France

Nicolas Champeaux & Gilles Porte – The State Against Mandela and the Others (2018)

2018 marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. He seized centre stage during a historic trial in 1963 and 1964. But there were eight others who, like him, faced the death sentence. They too were subjected to pitiless cross-examinations. To a man they stood firm and turned the tables on the state: South Africa’s apartheid regime was in the dock. Recently recovered sound archives of those hearings transport us back into the thick of the courtroom battles. Read More »

    Joris Ivens – Une histoire de vent AKA A Tale of the Wind (1988)

    Premiere: Filmfestival Venice 1988
    Awards: Golden Lion (Filmfestival Venice), Félix (European Filmaward of the European Film Academy)

    Joris Ivens’ last film, made with Marceline Loridan, is a testamentary view on his own life and the changes in the world. After Pour le Mistral this film is his second attempt to film the invisible: the wind. On location in China they try to capture the wind as a natural phenomenon, and as metaphor for the constant changes in Culture and Society. In 1988 the film premiered at the film festival of Venice, where Joris Ivens received the Golden Lion for his complete oeuvre. Read More »

      Travis Collins & Amélie Ravalec – Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay (2015)

      Quote:
      Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay traces the development of one of music’s most quietly influential genres from the post-industrial cities of Europe to America’s avant-garde scene, and features contributions from members of pioneering outfits : Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, NON, SPK, Test Dept, Clock DVA, Re/Search – V Vale, Z’EV, Click Click, Sordide Sentimental, Hula, The Klinik, Ant-Zen, Orphx, In The Nursery and Prima Linea. Read More »

        François Truffaut – La chambre verte AKA The Green Room (1978)

        Synopsis:
        A French little town, at the end of the twenties. Julien Davenne is a journalist whose wife Julie died a decade ago. He gathered in the green room all Julie’s objects. When a fire destroys the room, he renovates a little chapel and devotes it to Julie and his other dead persons. Read More »

          Emmanuel Laurent – Deux de la Vague AKA Two in the Wave (2010)

          AMG: The story of how a friendship between two of Europe’s most important filmmakers turned into a rivalry is recounted in this documentary. François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard first met in 1949; in many ways they were very different people — Godard came from a wealthy and supportive family, while Truffaut had troubles with both school and the law during a hardscrabble youth — but they were both passionate devotees of the cinema, and became star writers at the pioneering film journal Cahiers du Cinéma. Ten years later, Truffaut and Godard were the most visible figures in the New Wave of French cinema, having enjoyed international success with The 400 Blows and Breathless. Read More »

            Jean-Claude Brisseau – Mort dans l’après-midi (1968)

            Quote:
            Lisa Heredia, la veuve et la monteuse de Jean-Claude Brisseau, nous a confié ces films. Ce sont ses tout premiers essais, qu’il a montrés quelques années plus tard à Eric Rohmer, qui en fut enthousiasmé et qu’il l’a introduit auprès [de la maison de production] des Films du Losange. Comme il est pour l’instant peu probable que la société nous permette de reprogrammer la rétrospective qui aurait dû lui être consacrée, nous avons jugé de notre devoir de montrer ces films sur notre plate-forme pour compléter la connaissance qui est due à tout grand cinéaste. (Frédéric Bonnaud, Le Monde) Read More »

              René Vautier – Afrique 50 (1950)

              Afrique 50, France’s first anticolonialist film, was banned by the censorship board, yet has recently been awarded a prize by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. On its completion, this biting pamphlet against French colonialism in black Africa earned its author thirteen indictments and a year’s prison sentence. In the post-war period of European reconstruction, France wanted to show her colonies in the best possible light and promoted the image of the Republic leading her child-like pupils with a maternal hand to the light of reason and progress. Not everybody, however, subscribed to this vision. Read More »