Herb Shellenberger

Cinematic Inclusions: Time, People and Places
September 19, 2013
International House Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA, US

Part of European Cinema Uncovered

The seven films that comprise the film program "Cinematic Inclusions" are the highlights of 20th century Lithuanian documentary cinema. Like mineral inclusions, these films capture the relics of times gone by. The filmmakers arrested moments from their present, and by so doing, captured the past. Some of these images have become imprinted on the collective memory of the nation, whilst others have been left to obscurity.

Lithuanian documentary filmmakers are particularly interested in what has remained on the margins, or is about to vanish from collective memory. Therefore, marginal, forgotten heroes (be it a person, or a city district) have proven precious to Lithuanian documentary filmmakers. Their cameras frequently turn towards those people and places which remain at a distance from the platforms of fame. The films become "inclusions" of the quotidian portraits of their heroes. Nonetheless, they tell more than a story of one person or one particular place. The portraits acquire, through the mediation of the lens, metaphorical meanings: in one film reflecting the invisible ensations of a human being (Earth of the Blind), whilst in another revealing the feeling of expectation and anxiety in the Lithuanian people prior to the declaration of independence (Ten Minutes before the Flight of Icarus), or expressing the archetype of national character (the films of Robertas Verba, Henrikas Ĺ ablevicius).

The Old Man and the Land, Robertas Verba, 1965, Lithuania, digital, 20'
Time Passes through the City, Almantas Grikevicius, 1966, Lithuania, digital, 20'
A Trip across Misty Meadows, Henrikas Ĺ ablevicius, 1973, Lithuania, digital, 10'
The Dreams of the Centenarians, Robertas Verba, 1969, Lithuania, digital, 20'
The Black Box, Algimantas Maceina, 1994, Lithuania, digital, 38'
Ten Minutes Before the Flight of Icarus, Arunas Matelis, 1990, Lithuania, digital, 10'
Earth of the Blind, Audrius Stonys, 1992, Lithuania, digital, 24'