As a way of introducing you to some amazing people working in the fields of artist moving image, experimental film and alternative cinema, we have concocted a short questionnaire. Today we speak to film scholar and curator Miriam De Rosa.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Miriam De Rosa, moving image lover and addict. I do everything I can to pursue and feed this love: currently this comes in the shape of a research fellow post at the Centre of Postdigital Cultures at Coventry University, in my activity as an independent curator, and as the chair of the NECS Cinema and Contemporary Visual Arts work group.
2. What was the first film you remember seeing as a child?
I have blurred memories about the first film ever, which for sure was on TV: my parents have always allowed me watching films with them since I was really a little girl and my recollection of that experience has more to do with the situation, the distinct sensation of being with them, in the magic, cosy atmosphere of the evenings spent in our lounge rather than of what was on screen… it comes as no surprise my work is often on the experience and the space built through cinema!
I have a very clear memory of the first film I saw in the theatre, however. It was Snow White, I was four and scared to death. My mum had to take me out of the theatre because I was desperately crying.
3. What was the last film you watched and what did you think if it?
Apparently an easy question, in fact a really hard one, as I have just attended the 65th Oberhausen Film Festival, which means I have been watching an average of 25/30 films per day for basically a week – in my mind this is one unique film 7 days long. It is made of celluloid as well as pixels, but also of images, people’s comments, praises and harsh critics, of lights dimming in the movie theatre, of Q&As, of velvet chairs and mint tea, of screeners exchanged in a café, of film citations and improbable connections with other films seen or perhaps only imagined.
4. How did you become interested in working with cinema/moving image?
There is no unique reason: I suspect I owe my interest to a basic fascination for movement, optics and all things machinery, to a tough but excellent mentor, to the deep need to stay close to art, to the respect and admiration for those who are able to express themselves and strong ideas.
5. Tell us about a film that has had a profound effect on you?
Cléo de 5 à 7 reminds me of many important things every single time I watch it, and it does it with delicate and melancholic beauty. Beauty has always a powerful effect on me.
6. Favourite books about cinema/moving-image/filmmaking?
Those that are still to be written.
7. What would be your dream double-bill, two films you’d love to see together on the big screen?
If it has to be a dream then it cannot be a double-bill, it needs to be at least 4 or 5 films in a row…
8. Which filmmaker/artist are you most obsessed with, the one whose work you return to again and again?
I am more into themes or motifs rather than authors, but let’s say that recently I have been returning quite a lot to Gianikian & Ricci Lucchi.
9. What are you currently working on/what projects do you have coming up?
Plenty of projects. The most imminent one coming up explores the links between care and resistance, and brings together writing and curatorship. Part of it will be presented at a conference in Coventry, whilst another iteration will be a curated film programme I am working on with my colleague and dear friend Greg de Cuir Jr. that will survey the amazing work of experimental animator Kelly Gallagher.