Press Release: X + 3 = 1


Screening of Jean-Luc Godard’s Latest Work, The Image Book, as the Grand Finale
The Program Includes Works by Directors like Abbas Kiarostami, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Chen Chieh-Jen, and Midi Z

After C-LAB’s official inauguration on the 18th of August, C-LAB launched the opening exhibition The Alternative Guide of Time and performance project C-LAB Summer Festival: Play Arts. X+1=3 is a film festival curated by Wang Pai-Zhang officially opens on the 29th of September. Co-organized by C-LAB and Public Television Service of Taiwan. The most noteworthy part of the program is the premiere of the recent movie The Image Book by French director Jean-Luc Godard in Taiwan. 13 other movies will also be screened in Taiwan for the first time, including Caniba, Opening Closing Forgetting, and Good Luck.

According to the curator Wang Pai-Zhang, the concept of the film festival is inspired by a quote from Godard and each one of the films selected gravitates toward this theme. Over the premiere press conference in Cannes this May, Godard commented no one can dictate the way we narrate a story and went against Spielberg’s idea of having a “beginning, a middle and an end”. He argued that “When you produce an image, be it of the past, the present or the future, you have to do away with two images each time to find one really good one. It’s like the equation X + 3 = 1. That’s the key to cinema, to a good film.”

Godard suggests that comprehension is not supposed be the criteria for the audience to judge whether a movie is good or bad. Furthermore, “seeing” itself is not enough to approach a visual art work. If X + 3 = 1, X = -2. That -2 is something that artists strive to create and leave it empty for the arrival of the audience. The audience must constantly fill in the empty space -2 (as it is X) while ending up only with an uncertain 1. Thus the selection criteria for this film festival was based on Godard’s theory of x+3=1.

All the selected directors and works in the program are the best of our times. 13 out of the 20 films will be screened publicly in Taiwan for the first time. In addition the program presents the long-awaited The Image Book by Godard, Caniba, a film based on a true event that is highly controversial because of the casting of the protagonist (Issei Sagawa) (winner of Special Jury Prize, Venice Horizons Award); Opening Closing Forgetting, directed by James T. Hong and selected by Wide Angle program of Busan International Film Festival; Good Luck, directed by Ben Russell (winner of Experimental Film Award, National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA); Dawson City: Frozen Time, directed by Bill Morrison (winner of Best Documentary, Boston Society of Film Critics Awards); Roi Soleil directed by Albert Serra (winner of Grand Prix, Marseille Festival of Documentary Film); Gubuk, directed by artist Su Yu-Hsien.
In addition to the above mentioned works, there are also Five by Abbas Kiarostami, Mysterious Object at Noon by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Realm of Reverberations by Chen Chieh-Jen, 14 Apples by Midi Z and Cloud Nation by Huang Hsin-Yao in the line-up of the program. The lead actor Wang Shin-Hong of 14 Apples will also visit Taiwan for the post screening talk.

According to the curator Wang Pai-Zhang, most of the selected directors were either video or installation artists in the past or film directors whom later turned to the field of installation art. They share one common interest: highly sensitive to the nature of film language. For them, how to tell a story is always more important than the story itself. They do not treat film as a storytelling tool; rather, they see film as a process through which the audience can discover their own space.

As the very first film festival hosted at C-LAB, X + 3 = 1 can be considered a success if it to a certain degree answers the following question hanging on most people’s minds: what kind of “experiment” does Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab do exactly? The purpose of art experiment is to work with the audience for a clearer view as art is now stuck in a spiraling stalemate and we should take it toward an unknown direction.

‖Film Festival Info‖
Date: 2018/9/29 – 10/14
Venue: Art Space IV (Taiwan Contemporary Culture Lab, No. 177, Sec. 1, Jianguo S. Rd., Daan Dist., Taipei City)