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Comments on JAVIER AGUIRRE

MARUJA MALLO

The big four classic ones of Cinema are Dreyer, Eisenstein, Bergman, Buñuel. These are big four classic people with telluric-man content: psychology, magic, history, revolution and combat. They were not out the vicious circle of the story. In Javier Aguirre’s cinema there is greater anecdote. These are the inhabitants of the void. It’s a where-are-we-going matter. Einstein discovered that our world was not a Euclidian one. The beings in the classic cinema live in a two-dimension world whilst in this abstract cinema of the void, three, four or even five dimensions can be conceived: the never-ending space, the unknowable, and the immeasurable. Until nowadays, with the four “summits” such as Dreyer, Eisenstein, Bergman and Buñuel the Cinema has been both Euclidian and telluric. With Javier Aguirre Cinema becomes an Einstein’s matter. He is the precursor of Cinema identified with the absolute abstraction in favour of the universal gravitation.

1980

 

EUSEBIO SEMPERE

The aesthetic problems that are shown by Javier Aguirre are in the limits of the proposal of current art; the solutions he gets are much more effective, important and round. These solutions haven’t been found by the Painting yet.

1972

 

SUSAN SONTAG

There is a filmmaker in California who makes things close to the anti-cinema or non-cinema ones. I specially refer to his film about the Atomic Bomb.

 

 

NATHALIE SARRAUTE

It was particularly regrettable that the 1920s experiences had no continuity so one can easily rejoice that this much-talented filmmaker has undertaken a new experience and has driven far beyond the search using all means of inexhaustible richness at cinema’s disposal for this contributing to put him in the place he deserves in the more advanced current world of art.

1979

 

SALVADOR ESPRIU

Aguirre’s anti-cinema or non-cinema. Ok, I agree, anti-cinema, if we understand more than cinema, beyond cinema, a fight against the cliché full of figures and appearances. I think it is an authentic and therefore mysterious poetry… / … This exceptional poet who carries out through the seized picture in its maximum direct visual strength… / … this quiet, dedicated man – but not just capriciously - , tenacious, like a good Basque: this great film director and conscientious authentic creator called Javier Aguirre.

1982

 

LUIS G. BERLANGA

Javier Aguirre is doing what one wants to do and is not really capable for so many reasons and cowardliness, and he is doing as well as I do in that dream of the impossible, that is he is doing much better that one would do it with the reality of the camera in hand.

1961

 

JORGE GUILLÉN

The creations by Javier Aguirre are themselves finished matters, perfect ones… Aguirre, a much original invention. That is what our artist is: a much brilliant creator.

1981

 

PROFESOR BRUNO DI MARINO

We know very little about the Spanish experimental cinema, apart from the figure of Buñuel and despite he has carried out his avant-garde films in France. That’s why, when we meet an author like Javier Aguirre who has started his activity as a moviemaker by the end of the 1960 and who, besides, has shot experimental 35mm-full-length films we feel quite astonished.

2006

 

 

HENRI CHOPIN

Among Kolar, painter and poet, Faucheux, modeller and architect, Aguirre, moviemaker and me there was a huge coincidence.

1972

 

CRISTOBAL HALFFTER

We are in front of a quite different open horizon for the cinema. These movies mark the beginning of a new cinematography.

1972

 

JUAN GIL ALBERT

You suspect there is a shared way we have both covered in order to find a clash between my “against the cinema” and your “anti-cinema or non-cinema”. And so it is but in two different paths, perhaps tracks, and in order not to separate it completely, almost philologically, I could call mine as re-creative while yours can be considered creative…/ … It was a revelation for me: Visconti is not the cinema, nor my “against the cinema” or your “anti-cinema or non-cinema”. Visconti is a magnificent end of an era…/ … I would qualify these short films which are the visible result of your graphic speculation, more evident than sighted, as their aim seems to be giving back to the Cinema the definitive purpose of its origins, the form and the silence into the “eternum movile” of its planetary expressiveness, always silently while never resting… / … I have found this note in one of my exercise book “Will a day come, will a time come when men will not need any spectacle? The fact of merely living will substitute the Art. Cinema or anti-cinema, as Javier Aguirre calls it, could become the start of this new social reality.

1980

 

MANFRED MOHR

The movies by Javier Aguirre are an unusual case… / … I must confess that watching these movies in Madrid, that is, in Spain, have meant a real surprise for me. And it seems to me, even quite strange, that these were not a part of a collective cinematographic movement and that they are the individual expression of an only author. There are no similar films in Paris or in New York although real underground films are made, but they are not as abstract as Javier Aguirre’s ones .

1972

 

JUAN DAVID GARCIA BACA

Spontaneity, novelty, originality: supplier-extemporizer-releaser. All his movies, such as Zero, the one about the elements, give me a visual-sonorous impression of life (cinematographic) or of a cinema put in a venture, exposed to life. Heracles said more than twenty centuries ago: the most beautiful universe is a handful of scraps thrown haphazardly. In a current language, and it is deeply yours which burst into: the most beautiful film is a group of elements (sounds, pictures, ideas, protests…) thrown haphazardly which is the calculation of probabilities, to the stochastic (Xenakis)… /… Xenakis is waiting for me. If you get with your film as much as he gets with his music both of you will reach the science and the current technics… / … you are advocating a new pedagogy.

1985

 

MARUJA MALLO

1=A=. (one is equal to A equal to dot) Arithmetic is the art of calculus. The science of the numbers. The magic cipher is three. Real is equal to Man = (symbols) Intelligence, feelings and sexuality. (The triangle, the Heart and the Fish). Three: has been identified by the Prophets with the name of God: Men are God in his picture and resemblance. A= Creator, Science: the first geometric figure A and the dot. Light-Shadows: White and Black. The non-colour and the colour declared.

1980

 

ODYSSEUS ELYTIS

I trust you and I trust your work.

1981

CARLOS EDMUNDO DE ORY

It was a surprise to suddenly discover in the films by Javier Aguirre a sort of visual thirst of absolute zero…/… A very particular aesthetic of magical subjectivity plenty of spells, a so pure rhythmic technique, elegant, plenty of poetry. That is, a style of fascination… /… As we/he forget the screen. We only need to focus on something happening in our mind, something which is perhaps sleepy such as the astral body is visiting areas of this world or of the Other.

1981

 

JAVIER RUIZ / FERNANDO HUICI

Seven films among eight were shown in Pamplona: the eighth one was forbidden (Che, Che, Che). We can consider this screening was greatly successful. It was with Arakawa and Meliès what got the higher interest in the festival movie room. And undoubtedly what got the higher participation. Among the physical pain caused by the pictures a terrified voiced shouted: “It is War!” There was another amazing situation when showing “Temporalidad Interna” (internal temporality) after a retorted quotation by Merleau-Ponty and a moment of silence, a voice was audible: mental diarrhoea which was answered in the film: “esto esta mas oscuro de lo que vosotros pensais” (this is darker than you think). The collective reaction became quite evident: some dialogs with the movie programmed for sharing a dialog with the viewers.

1974

 

JAVIER MADERUELO

Javier Aguirre goes much beyond. It is necessary to already unveil that his Art-films are not art ones because the object of the plot or the pictures these show are sculptures or paintings. They are not strictly art documentaries. These are works of art, or almost each one has enough elements to be considered as a work of art… /… Each movie is not at anything service, pictures do not depend on texts, plastic works or music. Javier Aguirre will use all these elements and something, in another way, is close to the romantic idea of the gesamtkunstwerk, of total work of art which would need to be named anew, far above the set genres of the fine arts. Nevertheless, Javier Aguirre is not so presumptuous, he has only wanted to make films, a nowadays cinema, as him being a son of his period of time, to the level of the current approaches, a cinema which could be placed close to the happening, the phonetic poetry, the performances or the “new space” conquered and configured by the plastic arts. That’s why Javier Aguirre resorts to, explores and exploits this kind of experiences.

1995

 

JAVIER SAGASTIZÁBAL

That’s why Aguirre stands out against the rest of his generation; his intense vocational spirit that makes him carrying out a constant search as far as cinematographic style is concerned, trying to give his own cinema its own shapes featuring the most modern artistic movement we are facing…/ … Javier Aguirre’s architectonic complexity is the response to the complexity of the modern man reality…/… such as the classical forms of neorealism matched with the simplistic concept of Men and Society; it is obvious that those ones are not enough to show the nowadays complex human reality, at least as Resnais, Varda, Malle or Aguirre conceive this reality. It is pretty evident that I am referring to a metaphysic reality…/… A warm and friendly inclination towards simple people is evident when we talk about Aguirre, in opposition to the coldness he shows when he deals with those who are a part of the cosmopolite and snob audience.

1961

 

CARLOS FERNANDEZ CUENCA

What Javier Aguirre does are documentaries, real tormenter ones, such as the most loyal heir of Robert J. Flaherty Foundation…/… in the current scene of our cinema, very few have worked in order to enhance it, to celebrate it like this shy, affectionate and mature Javier Aguirre has done with only five films.

1961

 

FRANCISCO CANDEL

And this is what Javier Aguirre has done to the cinema, his mean of expression; he has done everything until the anti-cinema, even the non-cinema.

1980

 

FERNANDO MILLAN

I think that Javier Aguirre, mainly due to his career in the world of cinema, blends so much of an archetype as an artist.

1972

 

MANUEL ANDUJAR

Javier Aguirre – his aesthetical law, his will riding the destiny – has broken the mould he had invented and runs hasty, searching for subjects and approaches capable to galvanize him and looking for the forms that conjugate him. There is no fear in him of mannerism, of inertia, of self-tricking. We will thank him. He is about to close by subsequent fullness, the magical equation of violence and harmony…/ … The “others”, the “rest”, how will they perceive through emotional gastric juices, through a cosmo-visionary mood? - fluent dregs of the being set down – this flection, inflection and reflection of the violence of this kind that Javier Aguirre is imposing, proposing and showing us? .

1978

 

FRANCISCO UMBRAL

A great beyond of the cinema.

1972

 

GIANNI TOTI

Javier Aguirre is an old friend of mine and a mate of visionary experiments … /… we met anew in San Sebastian among young Spanish moviemakers against Franco… / … I traced him once again in some late-barricade books that teach us about the last theories referred to anti-cinema… / … it is nearly a desperate case, Aguirre’s case, the strange case of a moviemaker both sceptic and cynic who believes in what he does and in what he doesn’t do and, despite his success he doesn’t abandon the distinction, the anthological difference – post-dialectical – between the poetry of the searching and the searching of the poetry. There are only a few ones like Javier Aguirre, but rather, there aren’t even a few, probably not a single one.

1982

 

CARLOS SERRANO DE OSMA

It’s time for the Spanish cinema to start considering the importance of the soundtrack in its pure creative sense.

1961

 

GREGORIO PRIETO

I would not say all what I feel, in my sincere admiration, for the films by Javier Aguirre, as it could seem a sort of flattery, a quality I hate… / … and my big surprise in front of this great technical skills, in these works which seem to me the genial creation of a new cinema, so perfect and balanced and also so plenty of beautiful.

 

 

ANTONIO MARTINEZ MENCHEN

This unitary cycle of eight documentaries is a unique experience in the Spanish cinematography… /… the poorness and the particularity of the symbols mean that necessarily the denoting message of these codes is very poor too. The matter is quite different as far the connoting message is concerned as, by reason of both the poorness and the ambiguity, it becomes especially enriched. It is used by Javier Aguirre to enhance in his language what it is specific of the artistic language as according to certain experts’ opinion (experts like Jakobson or Barthes). I do not agree with this theory although I think this enrichment of the connoting respects at the expense of denoting ones is typical of a certain artistic language, the avant-garde art…/ … a great part of the short films by Javier Aguirre are made not as a story of facts but as a scientific meditation…/… the links between the arts, their inter-communicativeness; the breaking of the borders of both cinema and painting, cinema and music, painting and music, painting and poetry, cinema and poetry, and so on. The setting-up of common modules capable to express themselves through different artistic languages constitute some other contents of these films.

1974

 

CRISTINA CANO VARA

In these short films the director tries to undermine the current conventions in order to test his own limits. He intends to drive the cinema close to other artistic matters which were experiencing with new forms and much faster than the cinema…/ … Besides, Javier Aguirre as an avant-garde artist, challenges the conventional limits of the cinema when his works interfere in areas traditionally belonging to other artistic fields.

 

 

 

JUAN MIGUEL GONZÁLEZ

Extreme proposals which position themselves on merit in the top of the European avant-garde cinema…/… An unusual experience which intends to change the usual relationship between the spectator and the cinema…/… Aguirre aims and hits right in the target. The never-ending passivity of the spectators is fatally injured. It is impossible to watch a show and to remain unmoved. The spectator is facing a constant challenge; he is the absolute star. His conventions are dynamited. It’s time for an exorcism.

 

 

ROSA CHACEL

Last night I saw a few short films by Javier Aguirre; good, so really good.

 

J.A.

And when I woke up the short film went on there. The short film … maybe the long one.