‘Lo Schermo dell’Arte ’21: A Movie Festival Spotlighting Art and Artists

A scene from “Redoubt”

November 10 – 17: LO SCHERMO DELL’ARTE FILM FESTIVAL (Art on Screen).  Cinema La Compagnia, via Cavour 50/r. 

 The Lo Schermo dell’Arte film festival, an international event that promotes collaboration between contemporary art and cinema through films, videos and installations, arrives in Florence for its 14th edition.

 Two extraordinary films produced by well-known international filmmakers, open and close the Art on Screen festival.  Matthew Barney’s “Redoubt” inaugurates the festival on Wednesday, November 10 at 9 pm, while “Land of Dreams” co-directed by Shirin Neshat and her husband Shoja Azari, wind up the event on Sunday, November 14.

“Redoubt,” set in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho, explores American myths about humankind’s place in the natural world.  There is no dialogue, but the protagonists communicate through movement and choreography.  The film, loosely adapted about the myth of the Roman goddess Diana, ruler of the wilderness, the moon and animals, revolves around a wolf hunt in the American West. “Land of Dreams,” presented at the most recent Venice Film Festival, is the first film in English attempted by the Iranian directors.  A surreal tale, immigrant Simin gets a job in the US as a census worker charged with monitoring citizens by recording their dreams.  Full of satire, the movie addresses the theme of whether the American dream can actually be accomplished.  Director Neshat engages in a conversation with Heinz Peter Schwerfel, filmmaker and art critic at 3 pm Sunday at Cinema La Compagnia and the film screens there later at 9 pm.

 In addition to the two feature films, the program includes 42 films and works, providing an opportunity for artists to showcase their films, video installations and encounters with other artists and the public.  November 11 will see films such as Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts, a movie covering the life of an early 20th century painter raised under slavery who would go on to create works that represent the African American community. Directed by Jeffrey Wolf, the screening will take place at 10:10 pm. On the same day, Lifeline: Clyfford Still will tell the little-known story of an 20th century Abstract Expressionist artist, showing his work along with his relationships with other artists and gallery collectors. The movie was directed by Dennis Scholl, with viewing taking place at 5:30 pm. 

November 12 will showcase the collaboration between Dutch artist Renzo Martens and a group of Congolese workers in White Cube, which features his effort to create a contemporary art center that will help buy the land that was stolen from them. The film was made by Renzo himself and can be seen at 9:30 pm. The Women of Bauhaus is a tribute to the female figures who contributed to the establishment of the Bauhaus school, famous for blending art and function in modern design that ultimately expressed the potential in the minds of the women involved. The movie is directed by Susanne Radelhof and will be presented at 11:15 pm. 

Concurrently, an exhibition “Thinking Beyond—Moving Images for a Post Pandemic World,” comes to the Manifattura Tabacchi on November 9.  Films, videos and installations from artists under 35 celebrate the transformative power of art during the pandemic.  This event, with free admission, will culminate in the VISIO Young Talent Award Prize being granted.

 Please note that festival goers must show a Green Pass or authorized vaccination certificate and it is advised to arrive early for this to be accomplished.  In addition, attendees must wear a face mask for the duration of the showings.

 Complete information and program details can be found on the festival website:  www.schermodellarte.org   Tickets for screenings at the Cinema La Compagnia can be purchased at the website.   

 Until November 21 streaming of films is available through mymovies with a subscription.  (rita kungel/additional reporting by nelson matos)