Marin Karmitz

Marin Karmitz – Coup pour coup AKA Blow for Blow (1972)

Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Coup Pour Coup is a film about a worker’s strike at a textile plant, and is written and enacted by the actual striking workers. This film was a collaborative and collective effort. Videotapes of upcoming scenes were discussed by the workers, and camera angles as well as dramatic refinements were agreed on before any film was exposed. Given that the film presents the worker’s point of view and is a largely amateur effort, reviewers found it surprisingly effective as a dramatic piece. One interesting feature of the film, and of the strike itself, is that it was organized and led by women. While there had been male union leaders, they were bypassed or ousted for their lack of leadership, understanding, or negotiating skills. Read More »

Marin Karmitz – Nuit noire, Calcutta (1964)

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Nuit Noire, Calcutta is the story of a writer, Jean (Maurice Garrel), who has come to the coast to complete a novel about the french vice consul in Calcutta. He does not find his task an easy one, and he struggles throughout to find adequate words for his story. Convinced, as he puts it, that the words do exist somewhere, he is shown repeatedly working on his manuscript, deleting sentences, or tearing pages in frustration. In the process he empties several bottles of whisky (hence the connection with the theme of alcoholism). As he writes, there is a story unfolding in the outside world that seems to parallel the one he is inventing, although it is not clear which of these is mirroring the other. The two series of events refuse to converge; but this enables the film to explore the ironical,metaphorical relationship between the imagenery, speculative world of Callcutta and the dunes and mudflats of the Seine estuary at Ouistreham. Read More »