12:00 noon Shattered [Lao tang tou], Xu Tong, 2011. Part of Homeless Trilogy. 100 min. In Mandarin with English subs. YouTube: "Xu Tong, who is a documentary maker, through living with a group of Chinese lower class and recording their daily lives creates a series of documentaries that expose a minority group in this lower class has been gradually marginalized and alienated." dGenerate Films: "China’s modern history is filtered through the life of 80-year old Heilongjiang native Old Man Tang and his scattered family in Xu Tong’s intimate and interactive doc. Notable are his felonious, albeit devoted, daughter Caifeng’s scornful dismissal of the Party and son Yihong’s contrarian independence. They stand in stark, generational contrast to their father’s beliefs – beliefs that may or may not have influenced his parental decisions. Engaging and infuriating, unflattering and enlightening, Shattered puts one family in China’s larger developmental context.” 1:40-1:50 break 1:50 Sambizanga, Sarah Moldoror, 1972-73, 102 min. In Portuguese with English subs Wikipedia: "Set in 1961 at the onset of the Angolan War of Independence, it follows the struggles of Angolan militants involved with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), an anti-colonial political movement of which Maldoror's husband, Mário Coelho Pinto de Andrade, was a leader. The film is based on the novella A vida verdadeira de Domingos Xavier ("The Real Life of Domingos Xavier") by Angolan writer José Luandino Vieira." Tom Mulcaire: "Sarah Maldoror's Sambizanga (Angola/ Congo, 1972) is a film about acting. In fact, the film was seen to be so effective at mobilizing action that the Portuguese colonial authorities banned it from being screened in their then province of Angola. It was first seen publicly in Angola only after the country won its independence in 1974. Based on a novel by Luandino Vieira, a political prisoner of the Portuguese from 1961to 1974, Sambizanga is a fictionalized chronicle of the arrest and fatal imprisonment of a man whose underground activities were an impenetrable secret to all around him." http://cabinetmagazine.org/issues/2/februaryfourth.php 3:30 - 3:50 break
3:50 Pastoral: To Die in the Country [田園に死す; also known as Pastoral Hide and Seek], Shuji Terayama, 1974, 104 min. In Japanese w/English subs Robert Nishimura: "Terayama was a well-known poet, artist, writer, street performer and leading figure in Japan's growing avant-garde theater movement in Tokyo. He had a profound effect on the art community in Tokyo…Pastoral is in no way a traditional narrative. Just as our own memory becomes fragmented and nonlinear, Terayama utilizes the same disjointed dream logic that corrupts all our memories. Characters float in and out inexplicably, settings change without warning, the cinematography and editing are highly expressionistic, and just when you start getting comfortable with this style of storytelling the film abruptly stops. Halfway through Pastoral, we learn that not only are we watching a film, but that Terayama hasn't finished making it yet. The director (played by Kantarô Suga) isn't satisfied with how things are going and must go back in time, enter his own film and change the outcome." Trailer and essay by Nishimura: http://blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/three-reasons 5:30-5:45 break 5:45 Pyaasa (!यासा; Eng. Thirsty), Guru Dutt, 1957, 138 min. Wikipedia: "The film tells the story of struggling poet Vijay, trying to make his works known in post-independence India with the help of prostitute Gulaabo. . . India Tmes Movies includes Pyaasa amongst the Top 25 Must See Bollywood Films." Natasha Sekhon: "The film is set during 1957, ten years after Indian Independence from the British Colonization and can be read as a statement on that…All the songs in the movie are Vijay's poems…the singer singing his songs, Mohammed Rafi, was a super famous movie singer and sang for many actors…Time is not constant in the movie; it jumps from years to days and real time very often and keeping track of it is interesting."
Univ. of Iowa: "Pyaasa represents a high point in Indian cinema that, along with Mother India (also 1957) and major films by Raj Kapoor and Bimal Roy, confirms the 1950s as Hindi cinema's golden age. In his seventh film as a director, Guru Dutt -- taking a role originally intended for Dilip Kumar, who rejected it as too similar to his 1955 Devdas -- established his definitive screen personification as the anguished poet Vijayâ€ŚPyaasa's carefully structured, melodramatic plot â€Ś subtly links Vijay's pain to the independent nation's unsolved woes: the film proceeds through a series of ironic twists of fate and small but painfully dramatized failures." 8:05 end