T. Minh-ha Trinh – Reassemblage (1983)

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From Allmovie:

Director Trinh T. Minh-ha’s first film is an ethnographic portrait of rural Senegalese women, but its provocative editing and self-conscious narration question the very activities of ethnography and documentary filmmaking; Minh-ha inverts and critiques authoritative Western representations of the “other.'” ~ Sarah Welsh, All Movie Guide

INTERVIEW WITH TRINH MINH-HA

Interviewer Interviewed: A Discussion with Trinh T. Mihn-ha

by Tina Spangler
Emerson College

BORN IN VIETNAM, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a writer, composer and filmmaker She has been making films for better than ten years and may be best known for her first film Reassemblage, made in 1982. However her most recent film Surname Viet, Given Name Nam (1989), which examines “identity and culture through the struggle of Vietnamese women” has received much attention, including winning the Blue Ribbon Award at the American Film and Video festival Trinh T. Minh-ha is a professor of Woman Studies and Film at the University of California, Berkely and was recently a Visiting Professor at Harvard University. Continue reading

Mark Rappaport – Our Stars (2015)

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Stars of the 1940s and 1950s, were they cast for their mutual affinities or for their commercial appeal? If and when they were re-starred years later, did the magic still work? Did sparks still fly? The movie business, a machine that manufactured romance and desire at the same time that it documented the process of aging. A meditation on youth and beauty, aging and box office. Continue reading

Ulrich Seidl – Im Keller AKA In the Basement (2014)

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Quote:
In the Basement (Im Keller) is a 2014 Austrian documentary film directed by Ulrich Seidl about people and their obsessions, and what they do in their basements in their free time. It was part of the Out of Competition section at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

Corpulent sex slaves, tuba-playing Nazi obsessives, reborn doll fantasists — just a regular stroll through the neighborhood, then, for patented guru of the grotesque Ulrich Seidl, who makes an intriguing return to documentary filmmaking with “In the Basement.” Grabby and grubby in equal measure, this meticulously composed trawl through the contents of several middle-class Austrians’ cellars (a space, according to Seidl, that his countrymen traditionally give over to their most personal hobbies) yields more than a few startling discoveries. Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin – Letter to Jane: An Investigation About a Still (1972)

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Synopsis:

A propaganda photo of Jane Fonda talking to, or perhaps listening to, a Vietnamese militant provides the jumping off point for one of cinema’s most stringent semiotic analyses in Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin’s singular Letter to Jane: An Investigation About a Still. Ostensibly an explanation of Godard’s choice to include a non-diegetic photograph of star Jane Fonda in his promotional materials for Tout va bien, the film is more accurately described as having not Fonda, but the entire apparatus of commercial image-making, as its real target. The basic question at hand here, “What role should intellectuals play in revolution?” is complicated by Godard’s insistence upon the power of media to provide latent insight into the uncaring, status-quo preserving power of capitalism. Continue reading

Gilles Delannoy & Isabelle Pierson & Michel Campioli – Carré blanc (1986)

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Quote:
so, what we have here is a bunch of journalists gathering up at night in some kind of secret meeting where they share their best stories, for the purpose of selling them to the first issue of a new magazine….so, somehow the action takes places all during one night…and the magazine is going to be a paper, but the stories come in video footage…go figure Continue reading

Emile de Antonio – Mr. Hoover and I (1989)

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Description:
Turning the camera on himself and his 10,000-page FBI file, radical documentary filmmaker Emile de Antonio skewers the legacy of FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover while offering up a fascinating self-portrait in his final film. A lengthy conversation with the composer John Cage, a discussion with a college crowd about McCarthyism and numerous witty observations by de Antonio himself also contribute to this discursive yet sharply observed documentary. Continue reading