In collaboration with Margaret Salmon and Joanna Barck
Cuba 1964, 141’
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
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’,
shows intimate character sketches of its four protagonists.
USA 1960, 53’
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
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
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
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.