Treasures of European Film Culture
Inspired by an idea of EFA Members Naum Kleiman and Ulrich & Erika Gregor, the European Film Academy proudly presents a new initiative: TREASURES OF EUROPEAN FILM CULTURE, a list of places of a symbolic nature for European cinema, places of historical value that need to be maintained and protected not just now but also for generations to come.
The list shall grow over the years but the first places on that list are:
The Bergmancenter is a museum and meeting place that focuses on the life work and artistic achievements of Sweden’s legendary director Ingmar Bergman. The Bergmancenter is the only Bergman museum in the world, and is located on the small island of Fårö, in the Baltic Sea, where Ingmar Bergman lived for the last 41 years of his life.
Ingmar Bergman first came to Fårö on a stormy day in April 1960, reluctantly searching for a suitable shooting location for his next feature, THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY, after already having set his mind on shooting on the Orkneys.
His encounter with Fårö, however, left a deep impression on him and Bergman came to shoot seven films on the island: THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY (1960), PERSONA (1966), SHAME (1968), A PASSION (1969), FÅRÖ DOKUMENT (1969), SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (1972) and FÅRÖ DOKUMENT 1979.
Few filmmaker’s works have been as closely associated with a particular geographic location as Bergman’s with Fårö. The barren landscape with its windswept trees, meadows, sandy and pebbly shores, and its harsh, white light is synonymous with world-class filmography.
One of Bergmancenter’s goals is to make Fårö a starting point for different artistic activities and a dynamic meeting place for scholars, artists and students.
It currently hosts a , inspired by Bergman’s (1982), and video installation a library, a creative workshop and a café.
The Bergman Week is an annual event organized by Bergmancenter at the end of June, with screenings, performances and lectures. International guests who have attended over the years include Wim Wenders, Ang Lee, Jean-Pierre, and Luc Dardenne, Catherine Breillat, and Kenneth Branagh, among other notables, and of course Ingmar Bergman himself until his death in 2007.
Bergmancenter’s new director, since November 2014, is Helen Beltrame-Linné.
2018 will be the centenary of Bergman’s birth on 14 July 1918.
Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç in Cardona
picture: Departament de Cultura. Generalitat de Catalunya. AVIOTEC.
In October 1964, Orson Welles used the Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç in Cardona as the location for CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, his personal Shakespeare adaptation, with himself in the leading role. Although shooting lasted nine months, only fifteen days were spent in Cardona, and yet thirty minutes of the final cut were shot there, containing some of the most emblematic locations: the castle of King Henry IV, the castle of his rival Henry Percy and the cathedral where Henry V is crowned.
Cardona citizens were intensely involved in the shooting of CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT, which premiered at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival where it won the 20th Anniversary Prize and the Technical Grand Prize. In the village, which in the sixties had much less than today’s seven thousand inhabitants, are still many who remember those two weeks in 1964 that took to the streets of the small mining town actors like John Gielgud, Keith Baxter, Marina Vlady, Norman Rodway, Fernando Rey and Welles himself, combining acting with his work on the other side of the camera.
The Eisenstein Centre
Already in his lifetime, Sergei Eisenstein – filmmaker, theorist of art, draughtsman, teacher, essayist and public figure – was named a “Leonardo da Vinci of cinema”. His friends and pupils called his apartment “the Master’s House”: the interior of this house was more than a ‘portrait of its owner’. Offering a brilliant collection of authentic objects and images, it became an “objectal manifest” of the artist and thinker who was completely sure that the very multiform world culture is in fact an entity, and that the new-born cinema is genetically bound with all other art forms. A multitude of books in five languages, with marginalia and bookmarks; prints of Piranesi and Callot, Utamaro and Sharaku, a painting by Fernand Leger and the comics by Walt Disney; masks from Mexico, Africa and the island of Bali together with make-up examples of the Peking Opera and posters from Kabuki theatre; Constructivist style Bauhaus furniture and ornamental patterns of Aztec carpets combined with Russian baroque and pseudo-gothic furnishings of modern style; photographic portraits given to the filmmaker by Charles Spencer Chaplin and James Joyce, Albert Einstein and Mei Lanfang, Asta Nielsen and José Clemente Orozco, Paul Robeson, Harpo Marx – and Vsevolod Meyerhold, the filmmaker’s own master, arrested and executed in the 1930s, whose archive was secretly conserved by Eisenstein …
Though “the Master’s House”, where Eisenstein lived, was demolished in the 1950s, his unique memorial complex was kept by his wife Pera Atasheva who willed it to the state, so that a Museum could be created. After her decease in September 1965, the Union of Filmmakers of the USSR took on the responsibility of fulfilling her will. In the small apartment on Smolenskaya Street, where Pera Atasheva lived, a scientific memorial cabinet of Sergei Eisenstein was organised. Its task was not only to conserve Sergei Mikhailoich’s personal belongings and library until the moment when a true museum space would be allotted, but also to prepare the edition of his theoretic works, to carry out film retrospectives and exhibitions of Eisenstein’s drawings, to advise researchers, teachers and students, to help translators and foreign editing houses. The cabinet became a Mecca for filmmakers from the whole world. During these 50 years, it has been visited by specialists for Eisenstein’s work as well as by the most important figures of cinema, among them King Vidor and Andrzej Wajda, Masaki Kobayashi and Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Wise and Shyam Benegal, Isabelle Huppert, Tilda Swinton and Fanny Ardant, Jean Rouch and Volker Schlöndorff, Wong Kar Wai and Terry Gilliam … Unfortunately, this treasure is located in a small apartment which makes it inaccessible for the wider public.
Now in a period of re-organisation, filmmakers from around the world and the European Film Academy welcome the concept of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts to organize an “Eisenstein Centre” in one of the buildings belonging to the Pushkin Museum: such a centre would provide the necessary conditions of safety and public accessibility for the memorial complex, and would accomplish even wider its functions as a keeper and populariser of true cinema in the context of world culture.
Based in Lyon, the Institut Lumière is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of filmmaking. It runs a library, a gallery and a museum that honour the contribution to filmmaking by Auguste and Louis Lumière - inventors of the cinématographe and fathers of cinema. It is also a cinematheque and a museum. Every year, in October, the Institut Lumière organises the Lumiere Film Festival in Lyon Metropole.
The institute was founded in 1983. The French director Bertrand Tavernier is its president since the beginning and the general manager is Thierry Fremaux who's also the manager of the Cannes Film Festival. The museum is located within the house of the Lumière family, in the Monplaisir quarter of Lyon, where the Lumière Cinímatographe has been invented. It also includes the hangar, main set for the film LA SORTIE DE L’USINE LUMIÈRE À LYON, the first film of Lumière, and one of the earliest motion pictures ever made. Today it houses a 270-seat movie theatre.
Parajanov Museum in Yerevan
Founded in 1988, the year of the first European Film Awards for which Parajanov was nominated as Director of the Year, the Sergei Parajanov Museum in Yerevan opened in 1991 and ever since has been dedicated to one of Europe's most fascinating film artists.
Inventing his own cinematic style Sergei Parajanov rose to international fame with films like SAYAT NOVA (1969, also titled THE COLOUR OF POMEGRANATES), SHADOWS OF OUR ANCESTORS (1965, also titled WILD HORSES OF FIRE), THE LEGEND OF THE SURAMI FORTRESS (1985) and ASHUK-KERIB (1988, sometimes also titled THE LOVELORN MINSTREL).
Comprising some 1,600 exhibits, the museum's collection includes installations, collages, drawings, puppets and sketches as well as personal belongings and correspondence.
Plaza de España in Seville
Originally designed and built as the main symbol for and most ambitious project of the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition world’s fair, Plaza de España is one of Seville's most iconic locations.
Plaza de España (picture: Fernando Ruso, Ayuntamiento de Sevilla)
With its mix of 1920s Art Deco, Neo-Renaissance, and Neo-Mudéjar styles, Plaza de España has served as the set for various films from STAR WARS to THE DICTATOR. Actors who have shot here include Vittorio de Sica, Sean Connery and, of course, Peter O’Toole.
Above all, it is forever linked to the history of cinema by its role in David Lean's unforgettable epic LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, where it served as the English army headquarters and officers' club in Cairo.
The Potemkin Stairs
The Potemkin Stairs are undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous historical film locations. Sergei Eisenstein shot his masterpiece “Battleship Potemkin” 90 years ago at the Black Sea port.
The Vienna Giant Ferris Wheel
On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the world-famous Prater park in Vienna the European Film Academy (EFA) awarded the park’s Giant Ferris Wheel, known for its appearance in Carol Reed’s classic THE THIRD MAN with Orson Welles, the title “Treasure of European Film Culture”.
picture: © WIENER RIESENRAD
The World of Tonino Guerra
The World of Tonino Guerra (Il mondo di Tonino Guerra) is the name chosen by the poet himself for the space hosting his artistic work. While it does refer to a museum space, it is also a space that exceeds the very idea of a museum, as it is intended as a lively place where people meet, discuss and work.
Located in Pennabilli on Via dei Fossi, in the basement of the fourteenth-century oratory of Santa Maria della Misericordia, it is by no means a coincidence that the building is also the seat of the cultural association that bears his name (established in 2005).
Besides presenting a museum space, this is the place where Tonino Guerra’s works are presented, where he held lectures on screenwriting, staged his reading theatre, met students and, thanks to the archive and library (of books, videos and photos), it is also a moment of study and analysis of both his work and the context in which it originated and developed.
Through the knowledge and appreciation of Guerra's art, the association offers an extensive cultural programme that also promotes the territory of several provinces and regions, and that interacts with the institutions, bodies and associations operating within it, thus providing a cultural aspect of European and international character.
The world of Tonino Guerra is not only of cultural and artistic value, but also a major touristic attraction, capable of being a driving force for the cultural and economic development of a region of its own character.