Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Who’s Singin’ Over There? (Slobodan Sijan, 1980)

Sunday 16 july 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: WHO’S SINGIN’ OVER THERE? * 1980 * (Ko to Tamo Peva) * Directed by Slobodan Sijan * 83 minutes * In Serbo-Croatian with English subtitles * Doors open at 20:30, intro & film start at 21:00.

This is as close to a perfect movie as you’re ever going to see. Ko to tamo peva has it all – historical significance, a great story that keeps you on the move from one event to the next, fabulous social commentary, a string of bittersweet comic moments, and to top it off, a fiery Balkan soundtrack. What more could you possibly want?

The story is simple…in an old, broken down bus en route to Belgrade, a diverse group of passengers have to put up with each other as the bus slowly makes its way through the rough country roads. Within the confines of this thin narrative, the director Slobodan Sijan paints a picture of a society torn by one war (World War I) and bracing itself for another, as the shadow of World War II looms over the countryside. Two of the passengers are Gypsy musicians who every once in a while will sing of their miserable life, and they also foresee the tragedy to come. Their songs are magical and work like a Greek reflecting upon the events as they are taking place.

Years later, another director, Emir Kusturica (Arizona Dream, Black Cat White cat) would make a big hit internationally with the wild characters and vivid story lines that he created in his films….but his sense of humor and style didn’t spark out of nowhere. He drew from a specific culture that was developing in the 70s and 80s in ex-Yugoslavia. Ko to tamo peva is the finest gem from that period. Tragically, it was never screened that much outside its home country, although it’s considered by many to be the best Yugoslavian movie ever made. And that might even be an understatement. In fact, the film is pure magic.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Hola, ¿estás sola? (Iciar Bollain, 1995)

Sunday 11 june 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Hola, ¿estás sola? (Hi, Are You Alone?) * 1995 * by Iciar Bollain * 92 minutes * In Spanish with (special) English subtitles. doors open at 20:30, intro & film start at 21:00.

Behind this daft film title lurks an extremely rare gem from Spain’s speckly tradition of social realism. Except that, in this incarnation, it has left the arid countryside with a backpack or two in its freshest everyday summer top.

Hola tells the story of two young women who would much later be referred to as the ni-ni generation: ni estudia ni trabaja, i.e. neither working nor studying. Suddenly finding themselves homeless, they pack their bags and head southward to Big-Hotel-land dragging their smelly feet over asphalt and traintracks. Their intellectual baggage is so light they don’t even have their words to describe the quest they’re embarking on. But below this apparent poverty of ideas lies a deep humanity and a clear sense that adventures and ‘personal growth’ are pointless unless they’re a shared experience.

This little early film by Iciar Bollaín features some of the most delicious lines of dialogue she has ever written, in tandem here with Julio Medem, who by 1995 had made a name for himself with films like Vacas and The Red Squirrel. It features an astonishing Candela Peña. Already in this debut role, she let her enormous heart not only shine bright, but also make space for an arguably unworthy co-star: Silke, a pretty face who was being pushed by the film industry to be Spain’s one and only grunge star. Kind of like a Kurt Cobain, but for tampon commercials. Together with a few supporting male characters, these two girls made waves in the summer of 1995. And then they were forgotten, pretty much forever.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Interrogation (Ryszard Bugajski, 1989)

Sunday 14 may 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Interrogation * 1989 * Directed by Ryszard Bugajski * 118 min * in Polish with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, intro & film start at 20:30.


Considered to be one of the most harrowing movies to come out of Poland in the last century, but also one of the best. Set in 1951, it is about a woman who goes out drinking with some friends, and gets drunk to the point where she passes out. She wakes up in a prison, and she has no idea why. She is endlessly interrogated, threatened and tortured, and accused of being part of a conspiracy with a Russian friend of hers. She is being forced to answer intimate questions about her sexuality and previous lovers, and also they attempt to force her to sign a confession of things she never did.

Actress Krystyna Janda gives a fierce performance as the main character Tonia. She won the best actress award at Cannes in 1982, but the film would not be released in Poland itself until seven years later because it was banned. Director Ryszard Bugajski only was able to make a handful of films, but they were ruthless and hardhitting. I recently screened a movie he later made in Canada called Clearcut about the treatment of the indigenous native people there, and it was breathtaking. Bugajski was always taking shots at those in power – left or right, communist or capitalist, and took sides with the people trampled by those systems. In a way it is a political drama, but it can also be seen as a different kind of horror movie.

Dramatically hard-hitting, fierce, it’s an experience you won’t forget, and something that many people experience around the world, behind closed doors.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: La comunidad (Álex de la Iglesia, 2000)

Sunday 9 april 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: La comunidad * 2000 * (Common Wealth) * Directed by by Álex de la Iglesia * 110 minutes * In Spanish with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, intro & film start at 20:30.

After the dictator Franco died in the mid-70s, Spain became a democracy and people celebrated. But catchwords like ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ can be tricky, and are often just a feel-good ruse for capitalism. In his own special way, Spain’s enfant terrible film director Álex de la Iglesia turns to Alfred Hitchcock to expose the darker aspects of the new Spain.

The premise of this black comedy is dead simple… when a middle-aged real estate agent (Carmen Maura) is sent to sell a Madrid apartment, she accidentally discovers a small fortune (300 million pesetas) a dead neighbor had stashed away. She secretly takes the money, and thinks she has hit a gold mine. This already shows a kind of Hitchcockian twist, revealing the murderous greed under the surface of bourgeois everyday life. But when it turns out the neighbors also had their eyes on the cash and were just waiting for the old man to croak, things really go nuts, turning the tale into a brutal farce of secret plots, dirty deals and backstabbing.

Director Alex De Iglesia has a reputation for conjuring up his own brand of madness, cranking his movies so tight they become over-the-top absurd. This approach goes against the grain of most flicks these days that wallow in a cesspool of graphic violence. When De Iglesia uses violence there is always an aspect of flamboyant panache that saves it from becoming too serious. In the end this is a punchy black humored critique of neo-liberal capitalism, bordering on a horror film. Winner of 3 Goya awards, including one for the lead actress Carmen Maura.

This will be a high-definition screening.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Billy Liar (John Schlesinger, 1963)

Sunday 12 February 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Billy Liar * 1963 * directed by John Schlesinger * 98 minutes * In English with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, intro & film start at 20:30.

Based on a novel by Keith Waterhouse, this dark comedy is fundamentally about a young bloke who doesn’t want to give up his dreams, causing mayhem in the Manchester community where he lives. The entire film is a breath of fresh air, since its concept hasn’t been repeated a thousand times in Hollywood. This film is too quirky, too satirical, and its message too relevant. It follows the path of a young desk clerk called Billy Fischer who lies endlessly, and therefore throws chaos into the real world. Billy has a wild imagination, and his fantasies blur his sense of reality. But that also makes sense…. it’s a natural defense against a world that is way too boring, and that tries to kill him spiritually.

This is an early work directed by John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy), made in England during the first half of the 60s. It stars an energetic Tom Courtenay and a very young Julie Christie. Its fluid style is influenced by the French New Wave, and it also taps into the rebellious spirit of that movement. It has a sense of irony and black humor that kicks back against the conservative landscape of post-war England, just on the edge of being transformed into the swinging sixties. In a world like today when everything is so heavily templated, it’s a wonder to see a movie like this unfold, where the sharpness of the dialogue matches perfectly the playful wit of the visuals. In a way it has a punky attitude that was picked up later in the 80s by the indie Manchester band The Smiths… who even lifted sentences from this film and turned them into song lyrics.

This will be a high-definition screening.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Zabriskie Point (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1970)

Sunday 12 February 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Zabriskie Point * 1970 * Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni * 107 minutes * In English. Doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30.

An epic portrait of late-sixties America as seen through the lives of two of its children: anthropology student Daria (who’s helping a property developer build a village in the Los Angeles desert) and dropout Mark (who’s wanted by the authorities because he is suspected of killing a policeman during a student riot). They meet and end up on a journey to the end of the American dream.

This film got a lot of critical flack when it came out, but many now consider it a cult classic. But then again most of the negative reviews for this movie came from Americans, and not Europeans. Most people I talked to about it in America thought it was shit. I guess that’s natural, since the entire movie goes against the grain of the American way of life. But if you talk to a guy in a shop in Brussels about it, he says “wow, it’s such a beeeaauutiful movie!” And indeed the ending is nothing short of monumental, a poetic ballet of destruction unmatched anywhere else in cinema history. It’s a love it or hate it kind of film for sure, but those who have seen it have never forgotten it and it has stayed alive in the hearts of film lovers across the world…. it’s visually stunning. It’s a film that didn’t play according to the rules, and today it is an amazing postcard from a bygone era, ending with one of the most dazzling climaxes in cinema history.

WARNING: If you ever were going to watch this film on your goddamn laptop or flat screen the film wouldn’t make any sense. This film is a moving painting designed to be shown in a theatre where images can dominate the story! You have to soak in these images. With music by Pink Floyd and other 60s counter-culture icons that helps to psych-out the desert landscape.

P.S. We will be screening the ultra-rare version with the original soundmix, that includes in a Pink Floyd psychedelic burst at the very end (instead of a Roy Orbison love song).

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley, 1992)

Sunday 15 January 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Glengarry Glen Ross * by James Foley, script by David Mamet * 1992 * 100 minutes * In English with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30.

What is important about this flick isn’t so much the director, but its provocative scriptwriter David Mamet (Wag the Dog). The craft of his writing is so powerful it makes the director unimportant, and no matter what theme he takes on, he always elevates it to another level. His punchy razor-sharp dialogue is so unique there is even a term to describe it – ‘Mametspeak’.
In this one he throws us into the real estate world, a place almost as creepy as the banking sector, and it shows how once things start to go wrong, the inherent greed and viciousness of the employees turns inward as they start tearing themselves to shreds. For many, if you want to understand how the guts of big business operates, this is the best film to watch.
During the pandemic we were told to stay at home and chill, but others were more busy. Ruthless speculators like the American investment corporation Blackrock were busy as hell acquiring more spaces in this city so they could leave them empty and eventually jack up the rental prices for a huge profit in the future. When squatters tried occupying one of those empty Blackrock buildings, they were immediately dragged out by the police. Welcome to the dark world of high-finance, where profits matter more than human lives.
And what is just as amazing as the script is the crazy cast cobbled together to speak the dialogue – Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin and old-schooler Jack Lemmon. We’re not a great fans of that genre of films where there are zero women roles of any importance. Still, for the energy in this film it was important to keep the testosterone levels as disfunctionally high as possible.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: finally the legendary Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema (René Viénet, 1973)

Sunday 11 December 2022, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: finally the legendary Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema (René Viénet, 1973)* 90 minutes * In French with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30.

This is a movie we wanted to screen for ages – after all, we even named this cinema-night after it. But all of the available copies were so terrible… muddy vhs tape transfers that were virtually unwatchable and took all the joy out of the experience. But now it has finally been restored in its full color glory.

Back in the mid-60s in France there was a group of post-artists that called themselves Situationists. One thing they observed was how even the most radical ideas can be transformed into harmless commercial products by the power of modern marketing. But then they thought – why not reverse the process? Why can’t we take some banal commercial products and turn them into something subversive, alive and meaningful again?

A great example of the wild, sly humor of May 68 can be seen in this delirious flick. The situationist collaborator René Viénet took a 1972 Hong Kong martial arts film called Crush, and replaced the entire soundtrack with his own narration and dialogue. The new dubbed soundtrack he added changes everything, turning the kung-fu film into a politically-charged struggle about gender equality, the alienation of consumer society, the Paris Commune and post-Marxist political theory. And it’s all done with a razor-sharp sense of humor, because joy was part of their ammunition. The new script is witty and snappy. At one point one of the characters asks “What the hell was the original film about anyway?”

To do the new voices on the soundtrack René Viénet brought in some members of the satirical Café de la Gare Theatre group, including the legendary Patrick Dewaere. The finished film is a riot, but one with a message!

This will be a high-definition screening.

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