By Serafino Murri

Cinema is moving a lot faster than its twenty-four (or twenty-five) frames per second. The desire for novelty that has pushed the market towards the commercial accessibility of software and hardware innovations has broken in record time – months rather than years – the supremacy of exclusives and technological copyright that had previously kept cinematographic general practice under the yoke of huge investments and specialist techniques. Private experience on film becomes voyeuristically universal as history in action, whereas life, rewritten in the language of film, combines amateur immediacy with the precision of electronic expression, which controls and modifies the images on home-made computers.
In the glorious days of Brakhage, Warhol and amateur films, the transgressive impulse of the underground as an avant-garde alternative to the mainstream consisted of inoculating the lexicon of the private dimension in film as mass media: bringing (its own) life to film. Now the process seems to have been inverted: the private dimension engulfs cinema in the lexicon of epic writing about daily reality, it steals from and rewrites the narrative rules with ‘dirty’, private and slangy accents.
Craftmanship and technical perfection form an alliance, an expressive whole whose imaginative and radical solutions often overrule the “professional” ones as a result.
The film demonstrating this is BLACK TAPE – The Videotape Fariborz Kamkari Found in the Garbage, by Fariborz Kamkari, possibly the most extreme film of this section, in which the imitation of life is based on social declaration in a clever play of mirrors.
Experimentation often reaches its peak in advertising and music, froms that are now impossible to consider ‘low’ or ‘commercial’ forms of directing compared to the ‘pure’ cinematic form. For this reason, ample space has been given to brief languages – shorts, adverts and videos: as in two tributes, one to the work of the Anglo-American animators Stephen and Timothy Quay, the other to the short works byt the eclectic Hong Kong maestro Wong Kar-Wai.
Observing the intermingling of languages, countries, norms and customs that unite many of these works in lots having an analogous thematic tension, the old game of the ‘red tape’, responds to the necessity for reflecting on common threads and feelings within the diversity of techniques and languages.
Furthermore, by including a perfomance of “live cinema” for the first time at the Festival, a material cinema consisting of music and images manipulated under the eyes of the audience, a different status has also been considred for the viewer.
Filmmakers such as Jurgen Reble, Shu Lea Chang and Yann Beauvais, and musicians such as Thomas Koner, explore the limits between making a film and perceiving it, and incorporate being spectators in the creative moment. The realistic register, even in the documentary, becomes a hyper-realistic mannerism, the camera becomes a diary, a note book of images that manages to comprehend life with the minimum of premeditation, reacting to the stimulus of the real. What benefits from this is the recording of realities more difficult to penetrate beyond their TV image: from Iran to Uruguay, from the Afghan rubble to Palestine and South Africa, in the work by young filmmakers or militant intellectuals, there are many documents that open onto other worlds or other ways of experiencing the conflicts of the human condition.
*At 12.58 on Saturday May 11 2002, an hour after the police had combed the roads of the area destined for refugees, I found this film in the garbage (….) If everybody used a video camera for recording their lives like a diary….cinema would become a language with which people could exchange ideas, and get to know each other by watching their personal films….Wow! Can you imagine how many films there’d be? And how many weird and believable stories? Can you imagine how much life would improve?
(Venice Catalogue)