André Heinrich & Alain Resnais – Le Mystère de l’atelier quinze (1957)


The role of the doctor in a factory. The investigations he makes to discover the origin of ailments which attack the workers in a large chemical factory.

Commande de l’Institut National de la Recherche sur la Sécurité sur la prévention des maladies professionnelles. Tourné en 1957 dans l’usine Francolor d’Oissel, ce documentaire prend des airs d’enquête scientifique pour découvrir le mal mystérieux dont souffre un ouvrier. Le Mystère de l’atelier quinze est un film atypique sur le monde du travail. Il se présente en effet comme un “polar”, avec un “crime” à élucider sous forme d’enquête.
Dans une lettre à L’Avant-scène cinéma, André Heirich décrit la réalisation du film : Continue reading

Robbins Barstow – Disneyland Dream (1956)


“The Barstow family films a memorable home movie of their trip to Disneyland. Robbins and Meg Barstow, along with their children Mary, David and Daniel were among 25 families who won a free trip to the newly opened Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., as part of a ‘Scotch Brand Cellophane Tape’ contest sponsored by 3M. Through vivid color and droll narration , we see a fantastic historical snapshot of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Catalina Island, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios and Disneyland in mid-1956. The movie was shot with a 16 mm handheld camera.

Robbins Barstow was a pioneering maker of home movies. Disneyland Dream is one of literally hundreds of films he completed from 1929 (when he first received a camera) until his death in 2010, many of which star his immediate family. Continue reading

Franco Piavoli – Poesie in 8mm AKA Poems in 8mm [+Extras] (1954-1964)

Poems in 8mm are the early works of Franco Piavoli, digitally restored. Independent short films, captured with a simple Paillard camera, involving no crew and no production. In this collection, one can find Le Stagioni (The Seasons), precursor to Il Pianeta Azzurro (The Blue Planet), Emigranti (Emigrants), a short on immigration in Milan during the Sixties, Domenica Sera (Sunday Evening), and the experimental Evasi (Convicts). These titles, up to this point unavailable to the public in an edition that respects the original state of the film. This also goes for the Piavoli’s first work, Ambulatorio (Surgery), described by the director as mere playing around with the camera. Without music and words, it is nonetheless revealing of an artistic sensibility that would soon show itself in full splendour. Continue reading

Radu Jude – O umbra de nor AKA Shadow of a Cloud (2013)


“My wretched life has passed like a deep sleep, like the shadow of a cloud, withering like a wildflower. And the joints of my limbs have begun to weaken, to twist and shake in my body. And my evil deeds have surpassed the countless grains of sand in the sea.” (fragment from a prayer)
In a torrid summer day in Bucharest, the priest Florin Florescu is called to a dying woman’s side for saying a prayer. Continue reading