In the context of Marguerite Harris’ solo exhibition Film is Un/Dead, SomoS presents a film screening on Experimental Cinema: the documetary “Cinémas de Traverse” by Michel Amarger and Frédérique Devaux.
This film journal was compiled between 2005 and 2009 on four continents. It is a subjective journey through the approaches and experimental procedures to show the magnitude of this research and to honor filmmakers who participate in the history of cinema: Jonas Mekas (USA), Peter Kubelka (Austria), Boris Lehman (Belgium), Joseph Morder (France), Peter Tscherkassky (Austria), Guy Sherwin (UK) among others. These byways lead us to the places of production and distribution networks created specifically for experimental films.
A “chemin de traverse” is a locution referring to a shortcut in an expected journey. But not any shortcut. This one is going out of the conventional way, and takes the traveler away from her comfort zone. It invites her to think out of the box and to reconsider both her environment as well as herself. But taking a “chemin de traverse” is not without risks. It is sinous, often hard, but at the end you are getting out more mature and aware than never before.
In this sense, Cinémas de Traverse is not talking about the cinema as you may know it. Experimental Cinema has for a long time stood in the shadow of traditional narrative cinema. So much that it is today a world within a world, shaped by its protagonists who independently define their own discipline by creating festivals, setting up independent distribution ways, meeting up in cooperatives or labs.
Michel Amarger and Frédérique Devaux introduce experimental film creation by meeting its main protagonists (such as filmmakers, distributors, critics, organization members from all over the world) and give us a key to enter in this expanding universe.
Cinémas de Traverse offers a broad panorama of experimental cinema history, its current practices and reflections, and the evolutions and the diffusion of this genre. Michel Amarger and Frédérique Devaux show the free spirit and the main directions which define the limitless and independent world of Experimental Cinema.
Cinémas de traverse, 2010
Michel Amarger and Frédérique Devaux
182 mins, French with English subtitles
(suggested donation: 5€)
About the authors
Michel Amarger and Frédérique Devaux are experimental filmmakers. Both born in France, respectively in 1957 and 1956, they are members of the Lettrism movement.
They started to work together in 2000 on a series of film called Cinexpérimentaux dedicated to experimental filmmakers. They co-produced Cinemas de Traverse in 2010.
Michel Amarger works besides as a journalist for Radio France International. He takes also part to many associations promoting experimental cinema and is one of the founder of the network Africiné. As for her, Frédérique Devaux is critics and lecturer in the Audiovisual Department from the University of Marseille/Aix en Provence (France). She is an active member of labs and cinema associations, such as the well known L’Abominable.