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

Satyajit Ray – Ghare-Baire aka The Home and the World (1984)

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Quote:
Both a romantic-triangle tale and a philosophical take on violence in times of revolution, The Home and the World, set in early twentieth-century Bengal, concerns an aristocratic but progressive man who, in insisting on broadening his more traditional wife’s political horizons, drives her into the arms of his radical school chum. Satyajit Ray had wanted to adapt Rabindranath Tagore’s classic novel to the screen for decades. When he finally did in 1984, he fashioned a personal, exquisite film that stands as a testament to his lifelong love for the great writer. Continue reading

Lizzie Borden – Born in Flames (1983)

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Plot Summary for
Born in Flames (1983)
Set ten years after the most peaceful revolution in United States history, a revolution in which a socialist government gains power, this films presents a dystopia in which the issues of many progressive groups – minorities, liberals, gay rights organizations, feminists – are ostensibly dealt with by the government, and yet there are still problems with jobs, with gender issues, with governmental preference and violence. In New York City, in this future time, a group of women decide to organize and mobilize, to take the revolution farther than any man – and many women – ever imagined in their lifetimes. Continue reading