Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Blame it on Fidel! (Julie Gavras, 2006)

Sunday April 12th 2019, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Blame it on Fidel! (La faute à Fidel!) directed by Julie Gavras, 2006. 99 minutes. In French with English subtitles. Doors open at 20.00, Jeffrey’s intro and film start at 20.30

This film focuses on a little nine-year-old girl named Anne who has grown up in Paris in the 1960s. Her father is a lawyer and the family is doing fine. But in 1970 everything starts changing. Her uncle has gone to Spain to fight some politician called Franco (the dictator). Anne’s father also starts bringing in activists from Chile into their home, where strategies are debated. As the apartment fills up with people from all over the world, the atmosphere becomes tense and serious, and little Anne finds herself being taken care of by a host of people rather than just her mother and father. She is told that Mickey Mouse is a fascist, and her father decides to share all of his money with everyone, not just spend it on the family. Anne has lost her comfortable Parisian bourgeois life, and her radical parents try to explain the reasons to her, but she understands nothing of it…. which is understandable!

That is the premise of this film, and it is both funny and insightful to see how all this unfolds. As those who frequent my cinemas realize, France is the only country that allows women to make movies on a large scale. Here we have female director Julie Gavras, the daughter of Oscar winning Greek director Costa-Gavras, who made such legendary films as Z and Missing. Since he was a politically-charged filmmaker, one has to feel that director Julie Gavras is drawing on her own experiences as a child. So many films today are just bad copies of other movies. Not this one… this is a poignant, witty, and unique gem.

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

Movie Night: Hannah K. (Costa-Gavras, 1983)

Sunday 8 April 2018, Movie Night: Hannah K. (Costa-Gavras, 1983). 111 minutes. With English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film starts at 8:30pm.

Hanna K. is the story of Hanna Kaufman, a child of Holocaust survivors and an American-Jewish immigrant to Israel, who is a court-appointed lawyer assigned to defend a Palestinian, Salim Bakri, accused of terrorism and infiltration.

Pro-Israeli groups were concerned about the film’s sympathetic depiction of the Palestinian issue. An internal memorandum was circulated by a B’nai B’rith advising members about arguments can be made against the film. Hanna K. opened in several American cities and played for a short time to virtually universal negative reviews, and then was abruptly pulled from circulation by the American distributor of the film. Costa Gavras personally advertised the film in The New York Times at a cost of $50,000. Universal forbade him to use ads prepared for the film.
Edward Said said in a Village Voice review that “as a political as well as cinematic intervention, then Hanna K. is a statement of a great and I believe, lasting significance.”

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: Missing (Costa-Gavras, 1982)

Sunday 12th November 2017, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Missing. Doors open at 20.30. Intro + film start at 21.00. Missing – 1982 – Directed by Costa-Gavras. 122 minutes. In English.

They sure don’t make movies like this anymore. This was made in the day when bucking the system was still possible, and if you had some big name actors in your project you could make hard hitting flicks. This one stars Sissy Spacek (Carrie, Badlands) along with Jack Lemmon (Some Like it Hot) in one of his most important roles. It’s directed by the Greek filmmaker Costa-Gavras, and is based on the true story that happened in the 1970s. It follows the journey of a young American journalist who travels to Chile to cover a news story. While he is there, everything goes totally haywire, the country is thrown into turmoil, the government is overthrown and marshal law is declared. While the young boy is reporting the events, he suddenly goes missing. The movie mostly focuses on his wife and father who travel to Chile to try and find him back.

This is a thriller about having firm beliefs about the world, only to have them utterly shattered. Most of the film we spend with the father, a businessman who not only has to deal with a missing son, but also having his world view collapse as dark secrets are revealed. It’s devastating to follow him through a dark journey of dead ends – a maze of hospitals, morgues and police stations. The film is moody and suspenseful, and remains one of the director’s riveting masterpieces. The dreamy synthesizer music track was composed by Vangelis, and it’s considered to be one of his best. This is a movie that gives us some deep insights into history, and reflects a time when edgy movies could still be produced in Hollywood. The film has lost none of its power since it was made, and maybe has become even more relevant than before.

A highly-charged drama based on real events. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net