Peter Watkins

Peter Watkins – Privilege (1967)

Synopsis:
The story is set in the near future of the 1970s and concerns a disillusioned pop singer, played by Jones, who is manipulated by the church and state which seek to turn him into a messianic leader.

Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in Britain loves him. His handlers begin to use his popularity for projects like increasing the consumption of apples after a bumper crop as an aid to farmers. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Resan AKA The Journey (1987)

A global peace film produced in 1983-86 by the Swedish Peace & Arbitration Society and local support groups in Sweden, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, USSR, Mexico, Japan, Scotland, Polynesia, Mozambique, Denmark, France, Norway, West Germany, with post-production support from the National Film Board in Montreal, Canada. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Fritänkaren aka The Freethinker (1994)

Quote:
“This is Peter Watkins (epic) companion-piece to his highly acclaimed “Edvard Munch” (1974). “The Freethinker” examines the life, art, and times of the noted Swedish dramatist August Strindberg, author of Miss Julie, Inferno, and Dance of Death. Strindberg is depicted as a rebel, and idealistic and controversial iconoclast who openly criticized the hypocrisy of 19th century society.” (p. back cover) The film broadly focuses on 3 aspects of Strindberg’s life- the impact of his childhood on his psychology and future work; the meaning of his relationship with his first wife, and the way in which Strindberg, as an author, created works that confronted the social injustices of their time. Read More »

Peter Watkins – The Media Project (1991)

About:
THE MEDIA PROJECT is an exposé on media coverage of the first Gulf War, directed by Peter Watkins. The film raises debate on the global media coverage of the Gulf War by taking examples from the Australian media coverage of the event and having them discussed by a small group of people from different backgrounds who are having dinner together. Written by Peter Watkins in conjunction with the cast, many of whom are expressing their own feelings and concerns. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Punishment Park (1971)

“A VIVIDLY EXECUTED PIECE OF PROVOCATION”

Quote:
A key film in the unimpeachable cry-in-the-wilderness corpus of Peter Watkins—a major filmography long marginalized and only now being prepped and released on any form of video— Punishment Park (1971) is an act of howling political righteousness, a dystopian critique intended for the peace-movement years but possibly even more relevant today. The premise is so simple it leaves singe marks: Watkins begins with the very real McCarran Act (just as he had based The War Game on Britain’s own nuclear-warfare cost analysis and contingency plans), which grants Ashcroftian summary-judgment powers to the president in times of potential “insurrection.” The Nixon-‘Nam years were those times, and so the film follows two groups of arrested protesters as they’re led to the Western desert, interrogated by a tribunal and then sent running, with national guardsmen and riot police following on the hunt. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Aftenlandet AKA Evening Land (1977)

Evening Land presents fictitious events in the Europe of those days. It opens in a Copenhagen shipyard with a strike due to the construction of four submarines, potential carriers of nuclear weapons for the French Navy, beside the salary freeze that the deal has entailed, and as an anti-nuclear protest. In parallel with this, a group of radical demonstrators kidnaps the Danish minister of the EC during a summit, as a token of support with the strikers. The Danish police brutally repress the demo and crush the “terrorists”. Evening Land was released to both a hostile left and right wing, and the few film critics who valued it pointed out that it strayed from the style that Watkins had developed in his previous films. Danmarks Radio refused to broadcast it, and Watkins decided it was high time to leave Scandinavia and start what would be a new period of voluntary exile. Read More »

Peter Watkins – La commune (Paris, 1871) (2000)

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VillageVoice Review :
So far as mental fireworks go, the Fourth of July weekend is unlikely to offer anything more spectacular than Peter Watkins’s masterpiece La Commune (Paris, 1871).Dynamic historical reconstruction in the form of an experimental documentary, Watkins’s six-hour feature was made in DV for (and largely buried by) French TV; it’s as much immersion as narrative – complicated yet lucid and contagiously exciting. Read More »