The Fig House (Pitzi Kampouroglou, 2019)

Monday November 11th 2019, special screening: The Fig House (documentary from Pitzi Kampouroglou, 2019), 102 minutes, in English with English subtitles. Doors open at 19:00 with food. Film starts at 21:00. Fee entrance, donations welcome.

The independent collective Amanita Films presents their new documentary The Fig House. The filmmakers will be present for questions and a discussion before and after the film screening. The film tells in twelve chapters the misadventures of ten friends and a cat, living for seven months in a squat in Greece. Activists and refugees all together, they come across the everyday troubles of living on the edge of society, while trying to reach Germany through the refugee’s Balkan Route.

Amanita Films is a project born from the making of the documentary The Fig House, a self-produced work by the same protagonists of the film. Amanita Films does not respect the rules of the film industry, believing that they are just instruments to preserve the privileges of those who have all the interests to prevent the free circulation and creation of art-works. We therefore do not recognize the copy rights of commercial exploitation neither our own neither others’ art’s works. We believe in a cooperative form of film production and in the creation of an alternative distribution network to the official one.

The idea of getting in a car and taking the film a tour around Europe, was born precisely from this need to get out of invisibility, to build a network of contacts that could become the basis for the diffusion and self-financing of independent audio-visual works.
The Fig House had its premiere at the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, registered with false names and fake documents, winning the young jury special prize. Despite this small success, however, no distributor has declared to be interested in distributing a work that cannot be commercially exploited since it does not comply with and is registered to any copyrights.
We are now only a month away from going to Athens to start filming our next documentary: Love in Time of Crisis. We decided to go there by car, a one-month road trip to close a circle with our previous work and at the same time to open a new one.
We will depart from Zurich to arrive to Greece via Germany, Holland and Italy and we will stop in every city where there will be an squat, a cultural center, an private association, willing to support our project by hosting a screening of our previous documentary: The Fig House.
The purpose of the tour is also to be able to finance part of the expenses for the filming of Love in Time of Crisis through the support of our same spectators. The screenings will always be open to everyone and free; at the exit there will be a donation box where, whoever wants to, can leave a concrete support.
We want to share the experience of The Fig House with the largest number of people. The donation is not at all a discriminating factor in this sense, but only a possibility for the spectator, after having seen the film, in case it is liked, of being able to help Amanita Films to continue to produce cinema in a free and independent way.

Topics: The small mishaps of everyday life in the squatted house are the reason to raise some questions about immigration and solidarity, in particular on some issues that are not discussed very often. The film questions the vicious circle “illegality – poverty – prison”, as well as the topic of the “invisible wounds” – the psychological traumas connected to the migrant status. The documentary is essentially a story of friendship and solidarity, instability and despair. An opportunity to ask ourselves what kind of Europe we are building and if there is space for a better common future.

Synopsis
A group of friends, activists and migrants, decide to organize an escape plan through the Balkans, in order to reach illegally Germany from Greece. To accomplish their plans, they decide to divide the tasks, and while some are dedicated to find a suitable means of transport for the group, others are looking for an abandoned ruin to turn it into their home. When things seem to be going well, they have to face small unforeseen events that inevitably delay the completion of the plan: the cat of the house breaks his leg, a friend is arrested and one of the boys decides not to leave anymore. These continuous blows of misfortune end up weakening the psychological resilience of Ilias, one of the boys, who begins not to withstand the psychological pressure anymore, what is complicating the situation and putting the plan at risk.

For more infos: amanitafilms [at] protonmail [dot] com

Even the Rain (Icíar Bollaín, 2010)

Sunday November 10th 2019, Movie Night: Even the Rain (Icíar Bollaín, 2010) 104 minutes. with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, Film starts at 20:30

A Spanish film crew arrive in Bolivia to shoot an epic about Columbus’s entry into the New World, only to start blindly perpetuating the exploitation their own project seeks to denounce. As production gradually unravels amid protests over the privatisation of the region’s water supply, some tense, pointed action ensues.
Icíar Bollaín (director of the moving ‘Olive Tree’ that we watched a while back) cranes her camera to highlight the real-world injustices developing beyond the on-location ego trips, while Paul Laverty’s script packs the political punch – he works with Bollaín and famously was regular writer for Ken Loach.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know.

Tricks (Andrzej Jakimowski, 2007)

Sunday November 3rd 2019, Movie Night: Sztuczki – Tricks by Andrzej Jakimowski, 2007, 95 minutes. In Polsih with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, Film starts at 20:30

This is the story of siblings Stefek, 6, and Elka, 18, along with Elka’s car mechanic boyfriend Jerzy during one sun-drenched summer. The siblings live with their shopkeeper mother. Their father has left their mother for another woman, unaware of Stefek’s existence. After a chance encounter at the local railway station, and despite a denial by his sister that this was his father, Stefek decides to challenge fate to engineer another meeting. He believes that the chain of events he sets in motion will help him get closer to his father who abandoned his mother. His sister Elka teaches him how to bribe fate with small sacrifices. Tricks played, coupled with a number of coincidences eventually bring the father to the mother’s shop but the long-awaited re-union does not immediately materialise as expected. As a last chance Stefak tries his good luck with the most risky of his tricks.

Polish cinema at Joe;s Garage: https://joesgarage.nl/archives/tag/poland

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know.

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: OSS 117 Lost in Rio (Michel Hazanavicius, 2009)

Sunday October 20th 2019, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: OSS 117- LOST IN RIO (2009) (OSS 117: Rio Ne Répond Plus). Directed by Michel Hazanavicius. 101 minutes. In French with English subtitles. This will be a high-definition screening. Doors open at 20:00, Film starts at 20:30

In this spoof of secret agent films, the year is 1967, and Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath (also known as Secret Agent OSS 117, the pride of French intelligence), is sent on a mission to Rio de Janeiro to hunt down a former high-ranking Nazi who went into exile in South America after the second World War. His investigation takes him on a journey across Brazil, from Rio’s sunny beaches, through luxuriant Amazonian forests, down into the depths of secret grottoes and up to the top of the gigantic Christ statue that overlooks Rio (in a scene that is clearly a homage to Hitchcock). Along the way he is accompanied by a dazzlingly beautiful Mossad agent who is also looking for the same Nazi.

Set to the strains of a sultry bossa nova, the film perfectly captures the style and tone of 60’s spy films, with great vintage movie colors and split screen effects. The screenplay and direction is by the unique Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist) and the film stars Jean Dujardin (a wonderful Sean Connery look-a-like) who gives a razor-sharp performance. This will be a rare screening of this modern cult film, a black comedy about the so-called ‘Intelligence’ world.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Hong Kong films

Sunday October 6th and 13th 2019, Hong Kong films. Doors open at 20:00, Film starts at 20:30.

As the struggle in Hong Kong goes on we’re going to watch some political and a-bit-less-political films from there, all filmed since the handover from Britain to China. We can also chat after the films about the current situation, the powerful solidarity being displayed by very different parts of society, the complex political demands, and the interesting wave of tactics over the recent years.

Films in Joe’s are on Sunday 6th and 13th. There will also be films in the Budapest, Pesthuislaan in Oud West on Fridays 11th and 25th. All open at 20:00 with the film starting at 20:30.
Keep an eye on https://squ.at/r/1cd for confirmation of which film when.

The first film in Joe on the 6th will be the most recent. Inspired by real-life criminal gangs in Hong Kong who recruit schoolkids to smuggle mobile phones into mainland China. It’s a gentle film that gets under your skin, capturing the impulsiveness and impatience of teenagers. As the smuggling and gang story continues we’re in ‘got in too deep’ territory, but it’s the strong and nuanced characters, complex motivations, and empathy that grabs the viewer.

Our next film, on the 11th is the oldest, made directly after the handover. Again we meet youth and petty crime, but this time a quite different location and style.  Set in the high density poor subsidised housing projects it was shot in true guerrilla style, using spare pieces of film from other movies, with five crew members loaning money for the equipment and only two months of production. This low budget film portrays, realistically, the lives of delinquents and small time triad members. The film is soon swamped in a permeating nihilism which induces it with a punk essence that seems to fit its visual style to perfection. It is sometimes regarded as a response to the 1997 Hong Kong handover, the directer feels that it can also be viewed as a character-driven drama that reflects the lifestyle of many young Hong Kong people at the time.

We will also watch a documentary on another evening. This follows the controversial radical localist Edward Leung Tin-kei activist and politician, starting with his campaign to win a seat on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council. Things didn’t go according to the script when Leung was barred from the election because of his advocacy of independence. This intimate portrayal continues with the director trailing him, camera in hand, going as far as Boston in the United States when he left Hong Kong for a respite from the furore over localism, the HK right-wing movement heavily associated with recent protests. Surely a film that will spark some discussion over the different political threads of the recent protests, we can recommend https://lausan.hk/ if you want to do a bit of reading.

The fourth film we’ll watch was made almost five years ago. Five directors were asked to make a film about how Hong Kong would be in 2025. Independent filmmaking with this degree of inflamatory content is unheard of in Hong Kong, and it did cause quite a stir particularly among the more political conscious and restless members of Hong Kong society, due to the often disturbing visions that its makers have offered up.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Rewers (Borys Lankosz, 2009)

Sunday September 29th 2019, Reverse / Rewers (Borys Lankosz, 2009). 90 minutes, in Polsih with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, Film starts at 20:30

Darkly satirical comedy, it took 60 years for Poles to be able to laugh about Stalin. This film was a cult hit in Poland. A new wave of young directors is shaking up the sometimes staid and moralistic universe of Polish cinema.
This film is set in Warsaw in the 1950s, with a few flash-forwards to present-day Warsaw. The main character is Sabina, a quiet, shy woman who has just turned thirty, and lives with her mother and ailing grandmother. Sabina lacks a man in her life, and her mother tries hard to find a husband for her. The grandmother, an eccentric lady with a sharp tongue from whom no secret can be concealed, also gets involved. Successive admirers arrive at their small, but tasteful apartment in an antebellum house, but Sabina shows no interest in any of them.
One night, appearing out of nowhere, comes the charming, intelligent, and good-looking Bronislaw. Bronislaw is apparently interested in Sabina, and courts her, and Sabina falls hopelessly in love with him. But when Bronislaw reveals that he is a member of the secret police, and wants Sabina to spy on her boss at the state-run publishing house, things go from bad to worse to macabre. Sabina, her mother and her grandmother are fortunately up to the challenge, revealing a darker side to their otherwise affable personalities.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

7 Cajas (Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schémbori, 2012)

Sunday September 22nd 2019, 7 Cajas (Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schémbori, 2012) 110 minutes, in Spanish with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, Film starts at 20:30

It’s Friday night in Asunción, Paraguay. Víctor, a 17-year-old wheelbarrow delivery boy, dreams of becoming famous and covets a fancy cellular phone in the infamous Mercado 4. He’s offered a chance to deliver seven boxes with unknown contents in exchange for a $100 bill. But what sounds like an easy job soon gets complicated. Something in the boxes is highly coveted and Víctor and his pursuers quickly find themselves caught up in a crime they know nothing about.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Stardust (Michael Apted, 1974)

Sunday September 8th 2019, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Stardust (Michael Apted, 1974), 111 minutes. In English (no subtitles). Doors open at 20:00, Film starts at 20:30

British heartthrob David Essex (Rock On) stars in this epic tale about Jim Maclaine, a working-class lad who starts a band called The Stray Cats. This flick covers his rise to stardom and his hard fall into disillusionment… he is a sort of Ziggy Stardust character who climbs to the top and tumbles over the other side. The director Michael Apted would later knock out a Bond film (The World is not Enough), but back in the 70s scepticism of such spectacular movies was still extremely strong, so this is a radically different kind of flick. The cast alone merits it as being a crucial movie about the rock industry – we have Adam Faith (a huge rock star in England during the 60s) Welsh pub rocker Dave Edmunds and the eccentric drummer of The Who – Keith Moon. What this film does best is show how cold-blooded the music industry really is… how it’s just a machine to generate cash. It sells cheap sentiments and infectious rhythms… but it is all a design, a scheme, a facade. Lurking in the narrative are influences of other rock stars who went to ruin… like Marc Bolan, the Beatles, Syd Barrett, Scott Walker. Years afterwards this scenario would be reflected in the lives of Ian Curtis, Nick Drake, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, etc.

Stardust was pretty huge when it came out, but since the 1970s it has bitten the dust and been forgotten. There is a reason for that dissapearance – in between the growing consciousness of the 1960s and 70s, and the present cynicism of today there were several decades that dismissed the critical argument of this film, flung aside everything that had been gained in the 60s, and went full-throttle into the American moneymaking dream. In my view, the entire western world lost three decades going down that wrong path. And of course, part of the American dream is the rock’n’roll dream, which is fortunately finally wearing pretty thin these days. The depiction of the music business as an industry run by heartless technicians, greedy managers and nasty record companies rings pretty true these days as revelations about Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein (and ‘Top of the Pops’ Jimmy Savile in the UK) come to the surface. These sleazy types are not the exceptions, they are the rule in high finance and entertainment. This flick stands alongside a few other movies made around the same time – Peter Watkin’s Privilege (1967) and Richard Loncraine’s Slade in Flame (1975) also show the dark side of the pleasure dome. The message of this movie isn’t cynically saying life is worthless, but rather it is a warning: we should choose for life over money. Also starring Larry Hagman.

Thematically at least, this is the most important screening anywhere in Holland this month…
“How much does God mean to you?”
“Somewhere between two and three million dollars, after tax.”
Another forgotten classic…

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net