40th IFFR shows communist Westerns and fashions films

40th International Film Festival Rotterdam
26 January – 6 February 2011

PRESS RELEASE 5 October 2010

The International Film Festival Rotterdam announces further two of the themed programmes in the festival’s Signals section. The first of these, Red Westerns, presents Soviet and Eastern European Westerns from the period from 1924 to 1980; the second, ‘Out of Fashion’, explores the growing interaction between the fashion industry and independent filmmaking. In Signals, IFFR devotes attention to current and historical developments in the area of film. The 40th IFFR will take place from 26 January to 6 February 2011.

Red Westerns
From the 1920s to the 1980s, a communist version of the Western genre was extremely popular in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. IFFR 2011 will be screening the first ever sizeable overview of these almost forgotten genre productions, which have seldom been seen at in ‘the West’, in spite of the fact they are very interesting from both historical and cinematic viewpoints. The striking Red Westerns series will show just how successfully a pre-eminently Western film genre was tailored to the communist ideology by introducing, for example, unexpected heroic characters. The programme therefore gives insights into the way popular blockbusters were made in an era of socialistic realism.

Red Westerns, compiled by IFFR programmer Ludmila Cvikova and Russian film critic Sergei Lavrentyev, will also screen in 2011 at the Gothenburg IFF (Sweden), Crossing Europe in Linz (Austria), Era New Horizons in Wroclaw (Poland) and IFF Bratislava (Slovakia). A special publication will accompany the programme. For the occasion, Mosfilm Studio’s in Moscow made new, English subtitled prints from five of the films in the Red Westerns programme.

The starting point for the Red Westerns programme is the silent film EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF MR. WEST IN A BOLSHEVIK'S LAND (1924) by Russian film pioneer and theoretician Lev Kuleshov. The programme, which will be made up of approximately fifteen films, also contains NIEKAS NENOREJO MIRTI (NO ONE WANTED TO DIE, 1966, directed by Vytautas Zalakevicius) – a Western filmed in Lithuania that was voted Best Film by the readers of ‘Soviet Screen’ in 1966 – and two East German DEFA productions: DIE SÖHNE DER GROßEN BÄRIN (THE SONS OF GREAT MOTHER BEAR, 1965, directed by Josef Mach) and CHINGACHGOOK, DIE GROßE SCHLANGE (CHINGACHGOOK, THE GREAT SNAKE, 1967, directed by Richard Groschopp). In the latter two films, the Mongolian, Bulgarian, Yugoslav, Czechoslovakian landscapes stand for the Wild West and Gojko Mitic – originally a Serbian sports instructor – stars in the lead roles.

Out of Fashion
The themed programme Out of Fashion shows how fashion houses, avant-garde designers and young, as yet undiscovered fashion designers are using film, video and online media to realise, distribute and sell their designs and visions. The creativity of fashion designers has long been reflected in the arts – particularly in the film world (in costume design). Video and online applications have given an impulse to the possibilities for designers and fashion houses to profile themselves and develop artistically in new ways.

As a result, interaction between independent filmmakers and fashion houses has increased markedly in recent years. In Out of Fashion, IFFR programmer Inge de Leeuw will be bringing together recent films and video art through which designers and fashion houses have presented themselves in artistically challenging and innovative ways. Out of Fashion shows that filmmakers enjoy a great deal of freedom when making commissioned works. Examples include FIRST SPRING by Chinese artist Yang Fudong (made for Prada) and WONDERWOOD by British/US filmmakers Quay Brothers for Comme des Garçons.

Out of Fashion will be showing the documentary PYUUPIRU 2001-2008 by Daishi Matsunaga, which examines the work and life of the Japanese fashion designer and transgender artist. A work by Pyuupiru is also included in the H+F Fashion on the Edge exhibition in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, 16 October 2010 to 30 January 2011).
In cooperation with IFFR, Premsela (Dutch Platform for Design and Fashion, Amsterdam) is organising four programmes that examine the interfaces between fashion and film.

IFFR 2011: Signals

Signals is one of the three main sections at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, alongside Bright Future (films by beginning filmmakers and the Tiger Awards Competitions) and Spectrum (films by established directors). In Signals, IFFR presents current or historical themed programmes and oeuvres. During IFFR 2011, Signals will consist – alongside Red Westerns and Out of Fashion – of Raiding Africa, a themed programme on Chinese-African relations, including new work by African filmmakers made in China. More Signals programmes will be announced later.

The whole festival programme will be published on Thursday, 20 January 2011, as an IFFR special insert in Dutch daily de Volkskrant and online at www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com. Online ticket sales for Tiger Friends only start on Thursday 20 January at 20.00 hours; the regular online box office opens on Friday 21 January at 20.00 hours. The festival box office is open from Tuesday 25 January 2011. The festival will take place from 26 January to 6 February 2011.

(End of press release)

Note to the editors, not for publication:

Press information: IFFR Press Office, Bert-Jan Zoet, press@filmfestivalrotterdam.com, +31 (0)10-8909090
Over International Film Festival Rotterdam

With nearly 330,000 admissions and over 2,400 film professionals attending, IFFR is one of the largest audience and industry-driven film festivals in the world, offering a high quality line-up of fiction and documentary feature films, short films, exhibitions, performances, masterclasses and talks.IFFR actively supports new and adventurous filmmaking talent through numerous industry initiatives including co-production market CineMart, the Reality Check conference, the BoostNL initiative, the Hubert Bals Fund and Rotterdam Lab. IFFR's 49th edition takes place from Wednesday 22 January to Sunday 2 February 2020. More information can be found at IFFR.com.