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Entering the Frame

Cinema and History in the Films of Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi


Robert Lumley

Entering the Frame is the first complete study of the cinema of Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, pioneers of archival and found-footage films that testify to war, genocide and colonialism in the twentieth century. It explores their early performance-based ‘scented films’ of the 1970s, before focusing on the historical films, such as From the Pole to the Equator, for which they are best known. The book analyses how Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi manipulate rare footage through re-photographing, hand-tinting and altering film speeds, to produce work of an other-worldly quality.
Retrospectives of the films of Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi at the Jeu de Paume in Paris (2006) and at MoMA in New York (2009) have signalled international recognition at the highest level, as have appraisals by leading scholars of cinema such as Scott MacDonald and Raymond Bellour. Their work is unusual in attracting different audiences, and in relating art practices to wider ethical, historical and political issues. Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi have transformed old documentary footage into works that resonate in debates about postcolonialism as well as about the documentary form, the corporeality of the viewing experience and the metamorphoses of cinema.
The volume includes a preface by the cultural historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat, Professor of Italian and History at New York University.
Contents: Scented cinema and independent filmmaking in the 1970s – Found footage and history – Armenia and the genocide – Trauma and memory – First World War: prisoners, war in the Dolomite Mountains, the aftermath – Fascism and colonialism – Exhibitions, museums, installations, audiences – Marinetti’s futurism – Body, embodiment, and the phenomenological turn – Death and after-life of cinema.