Five short stories with contemporary settings. In New York, people are indifferent to derelicts sleeping on sidewalks, to a woman's assault in front of an apartment building, and to a ... See full summary »
Five short stories with contemporary settings. In New York, people are indifferent to derelicts sleeping on sidewalks, to a woman's assault in front of an apartment building, and to a couple injured in a car crash. A man, stripped of his identity, dies in bed with actors expressing his agony. A cheerful, innocent young man walking a city street in a time of war pays a price for this innocence. A couple talks about cinema while it watches another couple talk of love and truth on the eve of one character's return to Cuba. Striking students take over a university classroom; an argument follows about revolution or incremental change. Written by
interesting and spotty set of films...for art cinema fans only.
spotty collection of shorts by 5 directors. some are intriguing, others are just plain tedious. let's go through them in order.
the first short is a merging of two stories about women being violated. they're two different narratives that are combined to tell the story of a woman in danger and then being saved. the first one starts off with a man chasing a woman through the city with lots of shots of indifferent people in their appartments doing their everyday thing. there are several shots of appartment buildings that gives a sense that this women is utterly helpless, she is lost in a world of concrete buildings that don't give any heed to her cries for help. cut to a different story about a guy trying to rescue a woman from a car accident, which seems like it was from another american tv show.
the second one is one by bertolocchi (spelling?) and is the most tedious of them all. weird artsy dancing, montage poses and strange noises emitting from these dancers. at first you think this place is a weird therapy session cuz the dancers look like they were pulled off hte street and they sit in a circle chanting something. then they do these weird moves with lots of moaning and groaning and incoherent mutterings. i think the segment of this session is called agony, so i guess these people are doing artsy interpretations of agony. then an old man comes a long, who's dying and all these people start dancing around him. this one runs on for about 20 minutes...20 minutes i'll never get back.
the third one is one about a man running through the streets. various shots of streets with various political images superimposed on top. i don't know what a lot of these images are, but i deduct they're about the vietnam war and other various political wars around the world. then occasionally, this man has a huge flower in his hands and he starts to dance in the streets to this happy dated italien pop music. it's these scenes that put a smile on my face cuz it's just so rediculous and fun to watch.
the 4th short film is by Jean luc godard. i've seen many godard films and this is a very typical godard film. you've got a couple...the girl is jewish and the guy is arabic. he kisses her, carass her naked body and talks in a way only godard characters do...a mixture of musings on love and politics. intercut with another couple who talk about the film that they're in. saying things like...."what's that over there?" "why, i think it's the opening of a film..." "i think they're gonna break up..." "if they break up, the film will be over..." etc. i have a general understanding of what godard's references and what he is talking about, so it doesn't feel as tedious to me as it would to others. but still......those who don't have a bit of academic background in film...you'd most likely like to keep away from this.
the last film is one about a debate going on in a university as a group of marxist students interupt a class to debate about marxist ideology and general anarchy against the university system. these students want a marxist revolution and a overthrow of the general university system. the dean, proffessor and the students in the class call for reform from inside the system. and there goes on a debate between change within the system vs. overthrowing the system. this discussion actually captivated me, despite the fact that this is pretty dated politics. this film being released in 1969, this is obviously a depiction of the kinds of political debates between students and institutions around 1968. where university students basically rioted and demostrated for a fairer university system and rejected old institutions while embracing marxism. for those who have an interest in the political demostrations of 1968 in europe, this film documents this point in time pretty well. it's clear that the film maker is on the side of the marxist students with the final shot of the film.
so what can you say over all about this collection of short films? overall, it's mostly a political film, especially with the last three stories and the credits rolling with the sound of dull thuds of foam bats beating people symbolizing police brutality. i think this film has a very specific film audience...either young students in the late 1960s (this audience obviously no longer exists), people who have an interest in any of the directors here or people who are interested in the history of 1968 and want to see an artistic representation of it. to everyone else, you've been warned. it's a collection of artsy political films you'd probably wouldn't want to watch.
9 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?