encounters and showings over the following days at various cinemas and cultural venues in Rome.

Dates, Venues, Times

-          March 19, 4 p.m., Bookshop, Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Via Milano 17, Rome), presentation of the volume Il Mondo Vivente – Conversazione con Eugène Green, edited by Federico Francioni (Artdigiland 2018), and the retrospective, in the presence of the author.

-          March 20, 6 p.m. Casa del Cinema (Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1, Rome), encounter with Eugène Green, presentation of the volume and showing of Le Monde Vivant (2003, 75’, in French with subtitles)

-          March 21, 9 p.m., Apollo 11 (Via Nino Bixio 80/A. Rome), encounter with Eugène Green, presentation of the volume and showing of Toutes les Nuits (2001, 110’, in French with subtitles)

-          March 22, 6 p.m., Libreria Stendhal (Piazza San Luigi dei Francesi 23, Rome), encounter with Eugène Green and presentation his literary work; showing of the short Correspondances (2007, 30’, in French with subtitles)

-          March 23, 9 p.m., Cineclub Detour (Via Urbana 107, Rome), encounter with Eugène Green, presentation of the volume and showing of La Religieuse portugaise (2009, 120’, in French with subtitles)

Eugène Green – Biography
Film director, writer and playwright, Eugène Green was born in 1947 in New York. Aged twenty, he moved to Paris, severing all contacts with what he described as “la Barbarie”. His conquest of language, of words, was for him the construction of a new identity. Attracted by baroque music and theatre, at the end of the ’seventies he founded the company Théâtre de la Sapience, and was acclaimed as one of the leading experts of the French baroque tradition. His cinema debut goes back to 2001 with Toutes les Nuits, followed by Le monde vivant (2003), Le Pont des Arts (2005), La Religieuse portugaise (2009), La Sapienza (2014), Le Fils de Joseph (2016) and En attendant les Barbares (2017). Green is also the author of several novels (La Reconstruction, 2008; La Bataille de Roncevaux, 2009; La communauté universelle, 2011; Les atticistes, 2012; Les voix de la nuit, 2017; L’Enfant de Prague, 2017), collections of poems (Les lieux communs; Le présent de la parole, 2004; Le Lac de cendres, 2014) and essays (Présences, 2003; Poétique du cinématographe, 2009; Shakespeare ou la lumière des ombres, 2018)

Curator’s Note
The first time I watched a film by Eugène Green, I experienced a feeling of awkwardness. His work is in some way unaccommodating, so personal that it is impossible to remain indifferent, whether positively or negatively. His cinema – a continual matching of opposites: male-female, earth-sky, look-word, presence-absence – is a direct dialogue with the viewer, in a wholly personal and familiar manner. It is a rigorous investigation, questioning the consolidated rules of how films “should be made”, aimed solely at revealing another reality, deep and hidden: a practice that takes care of life, offered as a vision, sometimes with limitations, but never without authenticity: a gift beyond time.

One of the first books on cinema I encountered was a wonderful interview with Otar Iosseliani, published at the end of the ’nineties, without ever having seen any of his films, which I later came to love. This book was important for me, owing to its ability to cast light on the world of an author in the shadow, far from the contingent and the fashionable, taking the right time for a conversation.

That’s how this book was born: from the curiosity to meet an author so little known in Italy, in all his complexity and singular style, and the need to look after something that may be lost. The history of the cinema, when all’s said and done, is a story of phantasms and shadows, of forms, but above all, of men.

Federico Francioni
Born in 1988, trained at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia after obtaining a degree in History of the Cinema with a thesis on Otar Iosseliani. Directed with Yan Cheng the Tomba del Tuffatore documentary (2016), Special Mention ArtDoc at the Festival of Bellaria: The First Shot (2017), Best Film at the 53rd Mostra Internazionale del Nuovo Cinema at Pesaro; and Octavia (2018), an archive work commissioned by the Chicago Film Archive, in collaboration with Lab80. In 2018 he was Grec candidate for Frontières artistic residence, in Paris, where he is working on a new documentary project.