Open City Documentary Festival Presents: Casanova Gene (2018)

6 Sep 2018

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry

£12 Standard / £11 Student

ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts)

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Piccadilly Circus/Charing Cross

Save Event: Open City Documentary Festival Presents: Casanova Gene (2018)

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Nominated for the Open City Award, Casanova Gene explores the nature of seduction and desire through a series of surprising and irreverent tableaux.


Luise Donschen’s highly inventive feature debut explores the nature of seduction and desire through a series of surprising and irreverent tableaux (captured on rich 16mm by cinematographer Helena Wittmann) that combine fiction, documentary, interview and performance. Moving from a portrait of a dominatrix and her clients; to a biological investigation into the mating habits of finches; via an unlikely encounter with John Malkovich (in character as Casanova himself) and some strange scenes in a singles bar straight out of a Fassbinder film, Donschen’s free-form essay on the rules of attraction explores the complexities of gender, identity, and sexuality with humour, intelligence and wit.

Screens with:
21,3°c | Helena Wittmann | 2014 | Germany | 16’

A window. An opposite window facade. A room. Flowers. Luise and a phone call. An action scene. A construction site. A musician. The room temperature is 21,3°C.

The image of a room, its appearance changing with the shades of light. A window front, seen through the window. Changing flower arrangements on a side table. Sounds, entering the room from outside the frame. A construction site hints at changes in the exterior. Rehearsals. Are the sound waves of the piano reaching us from downstairs or from next door? In 21.3°C Helena Wittmann reduces the filmic elements to the essentials: light, shadow, sound, direction. Out of this minimum, stories emerge that linger, atmospheres that resonate. Little by little the viewer is thrown back upon herself/himself. Through the facing window front someone seems to look back at us. Only the temperature remains the same.

OFF | Helena Wittmann, Luise Donschen | 2018 | Germany | 12’

The OFF is the space of the invisible. It is a promise. On its border with the concrete of the image, tension or great disappointment can arise. It can be understood as an invitation to the viewer. The picture foreshadows it and the sound is its ambassador.

UK Premiere(s).

Supported by the Goethe-Institut.

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