Paranoid Data – Videograms of a Revolution
Post-screening discussion led by Otilia Baraboi (ARCS Executive Director) and Ileana Marin (ARCS President)! The conversation will continue at Saint John’s Bar and Eatery (719 E Pike St) following Q&A.
Videograms of a Revolution is a compilation and distillation of footage shot throughout the latter days of 1989 in Bucharest, Romania, as demonstrators in opposition to the regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu began to document a revolution in real time using the period’s most immediate means of communication: Television. As a vocal resistance began forming during Ceaușescu’s final speech on December 21st, it became clear that a tide was shifting and this moment must be seized to spread the word. So demonstrators forcibly occupied the television station and began broadcasting uninterrupted for the next 120 hours with the explicit intent on overthrowing Ceaușescu and holding him accountable for his crimes. What played out was a revolution with such immediacy, Ceaușescu was sentenced to death by execution on Christmas Day, broadcasts still running live for this moment.
Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujică’s remarkable film recreates this stream of broadcasts, but more pointedly shows the power of technology when its handed over to the people, and that news could in fact be delivered with an immediacy we almost take for granted these days. The impact of this revolution not only had a lasting impact for demonstrators all around the world, but arguably changed how people all around the world engage with technology as a means of immediate communication and organization.
Paranoid Data is a weekend-long offering of cult classics and FIVE rarely seen films that offer a small window into the ways in which technology, data, and the human body were thought to be affected and influenced by each other. Full program offerings and schedule below.
American Romanian Cultural Society
The American Romanian Cultural Society (ARCS) is a nonprofit association striving to promote a better understanding of the rich culture of Central and Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on Romania and the American Romanian cultural heritage in the Seattle area. Our signature event is the Romanian Film Festival in Seattle hosted at SIFF Cinema Uptown every year in November, since 2014.
Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema
Initiated and co-presented by Film ETC Association, in partnership for its 14th edition with Film Forum and the Jacob Burns Film Center, Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema is the leading comprehensive U.S. festival dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the best in Romanian contemporary cinema, as well as rarely seen classics.
From its start in 2006, the Romanian Film Festival in New York was nourished by the belief that the Romanian cinema deserves to be exposed on a sustainable basis to American audiences. Under the leadership of cultural entrepreneur Corina Șuteu, with Mihai Chirilov as artistic director and Oana Radu as festival manager, the festival has been growing by leaps and bounds, becoming a fixture on the city’s cultural scene, and helping “define and establish the southeastern European country as a stronghold of socially incisive, independently minded personal cinema” (Wall Street Journal). With each edition it attracted a larger and dedicated following and built a strong recognition among US film professionals. The festival has also enjoyed a consistent coverage in the media, from The New York Times to The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Time Out New York, through Variety to Indiewire.
In 2012, when political and cultural policy changes in Romanian jeopardized the existence of the festival, the team that initiated and organized since 2006 the yearly Romanian film festival in New York launched the independent Film ETC. Association and its Romanian Film Initiative (RFI) and undertook to fundraise and organize the festival in partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and to preserve its critical and creative spirit. Since that year, Making Waves has been a fully independent festival of Romanian contemporary cinema and culture, made possible through the support of numerous institutional funders and individual donors, including a large number of Romanian artists who believe that audiences at home and abroad deserve unfettered access to the best of Romanian contemporary culture.