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The Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague will welcome Canadian filmmaker Alexandre Larose, active in the contemporary experimental film scene in Montréal, as part of its mentoring programme. He will work with students at FAMU from 31 January to 1 February.

On Wednesday, January 31 at 7 p.m. at FAMU, the filmmaker will lead his masterclass and on Thursday, February 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. he will give a lecture on the role of technology in the creative process, focusing on the apparatus of the optical printer in experimental film. On Thursday evening at 8:30pm, he will personally screen his films at the National Film Archive's Ponrepo Cinema.

“French-Canadian filmmaker Alexandre Larose merges his technical skills with a singular, intuitive cinematic vision. Through the meticulous practice of in-camera editing, he creates studies in motion. Layering in the depths of time and the depths of celluloid, Larose endows personal memory with a plastic and virtual body. Both living and non-living matter emanate their duration in time through multiple exposures; the passage and condensation of time transform movements into gestures. He practically returns cinema to its contingency of early times, questioning the limits of our vision and perception of time,” writes filmmaker Alexandra Morales in the annotation to the programme of Larose's films

The filmmaker, born in 1978 in  Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Québec, belongs to the current generation of Canadian experimental filmmakers. He first earned a BEng in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Sherbrooke (2001), followed by a BA from the Mel Hoppenheim Film School (2006), and then an MA in Studio Arts (Film Production) from Concordia University (2013). His creative practice in the medium of photochemical and opto-mechanical film explores the phenomena of the appearance and representation of moving images, drawing directly on his engineering and artistic handcraft background. Film theorist Éric Thouvenel writes of it:

“Traversed, precisely, by a particular form of porosity with the documentary field, his work constitutes both a sensitive and equipped investigation of the perceptual categories through which we apprehend reality, and a waking reverie on the labyrinths of memory. His career has thus led him to pay ever-greater attention to the forms of imprint elaborated by film, and the very notion of documentation - be it of a place, a situation, an architectural, familial or memorial configuration - is central to it, while remaining fundamentally informed by the technical specificities of the material he employs, whether Super 8 or, more frequently, 16 and 35mm. The function of technique in his work is therefore decisive, and Larose himself readily refers to his films as projects prescribed by the instrument.” (Débordements, 2016)

Along with the transparent technical precision, that can be perceived on the surface of the films - be it the work with the optical printer or the technique of multiple exposures in camera -, an exhausting obsession or attraction, emanating from somewhere deep, permeates Larose's work, imposing pace and order on the films. The virtual imagery, however fixed on the strip of celluloid, stems from the techniques of repetition and multiplication drawing us back to precinematic repertoire of attractions presaged in Victorian Philosophical toys.

Larose’s films have garnered numerous awards, including the Grand Prix and Critics’ Award from 25FPS Festival (Zagreb), Fuji Award from EX-IS Festival (Seoul), Grand Prix from Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (Montreal), and the International Jury Award for Best Film, Hamburg International Short Film Festival. His films have screened widely at the George Eastman Museum (Rochester), Belarusian State University (Minsk), Media City Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, European Media Art Festival (Osnabrück, Germany), Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival (Czech Republic), Foundation for Contemporary Art (Kiev), Museum of the Moving Image (New York), International Film Festival Rotterdam, IMAGE Forum (Tokyo), Mostra de Cinema Periférico (A Coruña), Message to Man International Film Festival (St. Petersburg), and hundreds more venues internationally. 




Day one Wednesday 31 January at 7 pm, FAMU screening room, masterclass by Alexander Larose with previews of his films. Articulation of artistic practice between creative vision and technological apparatus. How the imagination saturates in confrontation with material, technology and environment. The city (Artifices n°1, La Grande Dame, or Ville Marie - documentation et processus), the family home and the familiar environment or natural landscape (Saint Bathans Repetitions, brouillard #14) as sites of psychogeography and memory.

Day two Thursday 1. 2.

- 1 - 4 pm, FAMU, lecture on the role of technology in the creative process, focusing on the apparatus of the optical film duplicator in experimental film. A look at the technical apparatus outside the usual protocol of use and numerous examples of other creative uses.

- From 20:30, Cinema Ponrepo, screening of Alexandre Larose: Cinematic Bodies of Memory with the author's presence at the NFA cinema Ponrepo, followed by a discussion with students and audience. Discussion of the film, its subject matter, artistic and production means, and the importance of the material medium to the film.

Alexandre Larose: Film Bodies of Memory, projection at cinema Ponrepo

Saint Bathans Repetitions (35mm, bw/color, sound, 20min, 2016)

A series of cinematic portraits shot in domestic spaces in a former gold mining town in New Zealand expand into a tapestry of glistening natural light and vaporous movement, created via a painstaking process of in-camera layering effects.

brouillard #14 (35mm, color, silent, 10min, 2013)

A path that extends from my family's backyard into Lac-Saint-Charles (Québec City), condensed in multiple layers. Repeated walks along the same path, recorded over one another onto the same roll of 35mm film by Larose, result in an extremely layered one-take film

I. & III. (35mm, bw/color, silent, 28min, 2022)

I. conceived and shot during a residency at the Récollets in Paris through the Fall of 2019. 

III. conceived and shot from the spaces in and around my flat in Montréal in 2022. 

Both are parts of scènes de ménage, a project currently under development. This serial cinematic exploration is inspired by various habitual and imagined gestures/actions performed by my parents, mainly within the domestic spaces of the family home. Recent iterations have migrated outside and have focused primarily on the figure of my father.


The module will be listed in KOS under the code and title:300MPAL Mentoring programme Alexandre Larose: Film Bodies of Memory, for 1 credit, optional for the entire AMU.

Enrollment in KOS for students will be possible from January 6, 2024, to January 30, 2024.


4. January 2024