Film Screenings
In collaboration with Margaret Salmon and Joanna Barck

Mikail Kalatozov
Soy Cuba
Cuba 1964, 141’

Soy Cuba tells the story of the Cuban revolution in four episodes. In this film, Kalatozov merges the genres of Agit-prop and propaganda film with a new expressive camera technique.


Albert & David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
Salesman
USA 1968, 91’

Boston, Chicago, Miami, 1968. A group of salesmen try their luck selling exclusive Bibles and Christian encyclopaedias to a predominantly Catholic, middle-class clientele of lonely widows, sweethearts, Cuban immigrants and bored housewives. In the tradition of ‘direct cinema’, Salesman shows intimate character sketches of its four protagonists.


Robert Drew
Primary
USA 1960, 53’

Wisconsin 1960. Primary Wisconsin 1960. This documentary shows the intense election primary between Democrat senators John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey. Along with D.A. Pennebaker and Albert Maysles, Robert Drew (head of the production company Drew Associates) hired filmmaker Richard Leacock to follow both candidates on the campaign trail. The film captures the both candidates’ self-dramatisation using only a portable camera and a lightweight tape recorder. Primary is seen as a distinct example for the ‘direct cinema’ movement.


Robert J. Flaherty
Louisiana Story
USA 1948, 78’

The last (complete) film by the famed documentary filmmaker Robert J. Flaherty, Louisiana Story is about the adventures of a thirteen-year-old boy from the Mississippi bog forests who comes in contact with the modern technique of oil , and becomes a victim of a near catastrophe. In half-documentary episodes, Flaherty pursues his fascination with nature, the invasion of modern industry into unspoiled natural landscape, and the aesthetic attraction of modern conveyor systems. The film was commissioned by Standard Oil Company.


Pier Paolo Pasolini
La Ricotta
Italy 1962, 40’

In the satirically grotesque La Ricotta, Pasolini’s scene is set on the shoot of a commercial Bible film. The film portrays the torments of an extra hired to be crucified as one of the thieves. The extra nearly starves and then chokes to death after greedily consuming a large piece of soft cheese; his death is noticed only as the producer – played by Orson Welles – leads a distinguished group of guests to the dining table. The plot expresses Pasolini’s contempt for the bourgeois ‘dolce vita’ and the commercialisation of Christian myths. The film was soon confiscated and Pasolini arrested on charges of blasphemy against the national religion. A court procedure followed, though all charges were dropped in 1964. For this short film – and for part of the anthology Ro.Go.Pa.G. with contributions by Roberto Rossellini, Jean-Luc Godard and the less famous Ugo Gregoretti – Pasolini used the Tableau Vivant style. He also used primarily a Kodak colour film, reminiscent – to his mind – of the colour palettes used by painters Rosso Fiorentino and Jacopo da Pontormo.