Eli Lotar (1905 - 1969)
The evening includes the screening of:
Aubervilliers (Eli Lotar, France, 1945, 24 min.)
The Houses of Misery (Henri Storck, France/ Holland, 1937, 28 min.)
Followed by a discussion with film-maker and curator Adam Roberts and events coordinator Ioana Stan.
Eli Lotar (Eliazar Lotar Theodoresco, 1905–1969) can be easily placed among the most important artists of the 20th century. From his beginnings in photography, in the 1920s, as assistant of Germaine Krull, Eli Lotar was particularly interested in industrial architecture and the life of the working class, in accordance with a political commitment clearly marked on the left. With his “Slaughterhouses of La Villette” series, published in George Bataille’s journal “Documents” in 1929, Lotar became an iconic figure of the visual surrealist movement, yet one often unfairly marginalised in the history of art.
Although known for his photography, Lotar also worked as a cameraman on numerous cinematographic projects with filmmakers such as René Clair, Luis Buñuel, Jacques Brunius, Joris Ivens, Jean Painlevé, and Jean Renoir. He was renowned for his amazing technical prowess, using the camera as a discovering agent, ferreting out the essence of a scene.
Short documentary, France, 1946, 25 min
Cast & Credits:
Director: Eli Lotar
Script: Eli Lotar and Jacques Prévert, Commentaries: Jacques Prévert,
Music: Joseph Kosma
Director: Henri Storck
Script : Fernand Piette, Henri Storck, Camera : Eli Lotar, John Ferno, Music : Maurice Jaubert, Cast : The ladies: Beauffre, Brenda, Marion Chevolet, Gazeau, Jihem, Massin, Peltier, Talem, Odette Lhost, Marie Delcourt. The gentlemen: Gazeau, Marcel Josz, Keppens, Lambert, Louard, Massin, Omer Van de Gaer, Edgard Willy
Eliazar Lotar Teodorescu was born in Paris (he was the illegitimate son of the Romanian writer Tudor Arghezi and Constanta Zissu), but grew up in Bucharest. In 1924 he returned to Paris, becoming a French citizen in 1926. In the same year he met the German photographer Germaine Krull and became her assistant and partner. From 1929 to 1932 he had shared a group photo studio with Jacques-André Boiffard. In 1938, Lotar married Estonian Jewish Billancourt Elisabeth Makovski. During the Nazi occupation of France, they both fled to La Roquette-sur-Siagne (Alpes-Maritimes). After the war, Lotar neglected his work. He died in Paris on May 10, 1969, during a dinner with his friend Philippe Guérin.
Henry Storck (1907 – 1999) was a Belgian author, filmmaker and documentarist best known for his social documentaries. The most famous is “Misery in the Borinage” made together with Joris Ivens. Poverty and the fate of the homeless are a recurrent theme in his other great social documentary from the thirties, including “The House of Misery”. During Second World War he filmed the sociological documentary “Farmers Symphonie”, and, after the war, he did “At the Crossread of Life” (“Onjuve nile delinquency”).
(Note: Information selected from J.P. Everaerts, Belgian Documentary, Nr1 Winter 1997, Brussel)
Adam Roberts is a film-maker and curator of films and film-related events in London. Together with Joanna Hogg he co-founded the collective "A Nos Amours" currently running a complete retrospective of Chantal Akerman's cinematic work at the ICA. Roberts has previously collaborated with choreographer Jonathan Burrows and dancer Sylvie Guillem. He is currently working on a film about long-term HIV survivors.
Special thanks to Prof. Steven Ungar, Fatras / Succession Jacques Prévert, The Henri Storck Foundation.