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AGAINST CINEMA
Website

Screenings:

Matadero Madrid, Contemporary Art Center (Workshop Cinema as Object: Aproppriation and Interventionist Practices. Madrid, Spain, Sept. 2010)
Rompan Límites, Experimental Film Festival (Uruguay, Oct. 2010)
La Fábrica Art Gallery (The Amalgama Collective, Barcelona, Spain, Nov. 2010)
Madrid Experimental Cinema Week (Madrid, Spain, Nov. 2010)
Tirana International Film Festival (Tirana, Albania, Dec. 2010)
Athens International Film and Video Festival (OH, USA. April 22 - 28, 2011)
Australian International Experimental Film Festival (Melbourne, Australia. April - May 2011)
Chicago Underground Film Festival (Chicago, USA. June 2011)
ArtFest Film Festival (Harrisburg, USA. May 2011)
Videoholica International Video Art Festival (Varna, Bulgaria. August 2011)
Independents' Film Festival (Tampa, FL, USA. September 2011)
Plovdiv Night of Museums and Galleries (Bulgary, September 17, 2011), curated by Pavlina Mladenova
New England Underground Film Festival (Connecticut, USA. October 2011)
Cinemateca Brasileira (São Paulo, Brazil. October 2011)
Lucca Film Festival (Lucca, Italy. October 2011)
Anthology Film Archives, NewFilmmakers NY (Fall Series, New York, USA. October 4, 2011)
Flicker Spokane Film Festival (Spokane, WA, USA. October 22, 2011)
Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film and Video Festival (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 2011)
Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film and Video Festival (Kota Kinabalu, Sabah State, Malaysia, Dec. 2011)
Dredsner Schmalfilmtage (Dresden, Germany, January 2012)
Video, Video Spinning Top (Sofia, Bulgary. March 2012)
Instituto Cervantes (Rome, Italy, April 2012)
Instituto Cervantes (Paris, France, May 2012)
Experimental Film Festival Portland (Portland, USA. May 2012)

Awards:

Athens International Film and Video Festival (USA). Third Prize, Experimental Category.
Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival (USA). Honorable Mention, Experimental Category.
New England Underground Film Festival (USA). Best Short Film.
Los Angeles New Wave International Film Festival (USA). Best Editing and Honorable Mention, Experimental Category.
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Review published by Celeste Araújo at Blogsandocs:

In Against Cinema (2010), cinema is regarded as a file and the cinematographic image
as an object to be classified, catalogued and analyzed. By arranging images by type
and extracting a single theme from among them – the moments in which actors are shown
from behind in fiction films -Alberto Cabrera Bernal comes up with a minimal structure
that, when repeated assiduously, reveals the workings of the cinematographic device.

“In cinema, the actor is forbidden to look at the camera, that is, from addressing
the audience head on. I am almost tempted to look upon this prohibition as the distinguishing
characte-ristic of cinema. It is an art that splits in two how things are seen: the spectator
watches the actor, without doing anything else. He has the right and the obligation to watch;
the actor, meanwhile, looks at everything except the spectator. A single glance from
the screen, alighting on the spectator, would ruin the entire film”(1). This is so because
the prevailing style of acting has been responsible for determining the position of the
spectator, according to the model of the camera obscura, making it identifiable with camera.
Acting as a voyeur, the spectator always remains invisible in the film. Seeing without
being seen.

The number of shots taken of actors from behind outlines a minuscule plot: an actor
on the run, attempting to escape without being detected, and the other, the spectator-camera,
initiating the pursuit; a storyline that brings to mind Film by Samuel Beckett (1965)
and the photographic series entitled Following Piece, by Vito Acconci (1969). The theme
on which Against Cinema is based seems disjointed. The joining of images defies the rules
of connection, upsetting the classic development of the plot. The film is spun together,
unspinning itself. Its horizontal development shows us how cinema is created but, at the same
time, it also denies it, as its title professes. Only the initial and final moments seem
to respond to any compositional logic: the film starts off with a gunshot and ends with
a final shot at the audience, in the style of The Great Train Robbery, by Edison (1903).

After a long sequence, illustrating the analysis of the shots of actors from behind,
a revolver held by a hand, while the rest of the body is not visible, emerges right
in the center of the frame aiming at the back of the actress and, subsequently, the gun
is pointed directly at the audience. The spectator is now split in two, not knowing
if he is in pursuit or if he is being pursued by the film. His position is so disturbingly
similar to that of the actor, that he may even imagine that what he saw was, in fact,
his own anxious body with his back to the projector light. This alarming identification
is enough to ruin all cinema and reveal its tricks.

(1) Barthes, Roland: The Obvious and the Obtuse, 1982.