In 1967, with his wages from Michel Deville’s Benjamin ou les memoires du’un puceau, Pierre Clémenti purchased the 16mm Beaulieu camera with which he would shoot dozens of hours over the next decade. Visa de censure n° X, his first completed work, is a trip through the period’s countercultural heyday, steeped in psychedelic mysticism and sexual liberation. Buoyed by a pulsing mandala at center frame and a delirious soundtrack, the film’s acid-tinged footage is peppered with glimpses of Johnny Halliday, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and the Living Theatre performing at the historic Avignon Festival in 1968.
Art and life, filmmaking and acting—all we were deeply intertwined for Clémenti. While filming Partner in Rome with Bernardo Bertolucci, Clémenti retuned to Paris on weekends to join the ranks of the May 1968 protests, which he captured in a recently rediscovered short film screening for the first time in New York City. La révolution n’est qu’un début, continuons le combat exceeds the merely documentary. A self-portrait and a manifesto, it expresses its creator’s accomplished style, radical spirit, and vision for the anticipatory potential of small-gauge filmmaking. This screening program opens with two small treasures: a rousing prologue Clémenti contributed to Italian film critic Edoardo Bruno’s sole directorial effort, and a Warhol-inspired Super 8 short by Olivier Mosset.
Un film porno. 1968. France. Directed by Olivier Mosset. With Pierre Clémenti, Caroline De Bendern. Digital video from Super 8mm. Courtesy RE:VOIR. 4 min.
La sua giornata di Gloria (His Day of Glory) [prologue]. 1969. Italy. Directed by Edoardo Bruno. With Pierre Clémenti. Digital video from 35mm. In Italian; English subtitles. Approx. 3 min.
La révolution n’est qu’un début, continuons le combat. 1968. France. Directed by Pierre Clémenti. With Yves Beneyton, Balthazar Clémenti, Margareth Clementi, Tina Aumont. DCP from 16mm. Courtesy the Cinémathèque française. 23 min.
Visa de censure n° X. 1967-1975. France. Directed by Pierre Clémenti. With Barbara Girard, Etienne O’Leary, Yves Beneyton, Jean-Marc Momont. Score by Delired Cameleon Family. In French; English subtitles. DCP from 16mm. Courtesy the Cinémathèque française. 43 min.