Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin 2019

March 8th, 2019
Author: Meredith Taylor

Just as Britain leaves the EU some intriguing initiatives start to open up beckoning us closer to Europe. One in particular is a crossover event that takes place each Spring in Paris and Berlin. And as we’ve already covered Berlinale 2019 we thought it might interesting to look more closely at the Paris experience.

Not having been there for quite a while I realise that Paris has changed considerably since my last visit, and is now home to some stylish new venues film and art-wise. Rencontres takes place at several of these and also visits others beyond the usual Right Bank/Left Bank weekend stamping ground. The central meeting venues are: Louvre auditorium, Forum des images, Centre Pompidou, Le Carreau du Temple and Cité internationale des arts.

The generic blurb tells us that “events include 90% European and French premieres, cartes blanches, special sessions, thematic video sessions – performances, panel discussions and a daily forum led by directors of art centres and museums, curators, artists and distributors who will share with the audience their experience and views on new audiovisual practices. Crossing new cinema and contemporary art, this unique platform in Europe provides a rare opening on contemporary audiovisual practices. Documentary approaches, experimental fictions, videos, hybrid and multimedia forms: the programme of Rencontres Internationales is the result of a thorough research and invitations to outstanding artists, personalities from cinema and the contemporary art field comprising 120 works from 40 countries; bringing together internationally renowned artists and filmmakers with young and emerging ones presented for the first time.”

But actually this turns out to be rather good value, with daily visits to the venues outside Paris – rather beguilingly described as “hors les murs” – with a daily shuttle service to new and exciting exhibition venues such as Ile-de-France, Ivry and Clamart where the latest art videos and experimental and Avantgarde art installations take place.

Cutting to the chase film-wise, the highlight of this year’s get-together is a free screening of Claire Denis’ foray into sci-fi HIGH LIFE (2018) which takes place on the 9th March at the Louvre auditorium. The disturbing feature stars Robert Pattinson as a single father in charge of his (largely) unwanted child, and Juliette Binoche as a wicked reproductive pioneer. They are both attempting to survive in Outer Space beyond the solar system after Cosmic rays hit their shuttle. It won the FIPRESCI prize at San Sebastian 2018. How about that for some international encounters? MT




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