The Cinematic Guerrilla (aka ‘the blind dialectic of vision’)

By the Celluloid Liberation Front

Communique No. 1: …(in)surging for a passionately mutinous spect-actorship…

"One associates culture with a certain sense of duty, historical costumes and long speeches with the sensation of being bored; so, conversely, just the right degree of boringness is a reassuring guarantee of a worthwhile event." – Peter Brook, from The Empty Space

"I will never transmit sanitised ideas, eloquent discourses or plastic images before the garbage (…) Crushed and exploited, the colonized can only invent their own form of suffocation: the scream of protest comes from an abortive ‘mise en scene’ (…) I’ll continue to make an underdeveloped cinema by condition and vocation, barbarian and ours, anticulturalist (…)" – Rogerio Sganzerla, from The Aesthetics of Garbage

Celluloid Liberation Front is a multi-use(r) name, an "open reputation" informally adopted and shared by a desiring multitude of insurgent cinephiles, transmedial terrorists, aesthetic dynamyters and random deviants. For reasons that remain unknown, the name was borrowed from a collective of anti-imperialist blind filmmakers from the Cayman Islands whose films have rarely been unseen.

CLF believes that there are two ways to experience cinema. The most exacting way, really, is to get rid of all the filters (cultural, (ideo)logical, physical) and transcribe the light as pure as it comes through unclouded lenses and just be a mutinous vessel for it, so that all the information comes through you as first a liquid, then a gas vision and eventually just a light…

The spectacular virus is paining the sick carcass of cinema whose heart is no longer able to desire genuine and destabilizing dreams – alternatively translating into constructively exacting visions - every frame is predictably innocuous, demystification has become the reassuring ‘truth’. The lenitive entertainment sold by cultural institutions is creatively constipated and the cinemas’ air is thick with the scent of resignation…they have commodified the incendiary feeling of creation through the advocacy of social sleepwalking.

What is deceitfully designated by the term ‘audience’ incarnates nothing but the latest stage of a day-dreaming pawn unable to absorb the cre-active impetuses exuding from the vital beams of light constituting the (im)material force of cinema. All these spectators, not being spect-actors, and drained of imagination through working long-hours, insurgency ebbed away in doe-eyed Disney eaters, Bambied and bamboozled by Hollywood’s sterile steroid shots.

CLF believes that cinema and audiovisual productions in general are part of the materiality of life and not of the illusory virtuality of it. The unimaginatively sterile policies marshalled by cultural institutions, or institutionalised alternative organs, are polluting our gaze with deadly cinema, our insolent spirit rejects a bodiless cinematic experience.

Bypassing thick academicism and swanky classifications we have to critically penetrate the filmic text, devour it and vomit back up an imminent vision transcending genres, classifications, good and evil…ignoring the slavish concept of intellectual property. We will land on the infinite montage of utopia! Rupturing, anthropophagic and subversive!

The given film will be a mere pretext, a detonator for the liberating explosion of creative dissent! The spect-actor, desiring subjectivity, will retroactively forge a cinema of voluptuous critique and enraged participation. We must abolish the palliative nature of cinema-going and destroy collective inertia and passivity.

We cannot let the images roll by unquestioned, we cannot let the critics write obscenities championing ignorance and pusillanimity… cinema needs to be expropriated from the covetous ranks of cultural pigs whose endlessly boring speeches only serve their own conservatory ambitions.

"Freeing a forbidden vision means setting free the possibility of indignation and subversion" – Getino & Solanas, from Towards a Third Cinema

We demand the reality of our dreams – in its never represented substance – to be projected beyond the gate-crashed screen, to let cinema collide with our daily vicissitudes, vexations, burning passions.

Films ain’t no food and yet they can feed us!

A hungry spectator is an angry spect-actor!

We have hijacked our own imagination and it will explode in the middle of the marketplace of canned cinema wherein we consume according to insipid labels: classic, comedy, art-house, realism, off-beat…my ass!

The conundrum of cinema knows no names, only emotions!

CLF is not and refuses to be an avant-garde proposition. It is the voice of a voiceless but desiring multitude – violently repressed but ultimately irrepressible - silenced and caged in the ossified decorum of official culture.

"Wrath can be transformed into joy and indignation into pleasure" – Sun Tzu, from The Art of War

We hereby propose the creation of a cine-club where any member of the audience will be free to join the decisional process for the upcoming screenings, thus creating a cinematic experience where the traditional and authoritative roles are abolished in favour of an orgiastic carnival of images and souls.

The film screening will create an open-ended film whose protagonists will be the spect-actors attending the event, and the manifestation of this liberated space will imply as many possibilities as our imagination is able to conceive, hallucinate, blow up.

Let us penetrate the social texture creating free spaces of transversal cinematic struggle where it is possible to catch sight of vital outflows in the occluded cage of integrated spectacle where everything is allowed as long as it is not questioned.

It is up to us to seek another direction of the image in relation to the world, its (in)justice, its (re)evolution towards digital downloadability, its (ab)use and its subversive permeability. Let us produce and consume cinema in opposition with those cultural events where hundreds of films are shown but few are attentively watched, appreciated and discussed.

Let us get together in events not yet reduced to mere cultural consumerism but in spaces for real dialogical confrontation and research, humbly to look with the ambition of launching a new approach to cinema…the freest possible, open to anyone.

Against emotional constipation we have armed ourselves with our love for cinema and by any screening necessary we intend to turn spectatorship into a subversively zingy activity able to upturn our existences…desperately calling for a passionately mutinous spect-actorship…

Let us indulge ourselves on the forbidden delicacies offered by the free banquet of cultural rioting and intellectual looting at the hands of cre-active bandits whose identity cannot be revealed, it being multiple, faceless, nameless and most importantly, freely open to anyone willing to anonymously join the cinematic struggle under the multiply collective name…Celluloid Liberation Front...

CLF is a collectively multiple entity carrying out a cultural guerrilla war against the collective inertia in which the spectacular empire is caging us all. Contact