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PRINT April 2009

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The Rotterdam Film Festival

DURING THE LAST TEN DAYS of January, anyone wandering the rainy streets of Rotterdam at night could savor the spectacle of Isabella Rossellini being electrocuted, repeatedly and ecstatically, in a seven-minute looped film projected onto the top four floors of a skyscraper. Conceived collaboratively by Rossellini and director Guy Maddin, Send Me to the ’Lectric Chair, 2009, was among the large-scale projections commissioned by the Thirty-Eighth International Film Festival Rotterdam as part of “Size Matters,” one of its many themed sections of adjunct programming. More substantially than other festivals’ merely gestural offerings of sidebar events, Rotterdam has for well over a decade conceived of its festival as exploded. It has acted inventively and deeply on the belief that film culture has irrevocably moved beyond the walls of conventional cinema venues, and, through partnerships with

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