This year IFFR seriously tried to meld the film and art worlds (in a program called XL) and the impressive degree to which they succeeded mixed with the fact that Gravity sort of bridges both worlds made me excited to see a film festival with such a multidisplinary take on the medium! The city of Rotterdam became a gallery of film related art in addition to the dozens of films running on a constant rotation of reels- all with the urging of biking along a bike trail to see it all! The art part was such a brilliant idea using various local galleries, shops, museums and culture centers as venues for art related shows while forcing festival go-ers deeper into the community of the city.
We saw an exhibition of Quay Brothers drawings and the commercial they did for a perfume in the basement of a clothing boutique. We saw a kaliedascopic nature video by American artist Leslie Thornton at the Natural History Museum (pictures below). We even saw an ode to the now lost Kodachrome at the Kunsthal art museum where an artist spliced together reels of dozens of 8 year olds that he filmed across the Netherlands to keep intact the feel of the family film stock for another generation, the exhibit even offered the chance for people to bring in their kodachrome stock to be transferred (pictured) onto DVD so as to preserve the images forever.
There were so many more exhibits that we just didn't have the time for (especially sad I missed the Rodarte sketches of the costumes for Black Swan!) but what I was able to see was incredible! The whole idea of making citywide, aleternative venues and the amount of local volunteers who genuinely love working for the festival made it feel like the entire city was a part of the festivities which I think really made the whole experience of the Rotterdam Film Festival as wonderful as it was!