Tag Archives: Joris Ivens

Juliet Berto – Havre (1986)

Lili, a woman-child alone in this tough port city, tries to restore order to her life after the death of her lover, a computer “composer.” She has to deal with four local dockworkers — symbolizing fire, water, earth, and wind — struggling between destruction and the path to self-discovery. Read More »

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 »

Joris Ivens & Marceline Loridan Ivens – Le 17e parallèle: La guerre du peuple AKA 17th Parallel: Vietnam in War (1968)

On the border of North and South Vietnam, civilians live underground and cultivate their land in the dead of night, farmers take up arms, and bombs fall like clockwork. Joris Ivens and Marceline Loridan’s record of daily life in one of the most volatile regions of a war-torn, divided country is both a hazardous piece of first-hand journalism and a shattering work in its own right, simmering with barely repressed anger.

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Joris Ivens, Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani – L’Italia non è un paese povero (1960)

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According to Carlos Böker’s thesis, Joris Ivens, Film-Maker: Facing Reality (“Studies in Photography and Cinematography, No. 1”, UMI Research Press, 1978):

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…… Ivens was approached by Enrico Mattei, head of ENI, the Italian State Natural Gas Monopoly. Mattei, who died mysteriously in an air crash in 1962, and was the subject of a later film by Francesco Rosi (Il caso Mattei, The Mattei Affair, 1972), had been put in charge of ENI on the understanding that he would wind it up. However, he expanded its activities and investment programme against much internal political opposition and external opposition from the US-controlled multinational oil firms. Ivens’s films, collectively entitled Italia non è un Paese povero, were to be shown on television. The first part, Fuochi della Val Padana (Fire in the Po Valley), deals with the extraction and distribution of methane in the Po Valley. The second part is divided in two: Due città (Two Cities), devoted to Venice (Porto Maghera) and Ravenna, is a treatment of the production of agipgaz and its by-products; and La storia di due alberi (The Story of Two Trees), set in Lucania, which contrasts the impoverishment of peasant life in a southern village, where seven families are dependent on one olive tree, with the future benefits to come through the newly exploited natural resource (mechanisms for controlling the gas outlets, lit up at night, are called “Christmas trees”). Read More »