Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Diamonds of the Night (Jan Němec, 1964) and The Miners’ Hymns (Bill Morrison, 2011)

Sunday September 16th 2012, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema with a double feature: Diamonds of the Night (Jan Němec, 1964) and The Miners’ Hymns (Bill Morrison, 2011). Screened by guest programmer Jeffrey Babcock,  in high-definition. Door open at 20pm (films start at 21:00pm)

Diamonds of the Night (Jan Němec, 1964)DIAMONDS OF THE NIGHT   1964
(Démanty noci)
Directed by Jan Němec
63 minutes
In Czech with English subtitles

This film is a intense, illuminating and harsh story of two Czech boys who escape from a train taking them from Prague to a concentration camp. As they run wildly through the hilly, forested landscape they are being hunted down by armed German villagers. The film is visceral and visual, with very few words spoken. It is an anti-war film that doesn’t deal with actual warfare, but rather focuses on human survival in almost surrealistic dimensions. The film constantly breaks with normal storytelling, intersecting hallucinations and flashbacks into the two boy’s exhaustive physical journey.

Based on the true story of Czech writer Arnost Lustig who spent 3 years in Nazi camps and escaped on the way to Dachau. The black and white cinematography by Jaroslav Kucera is absolutely stunning. A very rare screening of this neglected masterpiece, an unusually sensitive, subtle and creative approach to a subject matter which is usually done in a blunt and sensationalistic way. Steven Spielberg should take lessons from this gem!

One viewer’s thoughts:  “I saw DIAMONDS OF THE NIGHT late one night and I thought the movie was a recorded dream. It felt so unreal and dream-like that I thought I was inside someone’s head and experiencing their dream state. The 60 minute long film is experimental but even so it’s more powerful than an entire year’s worth of best films. It has a documentary feel to it but the editing (day-dreams?) and amazing sound-scape obviously pulls it out of that category. The cinematography was jaw-dropping. Super fluid editing, camera composition and movement. It’s a truly amazing cinematic achievement…”

The Miners' Hymns (Bill Morrison, 2011)THE MINER’S HYMNS
Directed by Bill Morrison
50 minutes, 2011

I screened this film about half a year ago, and the few people that saw it were knocked over by it. This film is composed of found footage collected together by the amazing Bill Morrison, set to an original score by Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson. A 50 minute “wordless documentary” about the secret history beneath the surface of Durham County in northeastern England. Poetic cinema at its most illuminating.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, nice and cozy cinema! Doors open at 20:00, film begins at 21:00, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net