Cancelled Tate Modern Film

Franciszka and Stefan Themerson: Europa

Franciszka and Stefan Themerson Europa 1931/32, 1931-2, film still. © Themerson Estate. Courtesy the Artists' Estate and LUX, London.

Don’t miss the first screening of the avant-garde artists’ recently discovered film

Join us for a special evening to celebrate the discovery of an important avant-garde film, Europa, at its first public screening since the 1930s.

The film was made by artists Franciszka and Stefan Themerson in 1931–2 in Warsaw. After the Themersons moved to Paris and the Second World War broke out, they deposited Europa with their other films at a film laboratory, where it was stolen by the Nazis in 1940. It was found by the Pilecki Institute in Berlin’s Bundesarchiv last year.

Europa

Europa was conceived as a visual rendition of Anatol Stern’s 1925 poem of the same title. The poem is about the tragedy of Europe, its disintegration and the extraordinary resilience of nature. Technically, the film is adventurous in combining the many possibilities of experimental cinema: montage, animation, photography, shadow play, time-lapse and abstraction. It has repeated references to a beating heart keeping Europe alive.

Europa is the second avant-garde film by the Themersons. The first film has yet to be found.

The screening includes a talk about the history of the film by Jasia Reichardt. An English translation of Anatol Stern’s poem in its original design will be available to members of the audience.

A selection of the Themersons’ works can be viewed in the Media Networks display.

Programme

  • Introduction by Benjamin Cook, Director, LUX
  • Europa Reconstruction 1983–4, digital video, black and white, silent, 9 min
  • Europa 1931–2, 35 mm transferred to digital video, black and white, silent, 10 min
  • Talk by Jasia Reichardt, writer on art
  • Repeat viewing of Europa
  • Q&A with Jasia Reichardt and Benjamin Cook
The word 'Europa' is seen in bright, blurry cursive writing against a black background.

Franciszka and Stefan Themerson Europa 1931/32, 1931-2, film still. © Themerson Estate. Courtesy the Artists' Estate and LUX, London.

a negative black and white image of a set of dinner knives

Franciszka and Stefan Themerson Europa 1931/32, 1931-2, film still. © Themerson Estate. Courtesy the Artists' Estate and LUX, London.

multiple stages of a man eating a round object are superimposed; a drawing of a heart against a black background.

Franciszka and Stefan Themerson Europa 1931/32, 1931-2, film still. © Themerson Estate. Courtesy the Artists' Estate and LUX, London.

Tate Modern

Starr Cinema

Bankside
London SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

17 April 2020 at 19.00–20.40

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