Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: The Working Class Goes to Heaven (Elio Petri, 1971)

Sunday 4 november 2018, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema. Doors open at 20:00, Film starts 20:30.

(La classe operaia va in paradiso)
Directed by Elio Petri
111 minutes
In Italian with English subtitles

This long-forgotten flick by cult Italian director Elio Petri (Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion, The 10th Victim) received top honors at Cannes in 1972. It’s a gut-level, sex-and-politics view of industrial capitalism focusing on a factory worker (Gian Maria Volonté) caught up in the wheels of assembly-line production and mass consumption. It’s the sexual fantasies that he has which fuels Lulu’s productivity for the company, but his perspective on work and life undergo a radical transformation when he looses his finger in a factory accident and is temporarily laid off. Along with his finger he also loses himself – everything he had believed in and dedicated his life to. That’s the set-up of this film, and I won’t go into how everything unfolds afterwards. The alternative title is Lulu the Tool (there was a time when workers actually used tools; then there came a time when workers became tools).

Here we clearly see the impact of the May ’68 upheavals… and although all of this may sound dry and grim, in the hands of a superb director like Petri, an absurdist sense of black humour bursts to the surface from time to time. Petri chooses his aesthetics, both visually and musically, to reflect the working conditions found in factories, which ends up being both surreal and aggressive. The cinema vérité camerawork is by Luigi Kuvellier, production design is by the future Academy Awards winner Dante Ferretti, and it is graced with a darkly dissonant music score by the legendary Ennio Morricone. Besides starring Gian Maria Volonté, this hard-hitting gem also features Mariangela Melato.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: L’été (Marcel Hanoun, 1968) + Radio Voorwaarts (Mateo Vega, 2018)

Sunday 28 October 2018, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema. Doors open at 20:00, programme starts at 20:30. Radio Voorwaarts (local short) and L’été (Summer)

RADIO VOORWAARTS – 2018 (Radio Forwards) Directed by Mateo Vega. 20 minutes. In Dutch with English subtitles
Threatened with eviction, the inhabitants of an alternative community – artists, squatters, idealists and ravers – give one last party to simultaneously mourn and celebrate the end of their beloved space. Director Mateo Vega will be present at this screening to answer questions. Trailer:

MAI ’68 L’ETE – 1968. Directed by Marcel Hanoun, 63 minutes. In French with English subtitles
Directly after the spring of may ’68, when all the dreams of a new generation came to the surface but were beaten down, Tunisian-born director Marcel Hanoun and actress Graziella Buci left Paris and went to the countryside to lick their wounds and reflect on what had been lost. In a stone house in Normandy a woman lives in seclusion, looking at photographs of the Mai’68 uprising. She walks in the countryside, attempting to reconcile what has happened. She listens to the radio, and hears a broadcast about the invasion of Soviet tanks into Czechoslovakia. That feels like the final nail in the coffin. She quotes a poet “there is no longer any fire in the sky.”

This movie is certainly political, but in a way that you have probably never experienced before…. because here the discourse is poetic, rather than ranting. The film is a mood piece, and a time capsule, with a deep melancholic tone.

“Ceux qui font des révolutions à moitié n’ont fait que se creuser un tombeau.”

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Joe (John G. Avildsen, 1970)

Sunday 30 September 2018, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Joe (1970). Directed by John G. Avildsen. 102 minutes. In English with English subtitles. Doors open at 8pm, film starts at 8:30pm.

I screened this wild flick three years ago, as I saw a certain tendency building in the United States. Since then things have exploded… so let’s just take another look at this motherfucker in relation to current events.

This is vintage 1970’s filmmaking – swerving into unexpected areas and taking on topics that today’s formula-ridden cinema wouldn’t even imagine. Set in the swinging 60s and filled to the hilt with exploitation-like situations, this unusual film centers on corporate executive Bill Compton (Dennis Patrick) whose young daughter Melissa has overdosed on drugs. One night in a bar Bill meets a guy named Joe, an all American, anti-hippie, anti-commie, gun lovin, working class hard-head. The bizarre friendship that develops plummets the movie into the depths of the American nightmare… in a way that is totally fitting today’s political climate.

Directed by John G. Avildsen (Rocky) and starring Peter Boyle and Susan Sarandon in her film debut. Interestingly, this was the first film that Lloyd Kaufman (Troma films) ever worked on… he was the assistant director. The music is soulful and performed by Bobby Scott (who wrote He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother). Without going into the subject of the movie too much, I should say that it is something even more relevant today than when it was made… one could even say it was prophetic. A great counter-balance to the commercial nonsense that we are offered in the cinemas today, much of which – directly or indirectly – sensationalize and glamorize violence.

This will be a high-definition screening.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Latest from the DaDa-ER

Sunday August 5th 2018, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Latest from the DaDa-ER (Letztes aus der DaDaeR). Directed by Jörg Foth, 1990, 86 minutes. In German with English subtitles. Door opens at 20:30, film and presentation from 21:00.

After the Berlin wall fell the East-German film scene went haywire, since there was suddenly a small window of time that meant it was no longer under the authority of the previous GDR government, and as of yet were not forced to become commercial by the capitalist system. In this small period they knocked out some truly wild and exceptional off-beat cries of rebellion. This film is a marvelous example. It couldn’t have been made a year earlier when the GDR was still strong, and it wouldn’t have been made a year later when the DEFA studio was bought by a French conglomerate.

What we have here is a avant-garde picaresque story of two East-German clowns rummaging through the ruins of the GDR, and although the clowns seem relieved that everything is loosening up, at the same time everything is falling apart and they also show no interest in the glamor and spectacle of the ‘other’ half of Germany. This film was made at a very acute point in time. The main forces behind this freewheeling creation were two visionary performance artists – Steffen Mensching and Hans-Eckardt Wenzel. The are both the writers and the main actors in this surreal flick about two clowns trying to survive the last days of East Germany. Their journey is almost like Dante’s inferno, as they are let out of prison, and they venture through garbage dumps and down rivers into unbelievable situations. Each stage of their quest is set up like a cabaret piece, complete with songs they sing that describe their plight. They find themselves in an almost no-man’s land, and their observations are critical of both East and West Germany.

The title of the movie is a play of words merging of the word ‘Dada’ and the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik). This highly unique flick also surprisingly features Rainer Werner Fassbinder regular Irm Hermann in a cameo role. Another outrageously rare screening of totally forgotten cinema.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: The Punk Singer

Sunday 15 July 2018, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema. Doors open at 20.30. Intro and film start at 9 pm. THE PUNK SINGER, 2013, directed by Sini Anderson, 81 minutes. In English.

This documentary follows the story of an iconic female singer – Kathleen Hanna of the ‘riot grrrl’ band Bikini Kill (an acknowledged influence on Kurt Cobain) and later Le Tigre. In an indie-punk/grunge rock scene totally dominated and controlled by masculinity, Kathleen Hanna and her band shattered the glass ceiling and brought something necessary to the table. The film focuses on her fierce wit, her full-throttle spirit, her humor, her spoken-word poetry, her controversial activism – and in the end it also reveals why she suddenly went silent and totally dropped out of the scene without a warning in 2005. In the end it’s an intimate portrait on so many levels.

Besides the life of Kathleen Hanna, this documentary is also a fascinating look at the explosive riot grrl movement… the sounds, lyrics, the zines, and manifestos. There are also scattered interviews throughout the journey with relevant voices like Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth), Carrie Brownstein and even Joan Jett. The Punk Singer is engaging, insightful, thrilling, hilarious, sad and poignant. Kathleen Hanna has been described as a ‘cultural lightning rod’, signaling a new voice for women… and here her voice is interwoven with high-voltage performance footage, creating a wonderful film about perseverance and resilience. For anyone interested in feminist art, music or life in general.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Solo (Jean-Pierre Mocky, 1970)

Sunday 10 June 2018, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema.
SOLO, 1970 Directed by Jean-Pierre Mocky 83 minutes. In French with English subtitles.
Doors open at 20:00. Intro starts at 20:30

Once the revolution of May ’68 collapsed, there were few brave enough to discuss what had happened. Some directors like Godard continued, but in a more underground way. This flick was one of the few that managed to fuse some of the ideas of May with the predominant movie industry. Most films dealing with this taboo subject were totally marginalized, but this one slipped through the door.

This isn’t only directed by the notorious Jean-Pierre Mocky but he also stars in it – and he comes off a bit like a less cynical version of Alain Delon. This flick was connected to what was really happening in France during the post-68 crisis, but stylistically it was ahead of its time. Italian ‘police films’ would explode in the mid-70s, but this film already has the poise and determination of those movies in tact. Graced with a moody soundtrack the story focuses on a diamond smuggler who cares nothing for the political upheaval of ’68, but when his revolutionary brother is being chased by the cops, he is forced to help his brother get away. By doing so, he becomes a target himself. This alarming movie shows how the more radical elements of the May events would be hunted down afterwards.

An amazing little flick, wonderfully directed. In its own way it’s a masterpiece, but one that was never screened outside France. In other words, this is another outrageously rare screening.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: The Year 01 (1969)

Sunday 20 May 2018, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema.
L’AN 01 1969 MAY 68 Directed by Jacques Doillon, Gébé, Alain Resnais and Jean Rouch. 90 minutes. In French with English subtitles.
Doors open at 20:00. Intro starts at 20:30

This is a collective film, where each of the filmmakers worked separately, but all of them were influenced by a single source—a utopian comic strip devised by the legendary cartoonist Gébé. It’s a farce with a free-wheeling avant-garde approach to cinema, embracing a ludic spirit of subversion. Although this satire is loaded with humour, it is also very ‘engaged’ and can be compared to the experimental ciné-tract short movies that were shot on the barricades. It is unstructured in its form, and changes style as it drifts along, touching on issues connected to ’68—the ecology, rejection of authority, challenges to growth and productivity, anti-war, free love, pollution, communal living, rejection of private property and demolishing the idea of forced labor.

This flick is a fable, and one that proposes with gleeful abandonment the following utopian scenario: all of a sudden, all the ordinary people throughout the world stopped working and money becomes worthless. Once everything has come to a grinding halt, we could bring back—reluctantly—only the services and products we really need. What follows is a wide-ranging series of whimsical sketches, a bit like a Monty Python narrative, of how different people react to such a situation. For example, the contribution of anthropologist Jean Rouch is documentary-like and harpoons the domination of northern countries over the south, and the so-called first world over the third world—something that is still alive and kicking today.

The tone is festive and all of the passages are marked with the cutting-edged humour of Gébé. Among the cast of actors are illustrators Georges Wolinski and Jean Cabut, who were both were killed in the January 7th, 2015 terrorist attack on the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Also on hand are several actors that would only later become well-known… Gérard Depardieu, Patrick Dewaere and Miou-Miou.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Far from Vietnam (1967)

Sunday 15 April 2018, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema.
Doors open at 20:00. Intro starts at 20:30 LOIN DU VIETNAM 1967 (Far from Vietnam) Directed by Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Agnès Varda, Jean-Luc Godard. 120 minutes. In French with English subtitles.

In the late 60s there was a movement to make films collectively as a group. This idea took several forms, and in this one Chris Marker asked six directors to all make their own short film based on the anti-war movement against America’s tragic destruction of Vietnam. I was talking to someone recently who was saying they felt things were getting better because the internet is informing people better than before. Really? Then where the hell is the anti-war movement today?

This flick shoots us back to the 60s, when people were fighting for what they believed in. The demonstrations and solidarity created a constant charge of moral electricity, and it ricocheted through an entire generation. This new wave was both political and cultural. All seven directors who contributed to this movie have their own take… some are more fictional, others like Joris Ivens, are more documentary. Today the result is considered by many to be the best document of those foundation-rocking times. But back in the 60s, the reaction to this film was volatile… when the finished movie was first shown in Paris, it resulted in right-wingers vandalizing theaters and slashing seats. This was a bold project headed by Chris Marker, giving the public a vastly different picture of what was happening in Vietnam than the “official story” that was being reported by the mass media.

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