Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Ogro (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1979)

Sunday 7 April 2024, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Ogro * 1979 * Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo * 111 minutes * In Italian with English subtitles * free screening * doors open at 8pm * intro & film start at 8.30

Directed by the legendary Gillo Pontecorvo (Battle of Algiers) this film focuses on the Basque struggle in the last years of the Franco dictatorship in Spain. As always with the films of Pontecorvo, the film methodically follows an oppressed community and their attempts to push back against power.

This film unfolds the background of a real life event that happened in 1973. A group of committed Basque ETA freedom-fighters decide to assassinate a fascist military leader named Luis Carrero Blanco, who was Franco’s strongest supporter. Director Gillo Pontecorvo is sympathetic to the Basque cause, and paints a vivid picture of their oppression. They are not seen as unreasonable bloodthirsty murderers, but as radical humanists.

Although it precisely documents the actual preparations that lead to the assassination, it also raises questions about how one achieves social change: by radical violence or by patient determination? For example, although it was an outright murder, many people felt that Blanco’s assassination led to the fall of the dictatorship in 1975. This movie was made less than five years after the actual event, and doesn’t take a firm position on either side, it just raises all these questions.

It stars the always wonderful Gian Maria Volonté, along with Ángela Molina (Buñuel’s This Obscure Object of Desire), and Eusebio Poncela (Almodóvar’s The Law of Desire)… and an original music score by Ennio Morricone.

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

Cinema Italia: The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)

Sunday 24 March 2024, The Battle of Algiers [La battaglia di Algeri] (1966) * Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo * 121 min * In Italian with English subtitles * doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30. After the film, please engage in sharing comments, ideas, and inspiration with the host(s) of the evening.

Known as one of the most important and influential films of all time, “The Battle of Algiers” is set and shot in Algeria’s capital. It shows the main events that marked the beginning of the Algerian War, which led to Algeria’s independence from France.

Through an intense and cruel fictional realism, almost simulating the style of a newsreel, Pontecorvo’s film confronts and interrogates the spectator about all the aspects and consequences of colonialism: control and exploitation of people and resources, violence and discrimination, insurgency and counterinsurgency, terrorism, military colonial control through torture and illegal executions.

How far would you push yourself for the self-determination of your people’s group? Driven by an excellent cast of non-professional actors, raw and powerful imagery and an incredible soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, “The Battle of Algiers” hasn’t aged a bit since its release in 1966, still depicting through cinema what’s still going on in some parts of the world.

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

Movie Night: The Battle of Algiers

Sunday February 24th 2013, Movie night: The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, Italy, Algeria, 1966, 121′). English subtitles. Door open at 20pm, film begins at 21:00.

After a humiliating retreat from Indo-Chino, France has no intention of releasing its grip on Algeria. After some civil unrest, the French authorities clamp down on the native Arab population. This leads to the creation of the FLN, the Algerian National Liberation Front, who decide that terrorist activity is the only way to achieve independence. Such acts of violence is countered by an even more violent response from the French. The situation soon escalates to a bloody war between the French government and the Algerian people. […Lees verder]