Calum Waddell – Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever (2012)

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From shadowlocked.com
Norman Bates once said “We all go a little crazy sometimes,” but never has this been truer than in the genre that spawned everybody’s favourite mother’s boy. I speak, of course, of the slasher film, the roots of which can arguably be traced back to Psycho (1960), Alfred Hitchcock’s monochrome masterpiece. Though there are cases for other films being the trigger point for the modern stalk and slash movie, notably Mario Bava’s Bay of Blood (1971), Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1960), and even the various celluloid incarnations of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, all of which are put forward by the contributors in Calum Waddell and Naomi Holwill’s Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever, it was Psycho that brought murder to the masses and opened the vein for what was to follow.Considering the popularity of the slasher movie over the subsequent four decades or so, it’s surprising that there hasn’t been a documentary like Slice and Dice before now, but like the pay off in a well plotted horror movie, it’s definitely been worth waiting for. Continue reading

Cordelia Dvorak – John Berger or The Art of Looking (2016)

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John Berger: The Art of Looking
BBC Four
Sun 6 Nov 2016
10.30pm-11.25pm

Art, politics and motorcycles – on the occasion of his 90th birthday John Berger or the Art of Looking is an intimate portrait of the writer and art critic whose ground-breaking work on seeing has shaped ourunderstanding of the concept for over five decades. The film explores how paintings become narratives and stories turn into images, and rarely does anybody demonstrate this as poignantly as Berger.

Berger lived and worked for decades in a small mountain village in the French Alps, where the nearness to nature, the world of the peasants and his motorcycle, which for him deals so much with presence, inspired his drawing and writing. Continue reading

Kirsten Johnson – Cameraperson (2016)

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A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: these scenes and others are woven into Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage collected over the twenty-five-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson.
Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative. A hybrid work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is both a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world.
Exposing her role behind the camera, Kirsten Johnson reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. What emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the camera. Continue reading

John Berger and Michael Silverblatt – Conversations 1 and 2 (2002)

John Berger is a storyteller, essayist, novelist, screenwriter, dramatist and critic, whose body of work embodies his concern for, in Geoff Dyer’s words, “the enduring mystery of great art and the lived experience of the oppressed.”

He is one of the most internationally influential writers of the last fifty years, who has explored the relationships between the individual and society, culture and politics and experience and expression in a series of novels, book works, essays, plays, films, photographic collaborations and performances, unmatched in their diversity, ambition and reach. His television series and book Ways of Seeing revolutionized the way that Fine Art is read and understood, while his engagement with European peasantry and migration in the fiction trilogy Into Their Labours and A Seventh Man stand as models of empathy and insight.

John Berger in conversation with Michael Silverblatt at Berger’s home, a working farm, in Quincy, Mieussy, France, October 2002. Silverblatt is the host of the radio interview program, Bookworm. Continue reading

Magdalena Szymków – Mój dom AKA My House Without Me (2012)

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Two women, one house. An intimate story about a Pole and a German placed by war on enemy sides and their parallel lives accidentally brought together.

The film reflects on the concepts of invaders, victim, guilt and forgiveness. It confronts different experiences and their paradoxical similarities. It deals with the controversial subject of the post-war accountings.

The visual narration is flowing, guided by memories and archives. Traditional documentation confronts experimental use of archival footage in the cinematic impression about displacement. Continue reading

John Berger and Susan Sontag – To Tell A Story [Voices] (1983)

““Somebody dies,” says John Berger. “It’s not just a question of tact that one then says, well, perhaps it is possible to tell that story,” but “it’s because, after that death, one can read that life. The life becomes readable.” His interlocutor, a certain Susan Sontag, interjects: “A person who dies at 37 is not the same as a person who dies at 77.” True, he replies, “but it can be somebody who dies at 90. The life becomes readable to the storyteller, to the writer. Then she or he can begin to write.” Berger, the consummate storyteller as well as thinker about stories, left behind these and millions of other memorable words, spoken and written, when he yesterday passed away at age 90 himself. Continue reading