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Films, talks & events

Cinema Ecologica

13 October — 6 November 2022

Film directors have used fiction to show how humanity relates to nature, in every genre. Think, for instance, of disaster films, ones about pandemics, underwater creatures that can talk or plant-based life forms who colonise the minds and bodies of earth’s inhabitants.

Much in life is uncertain, but one thing is sure: climate change. Cinema Ecologica focuses on how film directors depict the relationship between humanity and the earth: from nail-biting disaster films to artistic meditations, from romantic nature experiences to astounding science fiction.

Watch the programme trailer:

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placeholder trailer Cinema Ecologica
illustration Joost Stokhof
poster Cinema Ecologica in Eye Filmmuseum
illustration Joost Stokhof

Films, talks & more

still from Homo sapiens (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, AT 2016)
still from Homo sapiens (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, AT 2016)

Eye Film Player

The Eye Film Player also offers a selection of special feature films that match the themes of Cinema Ecologica.

See the selection on the Eye Film Player
still The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, US 2017)
still The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, US 2017)

Cinema Ecologica #1: People with Gills

The first episode of Cinema Ecologica is dedicated to films that depict our fear of an inundated future, yet also conjure up alternative worlds. Films such as Waterworld (1995), The Shape of Water (2017), Plan Delta (1989) and Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) showcase water’s power with all the mythical, horrific and dystopian connotations you can imagine.

In Évolution (2015) mothers take their sons to the tideline of a crashing ocean at night, suffused with some mystical assignment, whilst Belgian artist Johan Grimonprez stays on land: his artist’s talk deals with the promise of symbiotic ecology for humans and animals.

still Évolution (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, FR/BE/ES 2016)
still Évolution (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, FR/BE/ES 2016)
still Plan Delta (Bob Visser, NL 1989)
still Plan Delta (Bob Visser, NL 1989)

Of paramount importance is how fiction can increase awareness of the Anthropocene’s consequences – the era during which mankind has destructively bent the earth to its will.

still Creature from the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold, US 1954)
still Creature from the Black Lagoon (Jack Arnold, US 1954)
campaign image Cinema Ecologica #1: People with Gills
Illustration: Joost Stokhof
campaign image Cinema Ecologica #2: Romancing Nature
Illustration: Joost Stokhof
still from Into the Wild (Sean Penn, US 2007)
still from Into the Wild (Sean Penn, US 2007)

Cinema Ecologica #2: Romancing Nature

The second episode of Cinema Ecologica focuses on the romantic experience of nature.

Read more in our online magazine

During the Romantic era, man was seen as small and insignificant in relation to nature, in which they sought the awe-inspiring experience of the Sublime. In 'Romancing Nature', we take a look at nature as the bearer of epic, compelling stories; as the source of comfort and happiness. A programme that gives voice to the untamed forces of nature: the Wild, depicted on film.

still from The Trouble with Nature (Illum Jacobi, DK 2020)
still from The Trouble with Nature (Illum Jacobi, DK 2020)
still from Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, GB/AU/US 1971)
still from Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, GB/AU/US 1971)

Vincent Rietveld will be visiting Eye to demonstrate how to make a climate-neutral, touring theatre production and Italian eco-philosopher Emanuele Coccia, author of the internationally renowned ‘The Life of Plants’, will be talking about ecological awareness to accompany a film made by the Flatform collective about the oldest tree in Italy.

Xtended VR: Symbiosis

Watch the Symbiosis trailer:

The VR experience Symbiosis by Dutch collective Polymorf (presented in cooperation with IDFA DocLab) is nothing short of spectacular, bringing man, animals, and technology together as one.

Watch the Symbiosis trailer:

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placeholder trailer Xtended: Symbiosis (VR)
still from The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
still from The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
still from Silent Running (Douglas Trumbull, US 1971)
still from Silent Running (Douglas Trumbull, US 1971)

Cinema Ecologica #3: Whose is the Future?

The third episode of Cinema Ecologica focuses on cinematographic visions of the future.

In 1972 the Club of Rome published The Limits to Growth, outlining the consequences of global environmental pollution. After an initial wave of panic, the fear slowly ebbed away, until the reality of the melting polar caps could no longer be denied in recent years.

still from Spaceship Earth (Matt Wolf, US 2020)
still from Spaceship Earth (Matt Wolf, US 2020)
still from Soylent Green (Richard Fleischer, US 1974)
still from Soylent Green (Richard Fleischer, US 1974)

In 'Whose is the Future?', filmmakers, artists and philosophers examine the theme of 'eco-science fiction': how has the story about the relationship between humans and nature evolved over the past fifty years?

Featured will be work by directors such as Richard Fleischer (Soylent Green, 1974), Matt Wolf (Spaceship Earth, 2020), and artists Janis Rafa and Müge Yilmaz (both represented at the Biennale di Venezia 2022). Also: events and guests, including sociologist Ruben Jacobs, film scientists Patricia Pisters and Dan Hassler-Forest and philosopher Lisa Doeland, specialist in catastrophic thinking.

still from Lacerate (Janis Rafa, NL/IT 2020)
still from Lacerate (Janis Rafa, NL/IT 2020)
still from Pumzi (Wanuri Kahiu, KE 2009)
still from Pumzi (Wanuri Kahiu, KE 2009)
campaign image Cinema Ecologica #3: Whose is the Future?
Illustration: Joost Stokhof
campaign image Cinema Ecologica #4: Three Daffy Weeks
illustration Joost Stokhof
still from Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, US 1983)
still from Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, US 1983)

Cinema Ecologica #4: Three Daffy Weeks

Cinema Ecologica's fourth edition is a critical-humorous programme about how the consequences of human greed have been portrayed by filmmakers. With classics such as Koyaanisqatsi and The Wolf of Wall Street, specials on sustainable fashion, and discussions with artists and scientists.

The world is facing major environmental problems and changes. The question is: can film help us visualise the world as we want to inhabit it? And how can cinema contribute to the debate about the influence of humans on planet Earth?

still from Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, US 1978)
still from Dawn of the Dead (George Romero, US 1978)
still from The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, US 1975)
still from The Stepford Wives (Bryan Forbes, US 1975)

Luxury department store De Bijenkorf was famed for it: the Drie Dwaze Dagen ('Three Daffy Days') when shoppers could nab the bargains of the year. This festival of (discounted) consumption, which you could see as the high mass of capitalism, was tremendously popular.

It won't get as daffy as back then in the Filmmuseum, but our three-week programme does put our greed under the magnifying glass. The common thread is the question: if we are all part of a system aimed at maximum profit, can we still subject that same system to criticism? Or are we too daffy for that? Have we been blinded?

still from Putney Swope (Robert Downey, US 1969)
still from Putney Swope (Robert Downey, US 1969)
still from The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, US 2013)
still from The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, US 2013)

Feature films, short films and artist films in which – stylised, straightforward or puzzling – the man-made depletion and pollution of the earth are discussed. The selection is wide: the programme includes Godfrey Reggio's classic Koyaanisqatsi (1982), Pripyat (2016) by Nikolaus Gyerhalter, George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead (1978), Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street (2014) and Jia Zhang-ke's Still Life (2006).

There are also specials, discussions, and special screenings, for those who want to delve deeper into the theme. Think of a special about sustainable fashion in collaboration with the interactive Fashion for Good Museum and a performance by the electro-acoustic duo Wanderwelle.

still from Still Life (Sanxia haoren) (Jia Zhang-ke, CN/HK 2006)
still from Still Life (Sanxia haoren) (Jia Zhang-ke, CN/HK 2006)
still from On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World) (Mike Brett, Arnaud Colinart & Steve Jamison, GB/FR 2022)
still from On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World) (Mike Brett, Arnaud Colinart & Steve Jamison, GB/FR 2022)

Special VR

The unimaginable as (almost) reality. On 13 January 2018, the 1.6 million residents of Hawaii were startled by a text message about an imminent nuclear attack. The VR On the Morning You Wake (to the End of the World) by Mike Brett, Steve Jamison, Arnaud Colinart and Pierre Zandrowicz lets you experience the chilling 38 minutes that recipients experienced before receiving the redeeming message that it was a false alarm. In Eye 14 through 23 October.

Read more
still from Silkwood (Mike Nichols, US 1983)
still from Silkwood (Mike Nichols, US 1983)
still from Pripyat (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, AT 1999)
still from Pripyat (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, AT 1999)
still from Crossroads (Bruce Conner, US 1976)
still from Crossroads (Bruce Conner, US 1976)

project partner Cinema Ecologica #1: People with Gills

Planning on having a drink or a bite to eat? Book online for Eye Bar Restaurant.