Treasures of European Film Culture

    Treasures of European Film Culture is a growing 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.

    Located 3,040 metres above sea level on the mountain peak of Gaislachkogl, 007 ELEMENTS is a cinematic installation dedicated to the world of James Bond. The installation focusses on SPECTRE, which was shot in Sölden but also features other titles in the long-running Bond film franchise.

    Shape of a man standing in front of large windows overlooking snowy mountaintops

    007 ELEMENTS guides visitors on a journey through a series of high-tech, interactive galleries, each distilling the craft of the signature elements that define a James Bond film — the beautiful title sequences and dramatic scores; the jaw-dropping action sequences; the cars, gadgets and technology; the breath-taking locations and iconic studio sets and lastly, a host of compelling characters.

    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.

    Ingmar Bergman first came to Fårö 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 DOCUMENT (1969), SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (1972) and the documentary follow-up FÅRÖ DOCUMENT 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.

    Long flat building with
    picture: David Skoog

    Bergmancenter on Fårö is a starting point for different artistic activities and a dynamic meeting place for scholars, artists and students.

    It hosts a permanent exhibition that takes visitors through Bergman’s work and life on Fårö. The exhibition gives a unique insight into Bergman’s working methods and sources of inspiration. Bergmancenter also hosts a cinema, an outdoor stage, a library, a creative workshop and a café. The Bergman Week s an annual event organised 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, Mia Hansen-Løve, Margarethe von Trotta, Willem Dafoe, Noah Baumbach, Andrey Zvyagintsev and Kenneth Branagh, among other notables – and of course Ingmar Bergman himself as a regular until his death in 2007.

    Bergmancenter’s director and operations manager is Cristina Jardim Ribeiro.

    Photo of Collegiate Church of Sant Vicenç from above, mountains in the back
    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.

    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 …

    Black and white picture of a room with full book shelves, looking into another room

    Though “the Master’s House”, where Eisenstein lived, was demolished in the 1950s, his unique memorial complex was kept by his wife Pera Atasheva and later taken over by the Union of Filmmakers of the USSR. In a small apartment on Smolenskaya Street, where Pera Atasheva lived, a memorial cabinet of Sergei Eisenstein was organised. Its task was not only to conserve Sergei Mikhailoich’s personal belongings, 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, the memorial flat meanwhile had to be closed and all of Eisenstein’s belongings were seized from the apartment on Smolenskaya Street.

    Shaped by wind and water ever since its bouldered landscape of red-ish gneiss was created by magma forcing its way up through the bedrock, the shore in Hovs Hallar is lined with fantastic rocky beaches and caves. The barren, wild impression creates a dramatic backdrop that is most famous from the opening scenes of Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL, with the Knight challenging Death to a game of chess.

    Rock formations in the sea reflecting a dark blue cloudy sky
    picture: Magnus Larsson/MagnusL3D

    Hovs Hallar is a nature reserve on the northern tip of the Bjäre Peninsula in the Swedish county of Skåne. It is located between the coastal towns of of Båstad and Torekov. The reserve is an area of geological interest and its impressive cliff faces are home to a variety of seabirds. It is assumed that the area gave the name to the province of Halland, meaning “the land beyond Hovs Hallar”.

    During a ceremony, held in co-operation with the regional film fund Film i Skåne and the municipality of Båstad, a special “Treasure of European Film Culture” emblem was inaugurated at the location.

    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.

    Two images: the left one a still of workers leaving a factory, the right one is the same building today that is now a modern museum

    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.

    Built at the end of the XII century, the Moulin d’Andé was eventually given to Suzanne Lipinska in 1949 as a wedding gift.

    Old mill over water in a green forest

    When she moved in in 1957 with her three children, she decided to turn it into a space dedicated to artistic creation. In 1962, she created the Cultural Association Moulin d’Andé with the goal of supporting the arts. Very quickly the mill became a retreat for intellectuals and authors like Maurice Pons, Jean-Jacques Peyronnet, Richard Wright, René Depestre and Eugène Ionesco.

    Coveted by the Nouvelle Vague, François Truffaut, Louis Malle, Alain Cavalier, Jean-Paul Rappeneau and Robert Enrico came to write and shoot … films like JULES AND JIM and LE COMBAT DANS L’ÎLE use the charming setting of the mill. The creative spirit of this place has brought forward films, books, music and paintings.

    During the 1980s, the association opened up to music and organised concerts and master classes in classical music, welcoming internationally renowned performers.

    In 1998, the Moulin d’Andé created a world-class centre dedicated to cinematographic writing, the Céci, which today has more than 400 projects supported and many artists hosted in residence. Rati Tsiteladze, EFA Short Film Nominee 2018, was one of the winners in 2018.

    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).

    Photo of a fully decorated room with many pictures on the walls

    Comprising some 1,600 exhibits, the museum’s collection includes installations, collages, drawings, puppets and sketches as well as personal belongings and correspondence.

    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.

    Water with a bridge and large building behind
    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 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.

    Large stairs leading up high to old buildings
    picture: TrialAndError

    Between the 1950s and 2020, more than 300 films have been shot in the Tabernas Desert in the Spanish province of Almeria. Its great natural settings are most famous for the so-called “Spaghetti Western” films of the 60s and 70s.

    Grey desert with a small mountain in the back

    The central figure of this golden age of the European Western was Sergio Leone with his mythical Dollars Trilogy that brought Clint Eastwood to international fame with A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964), FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965) and THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY (1966). This was followed by Leone’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and Edward Dmytryk’s SHALAKO (both 1968), 100 RIFLES by Tom Gries (1969), EL CONDOR by John Guillermin (1970) and RED SUN by Terence Young (1971), and many, many others, among them some from the Bud Spencer and Terence Hill saga.

    The desert has also been the setting for major international productions such as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), CLEOPATRA (1963), CONAN THE BARBARIAN (1982), INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989) or EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (2014), as well as series such as DOCTOR WHO, BLACK MIRROR or GAME OF THRONES.

    Among more recent productions are 800 BULLETS by Álex de la Iglesia (2002), Jan Kounen’s RENEGADE (2003), Philippe Haïm’s LUCKY LUKE AND THE DALTONS (2004) or Jacques Audiard’s THE SISTERS BROTHERS (2018).

    On the other hand, Tabernas hosts the Almería Western Film Festival, the only one of its kind in Europe that annually gathers amateurs and professionals in relation to the Western, highlighting the environment of the desert as a cinema destination, for tourism and for the film industry.

    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”.

    Large ferris wheel in night sky
    picture: © WIENER RIESENRAD

    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.

    Four images of different decorates rooms

    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.