Modernism + Film

Modernism + Film



The new Modernism + Film series explores artists and movements in the Bechtler collection and filmmakers of modern cinema. It was during the early 20th century that artists and directors often collaborated on projects, shared social spaces and documented views that dominated the era in which they lived.

In conjunction with the exhibition Antoni Tàpies: Texture and Image, which features the work of Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies, in March the Bechtler presents films about artistic expressions at the end of the Francisco Franco regime in Catalonia.

As one of the last regions to submit to Franco’s Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War, Catalonia was subjugated to policies of cultural extermination during Franco’s reign. As a result, experimental Catalan filmmaker Pere Portabella used film as a medium to document and promote the lives and artwork of Catalan artists, including Antoni Tàpies, and to illustrate the difficulty of creating art in Francoist Spain. The films show how the resistance to this regime birthed a cadre of Catalonian artists who would carry the torch of Spanish artistry through the end of Franco’s regime. 

One film is featured March 10. The film is not rated and is intended for mature audiences.

Umbracle (1972, 85 minutes, black and white, English subtitles):

Director Pere Portabella’s politically charged feature length film stars Christopher Lee as an unseen observer making his way around a dream-like Barcelona and features a cast of Catalan artists.


A presentation by Anton Pujol, Associate Professor of the Language and Culture Studies Department at UNC Charlotte, will precede the screening. 


Tickets are free for members, $8 for non-members and $5 for students with proper ID. Purchase tickets online, by phone 704.353.9200 or at the visitor services desk.


A cash-bar reception in the museum lobby precedes the screening at 6:30 p.m. The presentation and film screenings are held in second-floor video gallery at  7 p.m.

Image: Screenshot from "Umbracle." Photo courtesy of Pere Portabella.

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