Broodthaers Society of America
520 West 143rd Street
New York, NY 10031
Tarte au Cinema was a selection of films by and about Marcel Broodthaers with fresh pie. The screenings were offered by appointment, either worldwide via Zoom or locally in-person. There was no size limit for Zoom screenings; in-person screenings were limited to four people maximum but include a fresh pie baked by Joe Scanlan, director of the Broodthaers Society.
The film program featured the North American premier of The ABCs of Marcel Broodthaers (2020), a 52-minute documentary by Bertrand Lafontaine that is a candid, sometimes cloying, always informative look at Marcel Broodthaers through the eyes of some of the artist’s closest friends and art world colleagues, including gallerist Anny De Decker, publisher Yves Gevaert, curator Kasper König, and painter Walter Swennen. Broodthaers’ widow, Maria Gilissen, acts as de facto master of ceremonies, offering personal insights on her late husband’s peripatetic life and peculiar work ethic. Broodthaers himself makes many archival film footage appearances, his personage by turns evoking the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Kurt Schwitters, P T Barnum, and Baudelaire.
The ABCs of Marcel Broodthaers was produced in conjunction with Soleil Politique, a survey exhibition organized in 2019 by the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst (M UHKA), Antwerp. The documentary was first broadcast on Belgian public television and was nominated for a 2020 Belgian Emmy award. The ABCs of Marcel Broodthaers was screened with the permission of Bertrand Lafontaine; the Marcel Broodthaers films were screened without permission.
Synopses of available films by Marcel Broodthaers
La Clef de l’Horloge: un poème cinématographique en l’honneur de Kurt Schwitters (1958)
MB’s first foray into so-called avant garde film, first screened at the Knokke Film Festival. Already Broodthaers is interested in confusing the conventional form of different media, writing a poem with celluloid and using the celluloid to play with ideas of focus and illumination
Le Corbeau et Le Renard (1967)
the infamous Aesop fable is inspiration for MB’s continued filmic interplay of language, motion, and layering. Again his use of the projected image effects the visible and invisible, the hidden and the illuminated. [Due to its requiring site-specific projection, this film can only be seen in person]
Un Film de Charles Baudelaire (1970)
On the heels of having attended a seminar on the French poet in 1969, MB makes his second spoof, wherein he assumes Baudelaire’s identity and makes a film under his name, thirty-four years before were actually motion pictures were invented
La Pluie (un projet pour un texte) (1969)
MB decamps to the garden for a productive afternoon of writing
La Pipe Satire (1969)
MB’s first “spoof” of sorts, a screen test for the infamous subject of a painting by his life-long mentor, René Magritte
A Voyage on the North Sea (1973-74)
MB begins where he started, so to speak, with a penultimate media confusion: a film that chronicles the contents of an artist’s book about a painting of a sailing ship. No one medium takes precedent over the other, nor do any of them bring us any closer to the original painting, let alone the sea