34th Filmwinter Stuttgart – “How I learned to love the Blob”
THE FESTIVAL MOTTO “HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE THE BLOB” PUTS THE BODY IN THE CENTRE
The 34th Filmwinter Stuttgart - Festival for Expanded Media - meets the social situation shaped by the Coronavirus with a fitting programme and presents itself in a new form. This year, the organisers of Wand 5 e.V. want to set a space to reflect on the current time in a longer process. Already in October 2020, the events under the festival motto “How I learned to love the Blob” will start.
FESTIVAL AS A PROCESS REFLECTING ON THE MEANING OF TOUCH AND THE BODY IN OUR TIMES
From 11 to 17 January 2021, the Filmwinter will once again take place at the FITZ! Zentrum für Figurentheater and the theater tri-bühne. The expanded media exhibition will be shown at Kunstbezirk from 14 to 19 January 2021. For the 34th time, the festival days will focus on the best submissions from the International Competition categories for short film, Media in Space and Network Culture. This year's children and youth programme for the whole family has also exciting surprises in store.
The upcoming festival edition presents itself as a hybrid interplay between formats on location and online. With its digital and analogue formats, the festival will be characterised by an intensive exchange, stimulating encounters, and old as well as new discoveries. Be it at a safe physical distance or in digital proximity: the regional audience on site can connect with the international audience and artists* in the distance. In this sense, we are aiming at a festival of touch.
THE NEW NORMAL – A MIXTURE OF THE CULT FILMS “DR STRANGLOVE” AND “THE BLOB”
We focus on the body and named it “Blob”: a mutable being, a kind of fantastic "superbody" - as a symbol for any relationship between bodies - be it in an emotional, political, social, or economic sense. What visions of film and media art contribute to shaping this prototype?
On board for our journey, whose paths and stations we understand as a process, we carry two films: Stanley Kubrick's “Dr Strangelove” and “The Blob”. First of all, we discovered that the reality of the so-called new normality feels like a wild mixture of these two cult films. Dystopian doomsday scenarios, conspiracy theories and a strange body devouring the world: the Blob.
BETWEEN THE POLES OF THE ALARMED “DON'T TOUCH” AND THE YEARNING TO “TOUCH ME”
What does proximity, distance, and touching mean in this mood marked by COVID-19? Film touches through the act of seeing - even without physical touch. How does film and media art want to touch us in this sense at this time?
As a festival, we broach the issue, document, and explore this time, in which the relationship to the body oscillates between the poles of the alarmed “don't touch” and the yearning to “touch me”; a time when the “touch screen” of mobile devices is booming and can even become a “touch scream”, mutating into an omnivorous undertow, just like the blob from the cult film.
How the festival moves in this process is depicted by the body titled blob by researchers in the field of biology: a creature that cannot be classified as plant, animal, or fungus. A mysterious unicellular organism that fascinates the world of science and symbolically stands for a new prototype of the body - for an alternative path beyond preconceived classifications.
THE FESTIVAL AS A JOURNEY, LABORATORY AND EXPERIMENTAL STAGE (OCT - DEC 2020)
We will begin the process as a journey, laboratory and experimental stage with events starting in October 2020. The highlight and goal of the journey will be the festival days in January 2021. Together with the audience, we will embark on a search for the blob and want to offer space and time to this artistic research journey into the heart of the unknown.
THE FILMWINTER MANDALA NOTEBOOK WITH ART BY MIRAI MIZUE
We write down the individual stops of this journey in a notebook especially made for this purpose - our analogue notebook. The book contains works by the artist Mirai Mizue - an icon of animated film. The dancing bodies in his works express a hopeful perspective for us. The bodies separate in order to find each other again. They give up their form to return in new forms. We understand giving up one place in order to go to another as the courage to touch.