Wen Hai – We the Workers (2017)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

         凶年之畔

Although labor activities could be very dangerous in China, some local consulting groups in the big city of Guangzhou continue to help migrant workers get their rights of work.
Icarus Films wrote:

China’s economic miracle has been built on cheap labor. And now, that labor is starting to fight back.

Filmed in the southeastern part of the country, We the Workers is a vérité documentary that closely follows people organizing workers and fighting for collective bargaining rights. They find themselves up against factory employees who don’t understand their rights and fear the consequences of organizing, police and government officials who see them as dangerous troublemakers, and foreign owners who ignore what lax regulations do exist. Continue reading

Ahmed El Maanouni – Trances (1981)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
It was in 1981 while I was editing a film, The King of Comedy. We worked at night so no one would call us on the telephone and I would have television on, and one channel in New York at the time, around 2 or 3 in the morning, was showing a film called Transes. It repeated all night and it repeated many nights. And it had commercials in it, but it didn’t matter. So I became passionate about this music that I heard and I saw also the way the film was made, the concert that was photographed and the effect of the music on the audience at the concert. I tracked down the music and eventually it became my inspiration for many of the designs and construction of my film The Last Temptation of Christ. […] And I think the group was singing damnation: their people, their beliefs, their sufferings and their prayers all came through their singing. And I think the film is beautifully made by Ahmed El Maanouni; it’s been an obsession of mine since 1981 and that is why we are inaugurating the Foundation with Trances. (Martin Scorsese, May 2007) Continue reading

Alex Gibney – The Human Behavior Experiments (2006)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Most people never have to face the fact that at the right time and right place, they’re capable of anything,” says John Huston’s character, Noah Cross, in the movie Chinatown — dialogue that seems especially apt watching this engrossing docu collaboration to be simulcast by Sundance Channel and Court TV. Following up on their “First Amendment Project,” the cable nets tap filmmaker Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) to craft this thought-provoking examination of three controversial psychological studies whose chilling results still resonate today. Continue reading

Larry Gottheim – Horizons (1973)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

One of the greatest if all-too-often overlooked landscape films in American cinema, Larry Gottheim’s HORIZONS displays a sensitivity to the seasons that seems more in keeping with Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden” than the typical nature documentary. HORIZONS was not only Gottheim’s first feature-length work, it was also his first film to deploy rhythmic editing after several single-shot works. Working with Virgil’s four-part poem “Georgics” and Antonio Vivaldi’s concertos “The Four Seasons” as models, Gottheim arranged his painterly compositions into four distinct sections, each edited according to its own exacting pattern. The seasonal flux thus informs both the form and content of the image, with the basic elements of trees, sky, hills and the occasional crisscrossing clothesline filmed in every imaginable light. The resulting work is at once rigorous and meditative: a film that demands repeated viewings but captures the eye from the first. – Max Goldberg Continue reading

Franco Piavoli – Il Pianeta Azzurro AKA The Blue Planet [+Extras] (1982)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis
The film follows the cycle of the seasons upon a rural landscape, from the reawakening of life following the Winter thaw to the blossoming of Spring, the heat of Summer working in the fields and the twilight of Autumn. Man is confronted by nature through the succession of seasons and in the essential moments of his existence: youth, love, food, work, pain. Continue reading

Frédérique Devaux & Michel Amarger – Cinexperimentaux #9: Stephen Dwoskin (2006-2010)

Stephen Dwoskin was born in New York in 1939 and began making independent shorts there in 1961. In 1964 he followed his research work to London where he settled and participated in the founding of the London Filmmaker’s Co-op. His experimental films, for which he himself does the camera work, play with ideas of desire, sexual and mental solitude and the passage of time. In his films he also explores representation in cinema, performances, personal impressions and his own physical handicap which has been a source of inspiration for him throughout his career. His sensitive and emancipating works have been the subject of various international presentations. Continue reading

Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel – Somniloquies (2017)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis
In their new film somniloquies, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel overcome the boundaries between inner dreamscapes and human bodies. At the start, flowing forms can be seen and a gentle, undefinable sound made out in the background. McGregor’s voice appears and makes an invitation: “I have expected you, come-on in, I said I would grant an interview”. The more we listen to him and enter into his dreamworld, the clearer the contours of the sleeping bodies become, before they seem to dissipate once again. The dreaming man speaks with people who are sawing open his body, removing his organs and stitching him back up. As we find out how painful he finds the stitches, we ask ourselves for how long we’ll want to follow the camera, which sometimes seems to caress the bodies tenderly, but at other times seeks to pierce them almost brutally, like an x-ray. Just in time, we hear his voice: “Let’s go to future land (…) it’s shining near the corner”. In this case, sleeping in the cinema means pushing forward to its very limits. Continue reading