Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in... See full summary »
Some time in the future, East and West have stopped maintaining standing armies and nuclear weapons. Instead, to settle their differences they pit different teams of crack combat specialists against each other.
Made with a cast of 192 non-professional actors, Evening Land continues to explore the form of fictional documentary intervening polemically into a period of intense debates about the media... See full summary »
Kai Schøning Andersen,
In this war drama blurring the lines between documentary and fiction, the working class and the bourgeoisie of 19th century Paris are interviewed and covered on television, before and during a tragic workers' class revolt.
Eliane Annie Adalto,
"Punishment Park" is a pseudo-documentary purporting to be a film crews's news coverage of the team of soldiers escorting a group of hippies, draft dodgers, and anti-establishment types ... See full summary »
In the year 1999, totalitarianism prevails with the U.S.S.R. and U.S.A. colluding to govern the world by strict rules. Chaos erupts on the surface but state employees live safely ... See full summary »
Karl Lennart Sandquist,
a 274-minute documentary portrait of the life of playwright August Strindberg. The topic of the movie is inextricable from its method of production: for two years, beginning in 1992, Watkins created the film in a communal collaboration.
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Despite The Conflated Politics A Memorable Amateur Film
Say what you like about Peter Watkins but you can never accuse his work of being uninteresting . This early piece is of am almost forgotten chapter of post war European history that of The Hungarian uprising against Soviet rule in 1956 . Now this seems like a strange choice of subject matter for Watkins since his anti-war politics are very well known but this alone should intrigue a potential audience . Doubly so since it's " an amateur production " .where with the exception of Watkins himself no one involved in the production were professional film makers .This extends to the cast themselves and the film was shot in Kent
According to Watkins official website he was influenced by Truffaut's Les Quatre Cents Coups and not as one might expect the Italian Neo Realists . One can't help thinking that despite not mentioning him Watkins might very well have been influenced by the great Andrzej Wajda and these Hungarian revolutionaries mirror those of the Warsaw uprising in KANAL . You can almost hear " These tragic heroes . Watch them in their last remaining hours of their lives " and the audience knows who side to take . These Hungarians are freedom fighters oppressed by Soviet rule so it doesn't really matter if they execute captured policemen because all's fair in love and war . Strange then that the film ends with the narration that:
" "There has to be a right and wrong in any human conflict. This most tragic of revolutions can be no exception. But in any conflict between two major creeds, one of which you believe in, there has to be a final taking of sides. And if those who happened to believe - as these Hungarian freedom fighters believed - had also taken a strong moral stand on their behalf at a time when it most mattered, then it is more than likely that more than 20,000 of these people need not have given their lives or their liberty for this belief."
Sorry but I don't understand the point being made here ? Putting it in to historical perspective at the same time The Hungarian Uprising happened Britain , France and Israel were involved in invading Egypt to gain control of the Suez Canal and the eyes of the World were on this intervention rather than in Eastern Europe . America did all it could in ending that crisis by severe political and diplomatic coercion against these three nations . It couldn't use that same coercion against the Soviet Union because the USSR was a superpower with no dependency on America . The only option would have been military intervention on Hungary's behalf and that would have started World War Three and considering Watkins most famous work is the Oscar winning THE WAR GAME I doubt if that's what he's advocating so the political message seems slightly confused and seems to be having a dig at the Western democracies rather than where the fault lies - Stalinist socialism
That said for an amateur film it's a quantum step forward from Watkins previous short film DIARY OF AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER . Truth be told it's also superior from a directorial view point as some of his later work that relies far too heavily on close up . Here Watkins employs a good mix of medium and long shots too and you'd never believe that it was shot in the English Home counties . There is a slight annoyance that on screen movement seems slightly exaggerated but again you have to remember this is amateur film making which is very effective and poignant
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