The gangs in the South Bronx (about 80 blocks from Tiffany’s in more ways than one) are handled with kid gloves in this one-hour treatment by Gary Weis. The more articulate members of the Savage Nomads and Savage Skulls are interviewed while the less articulate minorities who incongruously brandish swastikas are glossed over. Aside from gang members venting about “social injustice” and cops, there are interviews with the police, a priest, and some community workers. In general, the documentary indicates that this one small part of the U.S. would gladly be engaged in a mini-civil war if left to ferment on its own. Continue reading
One of the most important documentary films made in France, Paris 1900 vividly conveys the mood of a world in transition, from the exuberance of the belle époque to the shattering folly of world war. Although much of material in the film is trivial (tastes in fashion, the pastimes of the wealthy elite, and such like), it contains many historically important images. Most memorable is the rare footage of such figures as artist Claude Monet, writer Edmond Rostand (author of Cyrano de Bergerac), filmmaker Ferdinand Zecca, not to mention a sequence where a young Maurice Chevalier gives his impression of cabaret performer Félix Mayol, in the company of Mistinguet. Continue reading
The russian term “Pravda” means “truth” and also the name of the official newspaper in the USSR. The Dziga Vertov group —Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Henri Roger— departs from this double meaning to, with images from Czechslovaquia (a czechslovaquian tv presenter, daily life scenes, workers and czechslovaquian passer-bys) show how images and sounds can lie to the spectator and to proof, at the same time, that capitalism is still strongly present in the eastern countries. Continue reading
Begins a week of LATE SHOW’s looking at the future. This programme argues that the 21st century is going to be just like the 14th. For example Alan Minc has argued that there will be no political order at all and areas of countries will be outside state control, run by crime syndicates the modern equivalents of medieval robber barons.
Pure dystopic/apocalyptic 90s mentality. Chaos, drugs, AIDS, Ebola, unifying theories in physics, internet, computer graphics, PC games, early GUIs etc etc and parallels drawn between the world to come and middle ages. Continue reading
Rocky Road to Dublin is a 1968 documentary film by Irish-born journalist Peter Lennon and French cinematographer Raoul Coutard, examining the contemporary state of the Republic of Ireland, posing the question, “what do you do with your revolution once you’ve got it?” It argues that Ireland was dominated by cultural isolationism, Gaelic and clerical traditionalism at the time of its making. Continue reading
Godzilla, Predator, Robby the Robot, the Gill Man – these are some of the most iconic characters in cinema, but many people still don’t know about the incredible actors who bring these creatures to life. Continue reading
In this short film on the life and work of the 12th century saint-poet, Mahadevi Akka, her radical poems, written with the female body as a metaphor, have been composed and picturised in contemporary musical language. Mahadevi, framed as Akka – elder sister, while leaving the domestic arena in search of God also abondoned modesty and clothing. The film explores the meaning of this denial through the work of contemporary artists and writers and testimonies of ordinary folk who nurtured her image through centuries in their folklore and oral literature. A celebration of rebellion, feminity and legacy down nine hundred years. Continue reading