Resonant Bodies—Fredi M. Murer Retrospective

October 6–9   [Venue] Yamagata Citizens’ Hall (Small Hall)


Born in German-speaking Switzerland, Fredi M. Murer (1940–) is known as a leader of the internationally-acclaimed Swiss Nouveau Cinema movement that was active from the late 1960s through the 1980s, together with Daniel Schmid and Alain Tanner. Of note in Murer’s oeuvre is Alpine Fire (1985), set in an isolated mountain range. The film—awarded the Golden Leopard Prize at the Locarno Festival—depicts incest between a brother and sister, as well as the tragedy that eventually befalls them. Depending on the period in which they were made, Murer’s works may be classified variously as experimental film, documentary, or narrative film. The thread that unites them across genre, subject matter, and territory, is their filmic investigation into the limits and possibilities of communication. People peer into the distance through binoculars and enlarge objects with magnifying lenses. They open their bodies to the world, feeling the trembling of the ground with their skin, through gestures and cutaneous sensations that are by no means confined to language. In this moment, the artist in the film (Chicorée, Bernhard Luginbühl, Sad-is-Fiction) is he, the filmmaker, as well as we who watch. Ever still, the space framed by grim mountains (We mountain people in the mountains, The Green Mountain) is a small hamlet in the Swiss Alps, while at the same time it is tied to the collectives of Yamagata and Magino Village depicted by Ogawa Shinsuke, with whom Murer had a friendly association.

Marcel  1962 / 18 min
Chicory  1966 / 27 min
Bernhard Luginbühl  1966 / 23 min   Oct. 6 20:30

Pacific–or the Contented  1965 / 60 min
Balance  1965 / 12 min
Sylvan  1965 / 12 min   Oct. 7 10:30

Sad-is-Fiction  1969 / 43 min
Vision of a Blind Man  1969 / 22 min   Oct. 7 12:40

Passages  1972 / 50 min
Christopher & Alexander  1973 / 46 min   Oct. 8 15:10

Zones  1979 / 99 min   Oct. 8 17:26

Alpine Fire  1985 / 117 min (Special Invitation Film)   Oct. 8 19:45

We Mountain People in the Mountains
 1974 / 108 min   Oct. 9 13:00

The Green Mountain  1990 / 128 min   Oct. 9 15:30