Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Poison

170423_poison_smSunday 23rd April 2017, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Poison (1991), directed by Todd Haynes. 86 minutes. In English. Doors open at 20.30. At 21.00, screening.

The feature debut movie of the now famous Todd Haynes (Safe, Carol, Velvet Goldmine). When Haynes made this project he was still an obscure filmmaker mostly known only in the gay community. But when an American Senator named Jessie Helms publicly attacked the film it made the headlines and the flick was suddenly catapulted into art house cinemas and even won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Poison was inspired by the transgressive writings of the French author Jean Genet, who was both a criminal and a poet. The narrative structure is quite experimental, reflecting the wildness in Haynes’ later biopic about Bob Dylan I’m not There. So instead of having a single storyline, it has three narrative paths… ‘Hero,’ ‘Horror’ and ‘Homo’, and each is depicted in a different style – color, black & white, and documentary. For example, ‘Horror’ is modelled after an old-fashioned sci-fi melodrama from the 50s, and is about a scientist who is able to distill the human sex-drive into a single fluid. When things go out of control it unleashes a sexual plague across mankind, a clear reference to the aids epidemic.

The imagery is dynamic and bold, the music score is great, and the end result is absolutely unique. But this is a film for people who want to explore, rather than have a comfortable viewing. For example, it doesn’t make it easy for the audience to know how to react to many scenes. It can shift from moments of intense beauty to visceral queasiness… almost to a dizzying degree. It can be both enchanting and provocative. This is a small indie gem that is almost forgotten today, but which still packs a punch after all these years. […Lees verder]

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: The Woman from Rose Hill

170326_la_femme_de_rose_hill_smSunday March 26th 2017, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

THE WOMAN FROM ROSE HILL 1989
(La femme de Rose Hill)
Directed by Alain Tanner

95 minutes
In French with English subtitles

The films of Swiss director Alain Tanner (La salamandre, Jonas will be 25…) are some of the most poignant and sharpest of the last century. Sadly his movies have been marginalized and trashed by our commercial film distribution industry.

Julie is a young woman from Rose Hill (Republic of Mauritius, an Island off the off the southeast coast of Africa). She moves to a little village in Switzerland, responding to a proposal of marriage by her pen-pal Marcel. But when Julie arrives, everything is wrong right from the start. Director Alain Tanner is excellent in showing the culture shock of this young black woman, confronted by the horror of Switzerland… cold, clinical, ordered, regulated, Calvinist, snow-covered, brutally practical and ultimately abstract.
In his films director Alain Tanner always focuses on outsiders, and here we see Julie as utterly dispossessed. Finally she meets Jean, a neighbor, and they have an affair, which leads to damning judgments from the local community. This is a tender movie, totally unknown, by a master filmmaker, dealing with issues of immigration and the responsibilities of Europe’s colonialist past. This will be an outrageously rare screening of this brilliant and haunting gem, that was effectively banned by commercial distributors. […Lees verder]

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)

170205_roma_citta_aperta_smSunday February 5th 2017, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

ROME, OPEN CITY. 1945
(Roma Città Aperta)
Directed by Roberto Rossellini
103 minutes
In Italian with English subtitles

Over the next months we will slowly take a look back at the brilliant early films of Roberto Rossellini, made when Europe was utterly ruined during WWII. When you watch these movies, you are watching two films at the same time… an incredible drama, and also a documentation of history shot in the middle of real-life.

The filming of Rossellini’s first neo-realist film, ROME, OPEN CITY was began when Italy was still occupied by the Germans. Made with almost no money, and shot in the streets of Rome guerrilla-style, this film depicts what the inhabitants of Italy were going though with a searing authenticity. Utter poverty, betrayal, humiliations, extraordinary renditions (I mean “kidnappings”) and enhanced interrogations (I mean “torture”) by the Gestapo. In this movie we get a heart-rending depiction of Europe torn to shreds by war.

The story of this movie (co-written with Federico Fellini) follows one of the leaders of the Resistance who is being hunted down by the Nazis. Shot on scavenged film stock with mostly non-professional actors, natural lighting, location shooting and little money… this is the kind of cinema that is only possible through sheer vision and passion. It was her performance in this film which would shoot actress Anna Magnani to international fame. Shot illegally when Italy was under fascism, this movie has gone on to become one of the classics of cinema.

This will be a high-definition screening.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Harlan County U.S.A. (Barbara Kopple, 1976)

harlancountyusaSunday January 22nd 2017, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

HARLAN COUNTY .U.S.A.   1976
Directed by Barbara Kopple

103 minutes
In English with English subtitles

Here is a documentary that is generally considered to be the one of the very best ever made. It is riveting as hell, and was made in the old-school approach of cinéma vérité… in other words without any cheap pseudo-Hollywood effects or re-enactments, only raw material that was shot at the scene.

Director Barbara Kopple throws herself and her crew into the battle that was taking place in the small mining community of Harlan County, Kentucky located deep in the black mountains of Appalachia. This place had a history, it was also the site of the legendary “Harlan County War” in 1931, when miners fought against the brutal working conditions dictated by the local coal company.

In 1973 things flared up again when miners began to strike against the Duke Power Company. When you look at the footage, you have to conclude not much had improved in the last half-century. The situation was appalling, and this lead to a needed confrontation. The company hired goons to come in and break the strike up, and in one electrically charged scene at dawn while the strikers and camera crew are heading to the picket line, they are shot at with machine guns. Luckily Barbara Kopple keeps here camera rolling as we watch her and her cameraman Hart Perry attacked and beaten.

What a tear-jerker this one is, and I don’t mean in the sense of cheap sentimentalism. I mean in the sense of seeing people fight for their rights. The kind of spirit and fire that is documented in this film is something that is so lacking these days, and is something we need so much more of. People allow themselves to be pushed around, and while their rights are being stolen from them they do nothing out of fear of something worse. And that is what this film is about… not giving into fear.

And don’t get the wrong idea. This is not just a film about men. It is also about the wives of the miners and women who have lost their husbands in the mines. How fucking strong these women are, it’s amazing. It’s the kind of film that will cut you to the core. It also won the academy award for best documentary feature.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Fuckoffguysgoodday (1992)

fuck_off_guysSunday November 13th 2016, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Fuckoffguysgoodday (1992).
(Dědictví aneb Kurvahošigutntág). Directed by Věra Chytilová, 120 minutes, In Czech with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

After the so-called velvet revolution, when Czechoslovakia made a transition from Communism to American-style capitalism, many of the rebellious filmmakers who had caused a stir under the old regime became softies and lost all of their critical edge. But two directors didn’t… Věra Chytilová (Daisies) and the animator Jan Švankmajer.

This was Věra Chytilová’s first film after the revolution and its a sharp critique of the blossoming of consumer capitalism. In this film the wild actor Bolek Polívka portrays a young Moravian villager who suddenly becomes a millionaire overnight from a mysterious inheritance. He’s brilliant in the role. In this black comedy we watch as he is transformed from a lazy countryside simpleton into an outright asshole because of his newly acquired wealth and power.

Fuckoffguysgoodday was received with a storm and has remained one of the most popular Czech comedies of all time. It was able to dig deep down and touch the poetic Czech soul, and many people still recite lines from it 20 years later. A fantastic dark comedy, with a biting message that is more important today than ever. It has basically never been shown in the west, so this is yet another extraordinarily rare screening!

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Toxic Love

Amore_TossicoSunday October 9th 2016, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: AMORE TOSSICO 1983 (Toxic Love). Directed by Claudio Caligari. 90 minutes. In Italian with English subtitles. Film starts @ 21:00. Free admission

This will be a rare screening of an Italian flick from the 80s that has a haunting reputation in its own country, but has rarely been screened anywhere else, except in festivals. Like I have recently noted, here in Europe in the 80s there was an explosion of movies that dealt with teenagers and drugs, and specifically heroin. Since the 80s these films have pretty much been buried and forgotten, because the topic is considered too dark. Amore Tossico is one of the best movies from this genre, and in Italy it’s considered a masterpiece.

Many of the drug-related films in the 80s were exploitation movies, made with low budgets and low ideals. But this one is different, with early Pier Paolo Pasolini films being a major influence. Like Pasolini, director Claudio Caligari filmed this movie in Ostia, a bleak seaside suburb of Rome. And like Pasolini this movie takes its cast off the city streets… so most of the “actors” in Amore Tossico are real-life junkies or former junkies, giving the movie a beautiful edge of authenticity. It’s not glamorous in any way, nor is it spectacular… instead its deeply human. Many of the actors would die by heroin or aids within a few years after this movie was made, so as we watch this film we are also watching a fleeting moment that would soon be extinguished.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: I Know Where I’m Going!

I_Know_Where_I_m_GoingSunday September 25th 2016, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: I Know Where I’m Going! 1945. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 92 minutes, in English with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

A beauty of a film, created by director Powell and scriptwriter Pressburger about a woman who is marrying a corporate kingpin (the head of ‘Consolidated Chemical Industries’), and travels from Manchester to the remote western isles of Scotland for her marriage. But when fog and bad weather rolls in, she is forced to wait on the Isle of Mull, forcing her to see life in a different way. This movie is gorgeous on so many levels. The characterization of a strong leading woman who is flouting all conventions, who is determined and strong. The captivating Scottish countryside is filmed with all of its powerful luminosity. The odd-ball characters who pop up, with unconventional beliefs, and live their lives accordingly. The chance to hear some Gaelic which is also rare and wonderful…

This haunting movie is not very well known, which makes this screening even more precious. It stars Wendy Hiller, and even features the future British singer Petula Clark as an eccentric 12 year old child. But this is a movie where the power of nature, and a fiercely poetic landscape, becomes as important as any of the actors in the film. The creators behind this flick, Powell and Pressburger, were geniuses. Do you think that the Cohen brothers are gifted? Perhaps. But they aren’t magical, and that is the quality this team was able to conjured up. This is one of Michael Powell’s smaller, less known gems. It’s a dramatic comedy, but a sublime one.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: The Dreamlife of Angels

The_Dreamlife_of_AngelsSunday August 21st 2016, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema

THE DREAMLIFE OF ANGELS 1998
(La vie rêvée des anges)
Directed by Erick Zonca
113 minutes
In French with English subtitles

A hard-edged but poetically enthralling drama about two young working-class girls who are living in the drab city of Lille, working (and being fired) from shitty jobs, trying to scrape together enough money to survive from day to day. Indeed this is a film which grapples with our everyday existence, but not without a touch of magic. The Dreamlife of Angels captures the first meeting of Isa and Marie, and follows their relationship as it unfolds over the course of time. Crucial to the narrative are the two very different dreams that each of the girls have, and how those dreams are realized.

This gem of a film boasts flaring, haunting performances by the two female leads, Élodie Bouchez and Natacha Régnier, and they rightfully shared the Best Actress award at Cannes for this movie. Their riveting deliveries carry the entire narrative, captured in a lyrical documentary style, and its a marvel to watch it all unfold. It won the César award for best film, but since the 90s it’s been criminally neglected and largely forgotten…. so don’t miss this special screening.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Charles, Dead or Alive

Charles_Dead_or_AliveSunday June 19th 2016, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Charles, Dead or Alive (Charles mort ou vif). Directed by Alain Tanner, 1970, 93 minutes. In French with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm. Free admission.

The debut feature film by the great Swiss director Alain Tanner (Jonas will be 25 in the Year 2000, In the White City). Unseen for decades, this is an incredibly rare screening of this film about a businessman who becomes disillusioned with his lifestyle and throws his destiny to the wind to see where he ends up. In this film, Tanner already sets up the major theme that runs through all his films… describing the inner road and turmoil that anyone has to go through when they decide to break with society and follow their convictions uncompromisingly to the bitter end.

Although shot in Switzerland, the backdrop of the film is the volatile uprisings and demonstrations that were happening in France in 1968. This one is a forgotten gem that few people have had the chance to see in a cinema. Shot in a grainy and austere black and white, it’s a snapshot of the dynamic sociopolitical landscape of late 1960s Europe as the old world is hijacked and overtaken by modernization and American economic globalization. An extremely rare glimpse into the counter-culture movements of the 60s.

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: The Murderers Are Among Us

The_Murderers_Are_Among_UsSunday May 15th 2016, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema:
THE MURDERERS ARE AMONG US 1946
(Die mörder sind unter uns)
Directed by Wolfgang Staudte
81 minutes
In German with English subtitles
Door opens at 8pm, film begins at 9pm. Free admission.

With a style that is a fusion of deep expressionism mixed with harsh documentary, this rare movie captures the mood of a demoralized Berlin directly after the Second World War. We enter a city of devastation, of decimated streets and broken lives. But imagine the feelings of the main character Susanne when she returns to her home city after having been released from a concentration camp. When she returns to her wrecked apartment, she finds a stranger living there. Both of them are lost souls. They strike up a friendship… but as she goes through the streets she realizes she is in a city of people that betrayed her. Who is who? Who are the innocent survivors, and who are the villains?

This unusual movie was made directly after the end of the war, and therefore captures the ideas and sensibilities of that bitter time better than any film made today which looks back with contemporary prejudices. All of the film’s photography was done in the real streets of Berlin, and the main characters roam the desolate streets of rubble. And this thriller is also interesting to compare to the upcoming film noir movement… all of the elements are there – the sharp shadows, human silhouettes against cracked walls, unusual angles, spiral staircases, haunted tormented individuals wandering through a jagged broken landscape. There is a mood of dark melancholy hanging in the air of this sombre movie as Suzanne tries to find a way to forgive her city for the atrocities she has endured. […Lees verder]

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Norma Rae

Norma_RaeSunday April 10th 2016, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Norma Rae, 1970. Directed by Martin Ritt, 114 minutes. In English with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

Man, few films will show how the world has changed since the 70s than this gutsy drama. Once upon a time there were things called unions. They were formed by collectives of workers who risked their jobs for the benefit of all. Today the word ‘union’ is a pretty negative one, and they have all but vanished from the social map… but at the same time salaries in the western world are at their lowest since the ’80s, worker’s rights have been all but totally eliminated, while corporations are reporting record profits.

In a bold career-changing move, actress Sally Fields stars as a textile worker in North Carolina, who bucks the damn system and throws her life on the line. Why? Because she believes in something, and refuses to be a slave. But that’s a pretty big decision. Despite what the mainstream media tells us, most of the people who have exposed the American dream as a fraud have been attacked, blacklisted, denounced, blackballed, imprisoned, assassinated, victims of smear campaigns, and erased from social history (just as thoroughly as in any so-called communist regime). Our 20th century history is a shambles, a mess. Why? Because the real motivators of change, whether they were fighting for black power, gay rights or even unions, have been banished from the history books.

So this is a film about a normal person who decides to fight back. And its not Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson… it’s a woman. And once again we have a big film with a powerful message, that sneaked in through the Hollywood door at the end of the 70s – the kind of film that would be impossible today. Sally Fields gives a walloping performance, and it won her an academy award for best actress. The bittersweet theme music is by Jennifer Warnes, which picked up the Oscar for best song. […Lees verder]

Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Kiss Me Deadly

Kiss_me_deadlySunday march 13th 2016, Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: Kiss Me Deadly, 1955. Directed by Robert Aldrich. 106 minutes. In English with English subtitles. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

Private dick Mike Hammer gets more than he bargained for when one night he picks up a dazed woman on the highway who is running barefoot and is wearing nothing more than a trench coat. This chance encounter leads our confused detective down the darkest alleys he’s ever ventured, and the old Greek legend of Pandora is given an ultra-modern twist. This surreal flick is legendary for its wild mix of genres, including its cold war theme and its dynamite apocalyptic climax.

Based on the novel by Mickey Spillane and directed with a punch by Robert Aldrich (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?) this is a classic film noir, and one that had a
big influence on many modern movies, such as Pulp Fiction and Alex Cox’s cult film Repo Man. Personally I see detective Mike Hammer’s sleazy, hard-nose mentality as a beautiful illustration of America’s essential nihilism. It was critically neglected when it was first released in the States, but this existential ’50s cold war paranoia thriller was instantly hailed by European critics as a masterpiece.

This will be a high-definition screening. Doors open at 8pm, intro and film start at 9pm

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

Can Dialectics Break Bricks Cinema: The Decline of Western Civilization

decline_of_western_civilizationSunday February 7th 2016. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981). Directed by Penelope Spheeris, 100 minutes. In English. Door opens at 8pm, film begin at 9pm. Free admission.

This is the legendary indie documentary about the 80s American punk explosion, which is a wild cinematic gem not only for the music but also for the razor-sharp filmmaking and fascinating look at a subculture, which is packed with energy and abrasive vigor. The film has an appeal to anyone who likes the music, but also to people who know nothing about it, with an almost anthropological quality to it.

A mix of outrageous interviews interspersed with visceral concert footage, the film was mostly shot in seedy L.A. clubs and acutely captures the mood of those rebellious times. Director Penelope Spheeris (Wayne’s World) is a woman who dives into the chaos and extracts mind-boggling interviews with the “blank generation” youths who hang out at the nightclubs. She also incorporates footage of bands like Catholic Discipline, X, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Fear and The Germs as a backdrop. An incredible time-capsule, which shows that cinema is perhaps even a better way than books to record history.

This will be a high-definition screening.
Doors open at 8pm, intro and film start at 9pm

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