Risto Jarva – Työmiehen päiväkirja aka The Diary of a Worker (1967)

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Following passages selectively translated from Risto Jarva Society’s website:

Risto Jarva was a central director in the Finnish New Wave. His career is one of the most extensive and important in the history of Finnish cinema, even though he died in a car accident at the age of 43.

Risto Jarva was a humanist and an engineer within one person. The focus of his work is on the human between society and nature. In his feature films and short documentaries he mapped dominant and alternative ways of life, without forgetting neither history nor the future. That’s why his movies are both subjective and objective evidence of the way Finland was in the years 1962-1977. Continue reading

Oriane Brun-Moschetti – Salut et fraternité : les images selon René Vautier AKA Images According to René Vautier (2015)

“Each of René Vautier’s films is a pamphlet, a shield for the oppressed and the victims of history, a little war machine in the service of justice. And like weapons in a resistance movement, they are used, exchanged, lent, discarded, destroyed, lost or hidden away and sometimes long forgotten in their cache. In that respect, each of René’s films is an individual case, an episode in what is probably the most noble and romantic story in the history of cinema. Scarred as these films may be, their beauty is genuine, not only in the plastic and stylistic senses, but also in the sense of a cinema raised to the fullness of its necessity and powers. His cinema mobilizes a precise, wide-ranging conception of the rights and duties of images: documenting, telling the truth, doing justice, dialoguing with other images and information, contradicting, counter-attacking, convincing. Continue reading

Yann Arthus-Bertrand – Home (2009)

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Description
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

Nicolas Rey – Les soviets plus l’électricité (2002) (DVD)

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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

Chris Marker – Le Fond De L’air Est Rouge aka A Grin Without A Cat [2008 edit] (1977)

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“extremely profound & sophisticated anthology of the 60s events conducted by one of the most unique masters of cinema. All the events are well known to us, fundamentally studied & analyzed by each of us, so Marker has to be totally frank, & he is by that matter; he never imposes his points literally, never judges nor justifies, what he does is that he constructs the sequence of the events in such manner that the facts talk for themselves & there’s no place left for accusing Marker in subjectivity. Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin – Le vent d’est AKA Wind From the East (1970) (HD)

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“Wind From the East” (“Le Vent D’Est”) is a very deep and highly political discussion about communism, capitalism, art, revolution, intellectualism, Maoism, USSR, tradition, paradigms, poetry… It’s hard to put it in terms of “it’s about…”, since the sequence of images is not based in any form of traditional narrative. In fact, it’s the very opposite of it, its essence sprouting from the need of subversion, a need directly connected to the social/historical/political/artistic context of the 60’s and 70’s: to show things in a different way leads the viewer to see differently, therefore to think differently. A experimental cut, poetic even, given the metaphorical quality of the images. The frontiers of film language fades and encounters those of other art forms, not to weaken the film unity nor its message, but to strengthen them both. Continue reading

Jean-Marie Straub – Kommunisten (2014)

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Jean-Marie Straub pushes this musicality of blocks to a paroxysmal extreme, mixing blocks of time (40 years separate the various extracts that are going to be used, and what is to be filmed), blocks of text (Malraux, Fortini, Vittorini, Hölderlin) and blocks of language (French, Italian, German), and from this ruckus emerges the history of the world, yes, History with a capital H, and from the same movement, the political hope of its being overtaken. So this is an adventure film, about the Human adventure, still one that is always, in the end, overtaken by Nature. Continue reading