With a Lower-case h

Film Series

From 1 to 30 October 2021 - 6pm
All films will be screened in digital format, except for session 9 (Thomas Harlan. Torre Bela).
Curator
Miriam Martín
Organised by
Museo Reina Sofía
Con h minúscula
Juan Pando Barrero. Pyramid of Sandbags Covering the Telefónica Building, 1938. Spanish Cultural Heritage Institute, Madrid, Ministry of Culture and Sport
Gökşin Sipahioğlu. Police in Paris, Boulevard Saint-Michel, 10 May 1968. Sipa Press

 

Cinema has spent a century or more informing about happiness and, in the sense of shaping, modelling imaginaries and desires. This film series assembles twelve feature-length, medium-length and short films that bear witness to a form of little-known happiness — public happiness — and is set forth in connection with the documentary exhibition under the same title, comprising a diptych devoted to the citizen ideal and social utopia.

“Happiness is a new idea in Europe”, Louis de Saint-Just declared in 1794 to conclude his speech in support of the redistribution of national wealth by decree. This break with tradition was not the sentiment in itself, the urbane privilege of the few and an uncertain reward later down the line for the many. It was about anybody being able to feel it, about the right to happiness for all. The history of this happiness passes by in flashes and is written with a lower-case h, for it is led by anonymous people who are absent from textbooks. Each time the order of domination is interrupted it appears. Someone leaves a family home in Marseilles, a thatched cottage in Tolpuddle, another prefab house without running water in Harlan County to take care of matters of common interest, and it appears. Public happiness is nothing other than the fulfilment associated with living politically, assembling with others, organising, acting together and discovering oneself by opening out and anticipating a desired world, one that is based even on modest and trivial claims, exceeding them entirely.          

The ways of showing this happiness possess the same unpredictability as politics. La Marseillaise by Jean Renoir (1938), a piece of fiction which unfolds to the backdrop of the years of the French Revolution, feels like a newsreel, while Thomas Harlan’s 1975 documentary Torre Bela, set in the Carnation Revolution, fashions its own character and even a leader. The most emotive film ever shot by a cluster of workers, Lettre à mon ami Pol Cèbe by Michel Desrois (1970), is pure experimental cinema. Operai, contadini, by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet (2001), the only wholly fictional work in the series, and not based on “real events”, comprises various people reciting chapters from a novel in the middle of a forest. Countless images that do not coincide with images expected of a revolution. A couple of palaces are taken, granted, but bringing about a revolution is also about a peasant’s fingers — too swollen for the keys — ultimately playing the piano; separating him from his usual instrument, the hoe, and bringing those fingers into contact with keys for which they were never intended. It could last a moment or a lifetime.

Programa

Jean Renoir. La Marseillaise. Film, 1938
Friday, 1 October 2021 – 5pm
Session 1

Jean Renoir. La Marseillaise
France, 1938, b/w, original version in French with Spanish subtitles, 135’

 

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.

Bill Douglas. Comrades. Film, 1986
Saturday, 2 October 2021 – 5pm
Session 2

Bill Douglas. Comrades
UK, 1986, colour, original version in English with Spanish subtitles, 183’

 

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.

Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg.The New Babylon. Film, 1929
Friday, 8 October 2021 – 6pm
Session 3

Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg. Novyy Vavilon (The New Babylon)
USSR, 1929, b/w, silent with intertitles in Russian translated into Spanish, 93’
Version restored by La Cineteca del Friuli-Archivo Cinema FVG (Fondo Brenno Miselli-Gastone Predieri), with an original score by Dimitri Shostakovich

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.

André Malraux. Days of Hope. Film, 1938–1939
Saturday, 9 October 2021 – 6pm
Session 4

André Malraux. L’Espoir (Days of Hope)
Spain and France, 1938–1939, b/w, original version in Spanish, 88’
Digital version produced from 35mm conserved in Filmoteca Española

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.

Dziga Vertov. A Sixth Part of the World. Film, 1926
Friday, 15 October 2021 – 6pm
Session 5

Chris Marker. Le Train en marche (The Train Rolls On)
France, 1973, b/w, original version in French with Spanish subtitles, 32’

Dziga Vertov. Šestaja čast' mira (A Sixth Part of the World)
USSR, 1926, b/w, silent with intertitles in Russian translated into Spanish, 73’
Digital version restored by Filmmuseum Vienna, with music by Michael Nyman

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.

Groupe Medvedkine de Besançon. The Class of Struggle. Film, 1969
Saturday, 16 October 2021 – 6pm
Session 6

Groupe Medvedkine de Besançon. Classe de lutte (The Class of Struggle)
France, 1969, b/w, original version in French with Spanish subtitles, 40’

Michel Desrois. Lettre à mon ami Pol Cèbe (A Letter to My Friend Pol Cèbe)
France, 1970, colour, original version in French with Spanish subtitles, 17’

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.

Barbara Kopple. Harlan County U.S.A. Film, 1976
Friday, 22 October 2021 – 5pm
Session 7

Barbara Kopple. Harlan County U.S.A.
USA, 1976, colour, original version in English with Spanish subtitles, 103’

 

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.

Shinsuke Ogawa. The Peasants of the Second Fortress. Film, 1971
Saturday, 23 October 2021 – 5pm
Session 8

Shinsuke Ogawa. Sanrizuka: Dainitoride no hitobito (The Peasants of the Second Fortress)
Japan, 1971, b/w, original version in Japanese with Spanish subtitles, 143’
Digital version produced for this screening by the Athénée Français Cultural Center, Tokyo

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.

Thomas Harlan. Torre Bela. Film, 1975
Friday, 29 October 2021 – 5pm
Session 9

Thomas Harlan. Torre Bel
Portugal, 1975, colour, original version in Portuguese with Spanish subtitles, 136’

Acknowledgements: Tabakalera. International Centre for Contemporary Culture

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. Workers, Peasants. Film, 2001
Saturday, 30 October 2021 – 5pm
Session 10

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. Operai, contadini (Workers, Peasants)
Italy and France, 2001, colour, original version in Italian with Spanish subtitles, 123’

 

Sabatini Building, Auditorium

70 people

Admission

Free, until full capacity is reached, with prior ticket collection on the Museo Reina Sofía website from 10am on the last working day before the activity. A maximum of 2 per person. Doors open 30 minutes before each screening.