You don’t need a film or a movie theater to get a cinematic experience at the Rotterdam Film Festival this year.“We’ve always asked ourselves what film is and where film is, and the answer in the For Real program is that film is in our heads,” says fest topper Rutger Wolfson. “We’re so inundated with film that it is easy for us to look at reality and experience it as a film.” For example, the fest has commissioned a soundtrack for one of the most spectacular views in the city: the panorama from the Cruise Terminal on the river Maas, taking in the Erasmus Bridge and the Rotterdam skyline. The score will be performed live on Feb. 3 by the Metropole Orchestra for a unique “screening” of the view. Similar mind games play out around the city with sound-walks, “scripted spaces” and installation art. Many start at a venue known as the Reality Check. For Real includes Michel Gondry’s Home Movie Factory, an installation that allows participants to emulate Jack Black and Mos Def in “Be Kind Rewind” by making a short film in under three hours. Gondry will be on hand to open proceedings Jan. 26. Other artistic distractions in the fest include Celluloid Brushes, in which artists have produced posters for 50 biographical films, and Crumbled Paper, Fragments of Cinema by Madhuja Mukherjee, an interactive video installation inspired by glass-plate negatives of Indian film stars from the 1930s. Mukherjee’s feature debut “Carnival” also plays in the fest.
No political tone left unturned | 3D stands out in fest programs | CineMart opens screen doors to artist influence | Real film inspiration is everywhere