The documentary chronicles the present day stance of the Earth, its climate and how we as the dominant species have long-term repercussions on its future. A theme expressed throughout the documentary is that of linkage; how all organisms and the Earth are linked in a “delicate but crucial” balance with each other, and how no organism can be self-sufficient.
Documentary with commentary by Glenn Close. In 200,000 years on earth humanity has upset the balance of the planet, established by nearly four billion years of evolution. The price to pay is high, but it’s too late to be a pessimist: humanity has barely ten years to reverse the trend, become aware of the full extent of its devastation of the Earth’s riches and change its patterns of consumption. Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s extraordinarily beautiful and moving film was made over three years, shot from the air in more than fifty countries. It is being screened all over the world on the same date, World Environment Day, to convince us all of our individual and collective responsibility towards the planet. Continue reading
The film describes a strike in a French textile factory, when the striking workers occupy the factory. The title translates as, “Blow for Blow”, as in a fight.
“A movie which must have scared lots of people for, to my knowledge, TV screened it for the first time this very year; in the theaters, its release was secret and anyway it would have certainly failed, since it completely refused the star system (which many so called subversive movies in the Wake of the events of May 68 did not avoid: ‘Tout Va Bien ” by His Majesty Godard starred Yves Montand and Jane Fonda). The final cast and credits do show a collective work: the non-Professional (in the majority) and professional actors are treated on an equal footing with the technicians, the screenwriters and the director . Continue reading
This art-film is an imaginary documentary film about a man who sets off from Paris to Siberia in search of his father’s past: His father was a communist who had voluntarily gone from France to the Soviet Union to work on a big engineering project in Magadan. Now his adult son travels by train from Paris, through the Ukraine into the depths of Russia, in search of the values and ideas that had been so relevant to his father. The title of the film alludes to Lenin’s definition of communism: communism equals Soviets plus electricity. (Soviets are councils). Continue reading
Louis Delluc was one of the most important silent pioneers in France and probably one of the first persons in that country who thought of the cinema as an Art. He was part of group called the “French Impressionist School” ( which also included Epstein, Abel Gance, Marcel L’Herbier and Germaine Dulac ) and was himself one of the first and most influential French film critics. Unfortunately Louis Delluc had a short career dying very young at the age of 33 from tuberculosis, denying the French and the rest of the whole world, his mastery of film and future accomplishments. Continue reading
Documenteur, Agnès Varda’s companion piece and follow-up to her documentary Mur murs, shares with it a filming location and a similarly punning title (a menteur is a liar, in French). But the similarities end there: while Mur murs is a more or less straightforward film that purports to document the murals, the artists who created them, and the effect the pictures have on the neighborhoods surrounding them, Documenteur, which includes shots of some of those same murals and has scenes set in those same neighborhoods, is, by its own admission, “an emotion picture.” Neither pure fictional feature film nor documentary, it’s perhaps best described as a documentary with a fictionalized main character. Continue reading
The last film made by legendary French director Abel Gance, Bonaparte et la révolution (1971) was also his final attempt to release the Napoleonic biopic he had begun in the 1920s. Napoléon, vu par Abel Gance (1927) was over nine hours long, but represented only the first of a planned six-film series. Having failed to get funding for the remaining episodes, Gance revamped his silent film as Napoléon Bonaparte (1935) – adding newly-shot scenes and dubbing his decade-old footage. After other abortive attempts to resurrect part or all of his biopic in the 1950s, Gance gained funding from Claude Lelouch to release Bonaparte et la revolution in 1971. This last version recycles footage from the films of 1927 and 1935, as well as material from his television work of the 1960s. The result is a bizarre mishmash of old and new images, performances, and voices – less a coherent film than a document embodying the whole of Gance’s 45-year involvement with his eternally incomplete project. Continue reading
Henri Verneuil’s The Burglars has a bit of a cult reputation for an infamous car chase through Greece – fully deserved for that lone, incredible sequence – but more than thirty years since its theatrical release, the flaws in this second attempt at adapting David Goodis’ novel to the big screen are painfully evident. Continue reading