Joris Ivens

Joris Ivens & Joop Huisken & Robert Ménégoz & Ruy Santos – Das Lied der Ströme AKA Song of the Rivers (1954)

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“The Song of the Rivers, or Das Lied der Ströme, is a 1954 documentary production by the East Germany’s Deutsche Film-Aktiengesellschaft (DEFA). Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens was the leading director. The sprawling film celebrates international workers movements along six major rivers: the Volga, Mississippi, Ganges, Nile, Amazon and the Yangtze. Shot in many countries by different film crews, and later edited by Ivens, Song of the Rivers begins with a lyrical montage of landscapes and laborers and proceeds to glorify labor and modern industrial machinery. The musical score is by Dmitri Shostakovich, with lyrics written by Berthold Brecht, and songs performed by German communism’s star Ernst Busch and famous American actor, singer and activist Paul Robeson who also narrates. Song of the Rivers is an ode to international solidarity.” Read More »

Joris Ivens – Une histoire de vent AKA A Tale of the Wind (1988)

Premiere: Filmfestival Venice 1988
Awards: Golden Lion (Filmfestival Venice), Félix (European Filmaward of the European Film Academy)

Joris Ivens’ last film, made with Marceline Loridan, is a testamentary view on his own life and the changes in the world. After Pour le Mistral this film is his second attempt to film the invisible: the wind. On location in China they try to capture the wind as a natural phenomenon, and as metaphor for the constant changes in Culture and Society. In 1988 the film premiered at the film festival of Venice, where Joris Ivens received the Golden Lion for his complete oeuvre. Read More »

Mannus Franken & Joris Ivens – Regen aka Rain (1929)

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A day in the life of a rain-shower. As a city symphony Joris Ivens films Amsterdam and its changing appearence during a rain-shower. A very poetic film with changing moods, following the change from sunny Amsterdam streets to rain drops in the canals and the pooring rain on windows, umbrellas, trams and streets, untill it clears up and the sun breaks through once again. Although it seems to be one day it took Ivens a long time to film what he wanted to film (for even in Amsterdam it doesn’t rain every day). With The Bridge, Rain became his major breakthrough as an avant-garde film artist. In 1932 Joris Ivens asked Lou Lichtveld (who also made the music for Philips Radio) to make a sound version of it, and in 1941 the film inspired Hanns Eisler to compose his “Fourteen ways to describe rain” in the context of a ‘Film Music Project’. Read More »

Joris Ivens & Marceline Loridan Ivens & Jean Bigiaoui – Comment Yukong déplaça les montagnes AKA How Yukong Moved the Mountains (1977)

From 1972 until 1974, Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan, along with a Chinese film crew, documented the last days of the Cultural Revolution, marking the end of an era. The vast amount of footage they shot was edited into twelve films of varying lengths. Focusing on ordinary people spread over a wide geographic area-many of whom were living and working in collectives-the filmmakers recorded a unique moment in history, and also captured some of the more enduring aspects of Chinese culture. Read More »