This September, Cineforum ‘European Cinema: The Failed Canon’ will take place in Kriterion. Do you think ‘European cinema’ as an entity exists? We invite you to contemplate or contribute your perspectives on the (im)possibility of a European film canon.

Starting off with an opening night on Wednesday September 22nd, Cineforum will continue for two days on the 23rd and 24th of September, during which ten screenings will open the discussion to various themes concerning European culture.

Filmtheater Kriterion, Roetersstraat 170, 1018WE, Amsterdam


A photographer and his wife travel across Armenia photographing churches for a calendar project. Travelling with them is a local man acting as their driver and guide. As the project nears completion, the distance and enstrangement between husband and wife grows.

Armenia is a country in the Caucasus region, bordering Turkey and Georgia. Geographically part of the Asian continent but culturally and historically identifying as European, Armenia can be considered a nation balancing between the cultural east and west. Calendar is a film about the Armenian diasporic condition, it shows the complex, heteronomous and scattered state of Armenian identity. What does it mean to be something, somewhere else? And how does this different locality shape a collective identity?

Diasporic films can constantly renew “canons”, relations to spaces and methods of identity construction, as they can deconstruct prior ideologies and reflect upon them through film.

Introduced by: Sacha Marlisa

Sacha Marlisa is psychoanalyst, psychotherapist and formerly a (freelance) psychiatrist. She uses film as material to illustrate and discuss psychiatric and psychoanalytic concepts. She does this in the context of team expertise at a psychiatric mental health institution, and more recently at psychoanalytic workshops. Because a film offers the same thing to every viewer, discussion of it can lead to depth for all. Marlisa participates in Psychoanalysis & Film, a project in which films are shown in selected movie theaters and introduced and followed up by a psychoanalyst.

Moderated by: Dr. Peter Verstraten.

Peter Verstraten is associate professor of film and literature at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society and head of the Department of Film and Photographic Studies. His publications include Humour and Irony in Dutch Post-War Fiction Film (2016) and Film Narratology (2009). His research interests include the topic of 'psychoanalysis and film'.

The screening will be accompanied by a video essay by Shant Bayramian.

Shant Bayramian is an audiovisual essayist who firmly believes in the transformational and educational potential of the audiovisual medium. He is the founder of TheAudioVisualEssayist, a creative and academic production company that caters to researchers and academics. Moreover, Shant is a fellow cinephile, holding a Master’s degree in Film Studies from the University of Amsterdam. For this e-log, he introduces his research into the Armenian diaspora, cultural identity and the construction of narratives through cinema.

The introduction and discussion will be in Dutch

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