The city and above all the manner in which it is perceived and portrayed in cinema, is never intended only as a physical “place ”instead often representing a “cultural universe, an archive of memories and stories, a relationship space, a sound box and a laboratory of time that passes by”, some of the key themes identified by the organisers of the Cinema in Abbazia (Cinema in the Abbey) architectural film festival which, from June 27 will open its doors in the splendid setting of the courtyard of the Valserena Abbey in Parma. Echoing the 2018 edition, dedicated to filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, the festival will open precisely with one of their productions: Homo Urbanus Tokyoitus and Homo Urbanus Neapolitanus, two films made in 2018 that are part of a long-term research project titled “Homo Urbanus”, filmed in 7 different cities around the world: Seoul, Bogota, Naples, St. Petersburg, Rabat, Kyoto and Tokyo.
"Last year Cinema in the Abbey was a great success, even beyond our expectations. Linking architecture and cinema is a very interesting road which, this year, inspired us to broaden our point of view. We explored the theme of the city and its transformations, under the influence of social phenomena and we selected films that would make it possible to examine reality from a descriptive, as well as an emotional perspective. In particular, we were interested in offering an unconventional urban vision, not purely architectural, but an anthropological perspective intended to highlight how man changes the city and how the city, in turn, modifies man over time." Words with which Daniele Pezzali, President of the Architects Order of Parma, presented to the Floornature editorial board the new edition of the film festival titled Wild Cities, organised by the Order over which he presides and by the CSAC of the University of Parma, with the collaboration of the Sequence Association, the patronage of the City of Parma and the support of the MonteParma Foundation, the Allodi company and Bucci Spa.
As described by architect Daniele Pezzali, the exhibition consists of five projections dedicated to the contemporary city and its transformations. The documentary is the instrument that the filmmakers selected in order to have a rigorous approach of observation and a free storytelling style with which to work. Each film represents a different point of view to explore the relationship between humans and their habitat, told from multiple perspectives .
Cinema at the Abbey will run for five consecutive Thursdays starting June 27 in the courtyard of the Valserena Abbey in Parma. For the selection of the films the festival, organised by Cecilia Merighi and Daniele Pezzali (representing the Order of Architects of Parma), Sara Martin (representing the CSAC of the University of Parma), Stefano Cattini and Sara Antolotti (representing the Sequence Association) collaborated with film expert Silvio Grasselli, member of the selection committee and curator of the Festival dei Popoli (Florence), deputy director of the DocSS – International festival of urban cinema (Sassari). Starting on July 4, on the occasion of the film festival, it will also be possible to visit the exhibition titled Nuove figure in un interno (New figures in an interior), set up in the Abbey’s Sala delle Colonne room, which offers a selection of short films on the theme.
Title: Cinema at the Abbey / Architectural film festival Wild Cities
Date: June 27 – July 25, 2019
Location: Valserena Abbey, Strada Viazza di Paradigna, 1 – Parma, Italy
Organisers: Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione (CSAC) of the ’University of Parma + Order of Architects of the Province of Parma
Photos: courtesy of the organisers
Ila Beka at the CSAC - Photo credits Linda Vukaj
Film images: courtesy of the authors