A bush and a bird
A boy and a girl
A mute fish in the sea”(Empedocles, Purifications)
This film is based on documentary material but is not, strictly speaking, a documentary film. Nor it is a work of fiction. The film rather appeared to us like a dream, not a nocturnal dream, but one which unfolded day by day while shooting. A dream shared between the photographer-director and the actress (or, better, the woman portrayed in the feature), which nevertheless seemed to follow its own, enigmatic necessity through which the daily shots joined almost magnetically, interweaving in a pattern of superimposed layers that unceasingly merge and dissolve one in another, in the constant flux, crystallization and reshaping of psychic interior. At a certain point, this dream seems to end but in fact it only opens up to another dream, or hallucination, where the film itself abruptly starts to burn, unleashing new and old visions - fragments of reality - until it is put out by a sudden storm and dissolves in a twilight of sea-waters. In this sense, the film is also a meditation on the elements, Water and Fire, Wind, Earth and Skin: about a sun-eye that appeared by itself in one of the first shots and took possession of the narration, in the endless flow and unfathomable metamorphosis of all things and beings.
AN EXCERPT FROM PHILIPPE MORA'S SPEECH ON OCCASION OF THE CONCRETE DREAM FILM FESTIVAL AWARDS CEREMONY IN HOLLYWOOD:
“It was very difficult to judge and I took it seriously… What is Avant-Garde,what IS Avant-Garde? There is a whole tradition about Avant-Garde in art and it starts with the Dada's, with Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, and Avant-garde means being ahead, ahead of everyone else, that’s what it is. It also means disruptive and it is very difficult for an artist to be disruptive because you can't really sell your paintings (…). It is difficult to be an Avant-Garde artist in any form, particularly because, as I said, if you are disruptive no one wants to see it. (...) In movies it is even more difficult to be Avant-Garde because it involves more money. So, what is great now is that you can be an Avant-Garde artist with basically no money on digital stuff.
(…) The winner is Maria’s Silence. I should say why, just briefly… The whole history of the Avant-Garde is in this film, including Japanese cinema, including Man Ray’s photography, including all sexual aspects of the Avant-Garde Art, and it reminded me also of that great Japanese film “Woman from the Dunes”, by Teshigahara. What really got me is that it is visually beautiful, it is like a dream, it is surrealism but also there is a shot of what looked like twigs burning. Cesare Bedogné repeated this shot and only after I looked at the film for the second time I realized it wasn’t twigs burning, it was 16 mm film. And so the film also comments on the sad demise of film, even though he shot this - I checked – on digital… It is a terrific film. It has got all the themes of the Avant-Garde in it in a very graceful way”.
Cesare Bedogné is an Italian photographer, film-maker and writer. He graduated cum laude in Mathematics, with a thesis on Minkovski Space-Time, the geometrical theory at the basis of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. In the course of his studies he also deepened his interest for the visual arts, with particular attention to cinema and photography. In the 90’s he set up his first darkroom in the Netherlands, where he had joined his girl-friend Monique. In those years, “in the aim to capture the gaze in its pure state” , he concentrated on his Innerscapes project, focusing on “the strange moments when interior and exterior, the eye and the things looked at, seem to dissolve one in another”. After the loss of Monique, due to leukemia (1998), Cesare Bedogné returned to Italy and started working on the “Broken Images” series in a deserted TB Sanatorium in the Italian Alps, where – in his own words - he recognised his “personal landscape of desolation, stilled in a frozen twilight: the mysterious bareness where the soul, alone, returns to itself”.
Starting from the late ‘90’s his photographs have been exhibited, solo and in group shows, in several art galleries and museums worldwide.
In 2007 Cesare Bedognè moved to Greece, where also writing became one of his main means of expression. He published to date four collections of poems and short stories. His first, autobiographical novel “Oltre l’Azzurro” (“Beyond the Blue”, a recollection of his Dutch years) and the author’s photographs, were at the basis of the film "Story for an empty theatre", which Cesare Bedognè co-directed in 2016, together with the Russian film-maker Alexandr Balagura. This film was selected to date for over thirty international film festivals and won several awards, both as Best Documentary Film and Best Experimental Film (as for instance in the New Renaissance Film Festival of Amsterdam).
After this first filmic experience, Cesare Bedogné devoted himself almost entirely to film-making. In 2017 he shot in Lesvos his second film project, "Maria's Silence", which was also screened in several international film festival and was awarded numerous prizes. In particular, this work won the Best Avant- Garde Film Award in the Concrete Dream Festival of Los Angeles ("Philippe Mora Award") and the Best Feature Narrative Award in the AMIIWorkFest of Vilnius (Lithuania). This film was also the Best Experimental Film in the 4th edition of the European Cinematography Awards (Amsterdam 2019), the Best Director Award (Experimental) in the New York Aphrodite Film Awards, the Best Experimental Film Award in FICCSUR Valparaiso (Chile) and many other IFF. This film was also screened in the renowned "One Shot" film festival of Yerevan, organized by the Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Arts, in the 69th edition of the Montecatini Short Film Festival (Italy), in Bideodromo Bilbao Experimental Film and Video Festival (Fundación BilbaoArte Fundazioa, Spain), in the Cinemistica Film Festival of Granada, and was recently screened at the Italian Cultural Institute of Athens, Greece, in the context of a retrospective exhibition of the artist and of the presentation of his book “Nessuno/Kanenas” (translated in Greek by Anna Papastavrou). Cesare Bedognè recently finished editing his third movie project, entitled "The Last Step of an Acrobat", also shot in western Lesvos’ barren edge, which won the Best Experimental Film Award at the 14th season of the Cult Critic Movie Awards (Calcutta, India) and was recently screened (March 2019) in the prestigious "L'EUROPE AUTOUR DE L'EUROPE" Film Festival in Paris.
Further information is available on the artist's web-site
2018 THE LAST STEP OF AN ACROBAT
The Last Step of an Acrobat was recently selected for the prestigious "L'EUROPE AUTOUR DE L'EUROPE" Film Festival in Paris ( 15/31 March 2019).
BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM, 14th season of CULT CRITIC MOVIE AWARDS (Calcutta, India)
JEAN-LUC GODARD NOMINATION
The final Awards will be given in September 2019.
ROMA PRISMA FILM AWARDS, December 2018, Italy
BEST EDITING, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHER
NEW RENAISSANCE FILM FESTIVAL AMSTERDAM, Special Mention of the Jury
Selected also for MOSCOW SHORTS IFF (Russia), GOA SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2018 (India), Festival de Largos y Cortos de Santiago (Santiago del Chile, upcoming).
2017 MARIA'S SILENCE
AMIIWorkFest, Vilnius (Lithuania) 2018, Best Feature Narrative
Concrete Dream Film Festival, Los Angeles (USA) 2018, Best Avantgarde Film (Philippe Mora Award)
4th edition European Cinematography Awards, Amsterdam 2019, Best Experimental Film
FICCSUR 2018, Valparaìso (Chile), Best Experimental Feature.
Santorini Film Festival (Greece), Best Experimental Feature,
Il Varco Film Festival, Pescara (Italy) 2018, Award Winner (Honorable Mention for Experimental Cinema)
Rome Independent Prisma Awards (May 2018), Best Editing
14th season Virgin Spring Cinefest (Calcutta, India), Best Experimental Film
Pollino International Short Film Festival (Italy), Best Film, Best of the Fest, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Italian Short Film.
Aphrodite Film Festival, New York, Best Director Experimental
Selected also for: "One Shot" 16th International Short Film Festival, Yerevan, Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art; 69th Montecatini International Short Film Festival (Italy); Bideodromo Bilbao Experimental Film and Video Festival (Fundación BilbaoArte Fundazioa, Spain); Foggia Film Festival (Innovation Movies section); Nuovo Festival del Cinema di Alghero (Italy); Cinemistica Film Festival (Granada, Spain); Istanbul International Experimental Film Festival (Turkey); Beijing International Short Film Festival 2017 (China), Norwegian International Seagull Short Film Festival 2018, London Greek Film Festival, Siren Film Festival (Italy), OGA VideoArt Exhibitions 2018/2019 (Roma, Italy), Auckland International Film Festival (New Zealand); European Film Festival (Moscow, Russia); Amazing Shorts Film Festival (Madrid, Spain); Switzerland International Film Festival; Eurasia Film Festival, Moscow (Finalist); New Vision Film Awards (Amsterdam) and for the prestigious AVIFF CANNES ART FILM FESTIVAL (upcoming, May 2019).
Maria's Silence was also screened in the Italian Institute of Culture in Athens, Greece (in the period November 14 / December 8), on occasion of a photo exhibition of Cesare Bedognè where a selection of film stills, printed on photographic paper, were on display.
2016 STORY FOR AN EMPTY THEATRE, by Aleksandr Balagura and Cesare Bedognè
The film was selected for over thirty international film festival to date and was awarded several prizes (among them, the film was awarded a Certificate of Merit (Best Experimental Film ex-aequo in the Great Indian Film and Literature Festival (GIFLIF, 2016), Best Experimental Film in the Coral Coast International Film Festival (Alghero, Italy, 2017), Best Documentary in the Maracay International Film Festival (Venezuela, 2017), Best Experimental Film in the New Renaissance Film Festival Amsterdam (the Netherlands 2018).
"I believe that photography is an adaptation of vision to a spiritual necessity - the eye forms an image which in its turn, through its inmost resonances, refocuses and transforms the gaze itself" (Cesare Bedognè)