Focus: Radical

Now of all times, in a time of political radicalisation, cinema has lost its edge. Even films we wouldn’t class as mainstream are usually quite streamlined in their appearance and compatible to the general market. When looking for feisty and polarising characteristics, we often find them in short films. This is why we set off on a quest for the “radical” – and this in a time many would call the “most unradical in the history of film”.

The term “radical cinema“ originated in the 1960’s and 70’s, when the US liberals and especially the women’s movement took a stand against the establishment’s racism, sexism and homophobia with political documentaries. Also the French Nouvelle Vague or the Neue Deutsche Welle were seen as radical in their day, while in Austria the avant-garde pushed the boundaries of classic, conservative conventions. Today we associate radical cinema more with the power of provocation or pursuing aesthetic, moral, societal questions with a new and personal approach: direct, political, aesthetic and daring, sometimes monumental, sometimes subcutaneous.

In this context we pay homage to the animated universe of artist Mariola Brillowska, the not-so-innocent music video and the radical “Girls with Guns“ – and we continue the concept of the triangle programme: while the Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival from Bristol (UK) deals with political radicalisation in film, the Riga International Film Festival 2ANNAS looks at a fascinating TVexperiment of the early 90’s within the framework of the city’s term as European Capital of Culture 2014. VIS, on the other hand, chases down the idea of subcutaneous cinema on an aesthetic level. All three programmes will celebrate their premiere in Vienna, subsequently to be shown in Bristol and Riga.