Anthology Film Archives, New York:
The Climate of Vienna – The Austrian Film Museum at Fifty
Curated Program (November 12–16, 2014)
Program Introduction by Anthology Film Archives:
Vienna's venerated Austrian Film Museum is in many ways a sister institution to Anthology insofar as we share a co-founder (Peter Kubelka), a similar repertory collection/screening series (Anthology's "Essential Cinema" is mirrored by the AFM's "What is Cinema?"), and, most importantly, a devotion both to exhibiting and preserving cinema in all its myriad forms. Like Anthology, the AFM pays special attention to those works that are most prone to be ignored or lost: the avant-garde, critically neglected, orphaned, uncategorizable, or otherwise marginal.
For five decades the AFM has been doing invaluable and tireless work through its mind-bogglingly eclectic and well-informed film programming, its invaluable preservation projects, and its ambitious and covetable array of publications (including definitive book-length studies of James Benning, Dziga Vertov, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jean Epstein, and many others). Silver anniversary or no, the Austrian Film Museum is richly deserving of celebration, and Anthology is thrilled to pay tribute to them with a series that provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to plumb the depths of their vaults.
As admirably diverse as the Museum's interests may be, they do cohere around several poles, and this series has been curated to reflect some of these tendencies. Multiple programs highlight the Museum's dedication to marginalized cinema (experimental pieces, trailers, screen tests, and other miscellanea), while others demonstrate its focus on Soviet cinema and on works that portray the upheavals of 20th century Central European history. Features by Benning and Weerasethakul, on the other hand, represent the AFM's preservation strategy – based on the astute realization that even contemporary works are in danger of loss and decay – of treating recent and present-day international cinema with equal respect as the classics. Though the Museum's collections and initiatives are too diverse to encapsulate easily, this selection of treasures suggests the extraordinary scope of their efforts.
Further Information: Anthology Film Archives
Co-presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and the Deutsches Haus at NYU. Special thanks to Christine Moser und Christopher Zimmerman (Austrian Cultural Forum New York), Juliane Camfield und Sarah Girner (Deutsches Haus at NYU); Sara Stevenson (Goethe-Institute New York), James Benning und Apichatpong Weerasethakul.