Has the Film Already Started?

Interiors and Exteriors: Avant-Garde Itineraries in Postwar France film series
Friday, January 31, 2014 - 5:30pm

Maurice Lemaître’s three-dimensional film performance Has the Film Already Started? (Le Film est déjà commencé?) asks the audience to consider when exactly a film screening starts and ends by separating out the elements of light, sound, projection and spectators. Just as 1950s Parisian Lettrism sought to bring the spirit of debate and public participation to the ciné-clubs, theaters, and even streets of France through the cinema, this film invites viewers to interact with one another and the projection on screen. 

(Maurice Lemaître, 1951, 16mm, 62 min)

In conjunction with an exhibition at the Smart Museum (December 17-March 16), this year-long film series traces the relationship between the emerging generation of avant-garde movements in 1950s France and the surrealist movement, re-established in Paris after the war. These contesting visions of the relationship between interior and exterior life in art and film represent a tense exploration of the personal and the political within reconstruction-era France.

Curated by Jennifer Cohen and Marin Sarvé-Tarr, PhD Candidates in Art History, in consultation with Anne Leonard, Smart Museum Curator and Associate Director of Academic Initiatives and Julia Gibbs, Assistant Director of the Film Studies Center.

Sponsored by France Chicago Center, University of Chicago Arts Council, the Uncommon Fund, and the Film Studies Center. Associated programming sponsored by the Smart Museum Mellon Fund, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, and the Norman Wait Harris Fund.