Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Air-doll (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2009)

Sunday 10 September 2023, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: AIR DOLL * (空気人形, Kūki Ningyō) * Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda * 2009 * 116 minutes * In Japanese with English subtitles * Doors open at 20:00, intro & film start at 20:30.

The premise of this flick is quite simple. A middle-aged man has a life-size sex doll he calls Nozomi at home that he makes love to every night. He doesn’t only have sex with Nozomi, he also dresses her up and has dinner with her. What can I say? People are lonely in this overcrowded modern world we live in, especially in big cities like Tokyo that are ironically packed with people. Seems like a contradiction, but is certainly true.

Then something unusual happens – one day the lifeless doll begins to come to life, as if she is suddenly filled with human feelings and a soul. Once this doll starts breathing and moving, she is as confused as anyone else about who she is. Since her owner is away at work, she goes out for a walk trying to understand the world around her, and the story unfolds from there.

As you approach the film, you must remember this is not an American film, which would take cheap shots with such a story and exploit it. Instead, this flick is weirdly humanist, with a sort of melancholic bent. It is Japanese director Kore-eda’s way of mapping out modern life, an attempt to help us see the world around us differently. Starring Korean actress Bae Doo-na as the titular air doll.

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

Lebanese movie night: The Ugly One (Eric Baudelaire, 2013)

Sunday 19 February 2023, Lebanese movie night: The Ugly One by Eric Baudelaire (and Adachi Masao) * 2013 * 100 minutes * In multiple languages * subtitles in English. Doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30
Set in the Beirut of the 2010s, this movie follows two fictional paths to arrive at an intimately personal documentary. Baudelaire’s characters, or rather his ensembles of characters, are people whose history is intimately entangled with revolutionary movements. In this film, with the help of Adachi Masao he sketches a kind of brotherhood between two countries with intense political histories: Japan and Lebanon. It’s an entanglement that might seem unlikely. But that only makes it more poetic, it doesn’t make it any less real.

The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images was in 2012 the first UK solo exhibition by French artist Eric Baudelaire whose work looks at the complexities of recounting the history of the Japanese Red Army (JRA), a radical group that emerged from the 1968 Tokyo student movement, settled in Beirut in the early 1970s, and engaged in sophisticated terrorist activities in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. As a filmmaker, Adachi devoted his life to images. During his years in Lebanon, he sought to advance his radical film practice by trading the camera for the rifle.

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

Black Cat Cine presents High and Low (Akira Kurosawa, 1963)

Sunday 11 november 2018, Black Cat Cine presents: High and Low (Akira Kurosawa, 1963). Door opens at 8:00, film starts at 8:30

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

Documentary: Children of the Revolution (2010)

children_of_the_revolutionSunday March 1st 2015. Documentary: Children of the Revolution (2010) by Shane O’Sullivan (Ireland, England, Germany, 2010, 92 minutes). In English. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm. Free admission.

Shane O’Sullivan’s documentary about Ulrike Meinhof and Fusako Shigenobu, leaders of the German Red Army Faction and the Japanese Red Army weaves their lives together through the testomy of their daughters authors and journalists Bettina Röhl and Mei Shigenobu. A portrait of late-60s radicalism told from an unusual perspective. With capitalism once more in crisis, they reflect on their mother’s actions as the film asks: what were they fighting for and what have we learned?

[…Lees verder]

Movie Night: Lady Snowblood

Lady_SnowbloodSunday October 19th 2014, Movie night: Lady Snowblood (1973). Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm.

Lady Snowblood is a Japanese Samurai film directed by Toshiya Fujita and starring Meiko Kaji. Lady Snowblood is based on the manga of the same name and it is also the film that heavily inspired Quentin Tarantino to write and create Kill Bill.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Doors open at 8pm, film begins at 9pm, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net

Movie Night: Spirited Away (2001)

Sunday February 23rd 2014, Movie Night: Eenhorn Filmavond presents Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001). Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm.

Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. With the narrative drive of a live-action feature and the imaginative leaps of East Asian manga, Japanimation B.O. phenom “Spirited Away” is an out-and-out charmer. Spirited Away is a story that both kids and adults can tune in to, a Niponese “Alice in Wonderland” with a totally convincing world of humans, ghosts, animals and other beings in which a 10-year-old girl spends a short period. […Lees verder]

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: ‘Pastoral: To Die in the Country’ (1974)

Sunday November 10th 2013, Movie night, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema by Jeffrey Babcock. ‘Pastoral: To Die in the Country’ (田園に死す. aka, Denen ni shisu ), 1974, directed by Shugi Terayama, 104 minutes, in Japanese with English subtitles. Door opens at 20:00, film begins at 21:00

Pastoral: To Die in the Country is another dazzling piece of surreal film-making from Shuji Terayama (*Throw away your Books*). Terayama was Japan’s infant-terrible of the turbulent sixties, an artist whose work is basically unknown here in the West. He was a photographer, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, and poet… and in his time his work incited scandal and outrage, censorship and banning. Today in Japan he is considered a visionary cult hero. He is one of the favorite directors of the music group STEREOLAB and they called their 1996 album after his short film Emperor Tomato Ketchup. […Lees verder]

Food & Filmavond, Carlos the Jackal

Zo./Su. 26 feb. 2012, 19:00, Filmavond, Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010, fr, 185′, english subtitles). Exceptionally, doors open at 19:00! Films starts at 19:15 pm. There will be soup and bread served during this long evening.

Terrorist? Revolutionary? Or just a cynic? This continent-hopping biopic of Carlos the Jackal suggests greed and ego won out over principle, writes Peter Bradshaw

The Pimpernel of Marxist-Leninist terrorism is back. For years, Carlos was the spectre haunting Europe, known to western newspaper readers by one single photo: a plump, bespectacled and smugly smirking headshot reproduced with such Warholian persistence that it became an icon of menace. His fugitive invisibility made literary theorists of many, entertaining the feverish notion that he did not exist, that “Carlos” was effectively a socio-cultural construct, a bogeyman invented by the media-political complex to sell papers and to justify the erosion of civil liberties. Carlos’s eventual capture and imprisonment in the 1990s, revealing him to be abjectly human, was a real letdown, as if Osama Bin Laden had been arrested working in a Carphone Warehouse in Watford.

French film-maker Olivier Assayas has now released for the big screen a concatenation of his sweeping TV miniseries about Carlos, starring Édgar Ramírez as the Venezuelan-born revolutionary who abandoned university studies in Moscow in 1970 and travelled straight to Beirut to join the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The film appears in two versions. The edited-highlights cut weighs in at a chunky two hours and 45 minutes. Or you can sit down to the whole thing: five-and-a-half hours, end to end. It is a measure of Assayas’s showmanship, flair and sheer narrative drive that this super-epic version is actually very watchable and more or less flies by. I’ve seen 80-minute films that felt longer.

As he affects the inevitable beret and cigar, Carlos looks a bit like the evil twin of Che Guevara, and in some ways Assayas’s movie is the evil twin of Steven Soderbergh’s two-part study, Che. Where Che appeared to be the romantic revolutionary leader, however, appearing at the head of a united force, Carlos seems an increasingly jaded terrorist, dedicated – in fine, Life-of-Brian style – to battling with, and undermining, the moderates of his own movement: a globe-trotting ideologue and sexual egotist. In Assayas’s film he appears not as a heroic force, but as the dismal mendicant of the Soviet Union, maintained in hideouts and weaponry by Moscow through its client state East Germany, and by Syria and Libya for whom it is convenient to retain the services of Carlos and his acolytes as a roving expeditionary force for mayhem. Finally the Berlin Wall comes down, taking Carlos’s career with it, and he appears a sleazy and seedy figure, washed up in Sudan where he improbably claims to be a Muslim, getting liposuction for his “love-handles” and apparently evincing not the smallest interest in the Palestinian people.

Assayas sees Carlos’s greatest moment as containing the seed of his downfall: his storming of the Opec convention in Vienna in 1975 during which he and his gang took hostages but failed to carry out the secret plan of killing some of them – most prominently Saudi Arabia’s Sheik Ahmed Yamani – a perceived failure of nerve that caused his expulsion from the PFLP. Here, Carlos popularised or even invented the aircraft hijack as the essential trope of 1970s terrorism: the theatrical gesture that doubles up as bargaining chip and getaway transportation. Carlos got a plane to fly to Algeria, whose government is shown to superintend the payment of $20m of ransom money from the Saudis for Yamani’s safety. A pro-Palestinian gesture turns into a mendacious blackmail spectacular, and at this moment Carlos becomes an intercontinental blowhard, whisking from safe-house to safe-house, existing in a network of untraceable money, and in a grey area between antisemitism and antizionism.

Little of the film is about Carlos’s super-inflated reputation in the media, though it might be interesting to make a movie about him in which he never appears on screen. Assayas simply flits alongside Carlos as he travels from Beirut to London, to Paris, to Damascus, to Tripoli, to Berlin, to Khartoum, angrily and tirelessly haranguing his comrades in various languages about their lack of courage, lack of obedience to his orders, and lack of tolerance about his need to have sex with other people. Ramírez’s performance as Carlos has fluency and swagger. There is little to show the inner man: although he has one bizarre monologue about his tender and sensual passion for weapons.

This is a film about the spectacle, or perhaps more specifically the secret spectacle, of a shadowy individual with a military flair for terrorism and a monkish vocation for revolution in its most rigidly abstract sense, which resulted in an existence that was not “stateless” exactly – Carlos’s privileges were granted by the super-state of Soviet communism – but nomadic, lonely, galvanised by the compulsive preparation for violent assault and the fear of arrest. And getting legal representation from Jacques Vergès (Nicolas Briançon) – the notoriously amoral fast-talker beloved of murderers and tyrants, and investigated in Barbet Schroeder’s documentary Terror’s Advocate – accelerates Carlos’s descent into cynicism.

Assayas’s Carlos is a television-drama-turned-movie that interestingly injects a boxset quality into its idea of epic. There are big establishing shots of each of the foreign cities where the latest episode occurs, but the drama itself, despite its multinational setting, is all intimate, domestic, steamy, almost soapy. It really does rattle along, and Ramírez is a very convincing Carlos: on the run like a bank robber, an ideologue with no ideas, left marooned when the tides of history turn against him.

Film night at Joe’s Garage, nice, warm and cozy cinema! Doors will exceptionally open at 19:00, film starts at 19:15, free entrance. You want to play a movie, let us know: joe [at] squat [dot] net