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Arts & Culture

CARMEL

35 mm, DCP, HD - 2012 - Israel, France, Italy - 93 Min - Color

CARMEL

Carmel (original title)


A film by Amos Gitai

Amos Gitai creates a kaleidoscope of images and associations from the distant Jewish past and the immediate Israeli present and brings us a deeply personal and resonant meditation on Jewish and Israeli identity. Using both fiction and documentary fragments, Gitai links his family history to ancient history. Through exquisitely composed long takes, he begins the film with his country’s biography, especially during the Roman siege of Masada during the Jewish rebellion of the first century (C.E.), and contrasts them to the young soldiers enlisting in Israel's army today, including his own son, making the film "a passionate expression of Mr. Gitai's anguish at living in a country in a continual state of war" (Stephen Holden, The New York Times).

The cycles of violence are never-ending, but so are the bonds of family. With Jeanne Moreau narrating poems, letters, and journal entries and "abstractly beautiful" (V. A. Musetto, New York Post) cinematography by Stefano Falivene, we are taken into a dreamlike state of overlapping images from different periods of Amos Gitai’s life and that of his mother Efratia, linking generations of Jews and Israelis within the warm embrace of memory.

Carmel feels like a cinematic poem. Its sequences and incidents are not designed to construct a linear narrative, as if chaos would be the only possibility in the world Amos Gitai sees around him. Sounds, music and images bang together. So is Gustav Mahler’s 1st Symphony bursting through the claustrophobic reality of people engaged in war or in an account of Amos Gitai's personal exploits as a soldier shot down in a helicopter during the Yom Kippur War. The filmmaker has turned into a great chronicler of his country.

 

 

 




LULLABY TO MY FATHER

DCP, HD - 2012 - Israel, France, Switzerland - 90 Min - Color

LULLABY TO MY FATHER

Lullaby to my father (original title)


A film by Amos Gitai

We follow the journey of Munio, Amos Gitai’s father, born in 1909 in Silesia, Poland, the son of a sharecropper of a Prussian junker. At 18, Munio leaves for Berlin and Dessau to study the Bauhaus of Walter Gropius, Kandisky and Paul Klee. In 1933 the Bauhaus is closed and soon after the Nazis accuse Munio of betraying the German people. Munio is jailed, then deported to Basel. From there he leaves for Palestine. Once in Haifa, he starts his career as an architect, adapting the European modernist principles for the Middle East.
The movie is a voyage searching for the relationships between a father and his son, architecture and movies, the history of a journey and intimate memories. Like in the movie CARMEL, based on director’s mother, Efratia's letters, there is no chronological sequence of events. It is not a reconstituted biography, but a mosaic. The story comes together piece by piece, as a poetical association of pictures, faces, voyages, real architecture and snippets of fiction. The movie interweaves historical events and intimate memories. Amos Gitai examines the way that architecture represents changes in society and those that shape the architecture. For the filmmaker, the traveler to these places, reality and remembrance are juxtapositions of fragments becoming incarnate in the movie




Rising Sun

HD - 2011 - Switerland - 75 - Color

Rising Sun

Rising Sun (original title)


A film by Fabiane Kimoto

“You have to give up your old life before you can begin a new one” is the motto of the eight members of the Roc Kidz Crew, one of the most authentic hip-hop formations currently on the circuit. The dancers leave their middle-class lives and high material expectations behind them and make their way as a multicultural break-dancing crew to the South, on a tour that promises neither profit nor fame. A journey full of surprises and positive encounters: with their love of dance, music and freedom, the Roc Kidz Crew radiates a pure zest for life that crosses all social and ethnic borders.




Joffrey: Maverick of American Dance

HD - 2012 - USA - 82 Min - Color

Joffrey: Maverick of American Dance

Joffrey: Maverick of American Dance (original title)


A film by Bob Hercules

Mavericks of American Dance tells the story of this groundbreaking cultural treasure, known as the first truly American dance company. Narrated by Tony and Emmy Award winner Mandy Patinkin and directed by Bob Hercules (Bill T. Jones-A Good Man), the film documents how The Joffrey Ballet revolutionized American ballet by daringly combining modern dance with traditional ballet technique, combining art with social statement, and setting ballets to pop and rock music scores.




This Ain’t California

HD - 2012 - Germany - 90 min - Color / Black & White

This Ain’t California

This Ain't California (original title)


A film by Marten Persiel

A hymn to the subversive power of vitality, this fast-paced documentary takes us on a trip through the strange unknown world of the ‘Rollbrettfahrer’ as skateboarders were known in the GDR, a country where besides those loyal to the regime, there was also an avowed political resistance. Apart from this, there was also a movement of young rebels whose only raison d’être was the illusion of staying young, immortal and non-committal. In THIS AIN’T CALIFORNIA three kids discover their love of skateboarding on the cracked asphalt of the GDR – a madcap, even unacceptable sport that was perhaps so incredibly exciting because of its nuttiness. This punk fairytale created by a bunch of kids who luckily possessed sufficiently manic levels of energy to record their lives on Super-8mm film, shows us life in the GDR life as it has never been seen before.




The First Rasta

HD - 2010 - France - 85 min - Color / Black & White

The First Rasta

Le Premier Rasta (original title)


A film by Hélène Lee

At the beginning of the last century, the young Leonard Percival Howell (1893 – 1981) left Jamaica, became a sailor and travelled the world. On his way, he chanced upon all the ideas that stirred his time. From Bolshevism to New Thought, from Gandhi to anarchism, from Garveyism to psychoanalysis, he sought to find his promised land. With this cocktail of ideas Leonard “Gong” Howell returned to Jamaica and founded Pinnacle, the first Rasta community in 1939.

 

By recreating a backdrop of that time from film archives, police reports and newspaper articles, we follow in the wake of this adventurer and track the evolution of his thinking.  Through direct witnesses we trace his evolution, from his return home in 1932 to the first manifestations of his movement.  For the first time, these centenarian survivors describe a Rasta movement that is very different from the usual clichéd images. Their interviews, sparkling with humor and common sense, outline not only the silhouette of a great leader, but the daily struggle of a handful of men and women who stand without fear in the face of an all-powerful global system.  An example of incredible moral courage at a time when black people in America and Africa were still considered to be sub-human and were subjected to forced labor and racial discrimination. They paid the price for this bold stand through relentless persecution and through systematic misinformation bent on making them look crazy – but in the end they won.

 

Reggae is everywhere, and millions of young people identify with its message. The release of this documentary film marks the end of the silence and the reintegration of the Rastas in the great altermondialist movement of which they are the precursors.

 

Thereafter, a way of living and thinking was developed which nourished the reggae culture that Bob Marley would spread worldwide. Thirty years after the singer’s death, it is high time to pay tribute to Leonard Percival Howell, The First Rasta, whose revolutionary, political and social discourse resonates with the altermondialist movement of today.




Tony Curtis: Driven to stardom

HD - 2011 - France - 96 & 52 min - Color / Black & White

Tony Curtis: Driven to stardom

Tony Curtis: Driven to stardom (original title)


A film by Ian Ayres

Tony Curtis, the man who influenced Elvis Presley and James Dean, was one of the very first teen idols and one of the last real movie stars. From his difficult upbringing in the Bronx, where he was born Bernie Schwartz, to his unprecedented fame and infamous way with women, TONY CURTIS: DRIVEN TO STARDOM presents Mr. Curtis's life in all its rags to riches glory. Interviews with Tony's family, friends and co-stars (Hugh Hefner, Harry Belafonte, Debbie Reynolds, Mamie Van Doren, Piper Laurie, Theresa Russell, Jill Curtis among others!) along with exclusive footage and film clips are given deeper meaning and clarity by the most honest and intimate interview the actor may have ever given. Here, in the definitive film about Tony Curtis, filmmaker Ian Ayres forms this incredible material into a revealing portrait of one of the greatest Hollywood celebrities of all time.

 

TONY CURTIS: DRIVEN TO STARDOM explores the man's rebellious demeanor, his struggle as a Jew in Hollywood, his difficult childhood, the brief love affair with Marilyn Monroe and his failed marriages to actresses Janet Leigh and Christine Kaufman, his courageous stance to break the color barrier with The Defiant Ones (the film that earned him an Oscar Nomination), and his entire sixdecade career. A sex symbol, a matinee idol, a powerful and magnetic actor, Tony Curtis was the original movie star.




Milos Forman, what doesn’t kill you…

HD - 2011 - Czech Republic - 100 min & 4x56 min - Color

Milos Forman, what doesn’t kill you…

Milos Forman, what doesn't kill you... (original title)


A film by Miloslav Smidmajer

Though there were shot and air a few documentaries about Miloš Forman in the history – it is the theme which cannot make drying up of river, it is really still thrilling and inspiring theme…

There were a lot of changes in his life last fifteen years and his professional career waltzes through some specific turning points and peripetias… We also were in a position to peep into the en famille sneak-holes of his life due to our personal relationship and liason… the sneak-holes, which Miloš Forman seldom has talked about… but which have inspired him and his film creation and which resounded with rare pregnancy and unhoped-for chains of events in his movies.

 

This is no ordinary biography in our documentary. The professional career of the director Miloš Forman is organicly oozed through inscapes of his privacy and is set within the framework of a “short history” of filmmaking. The documentary pursues the idea of how important it is to allow room for films that bring big emotions and that champion the highest values, such as the freedom of mankind. Milos Forman reflects this theme of personal freedom with the rare cogency.

  

There are also framed short interviews of famous actors who had cooperated on most famous movies by Miloš Forman: F. Murray Abraham, A. Bening, W. Harrelson, L. Fletcher, N. Portman etc or short interviews of producers M. Douglas, S. Zaentz or his longstanding cooperator and friend J.-C. Carriere  in our documentary.

 

The documentary was filmed in the USA in Connecticut and New York, in Paris, Madrid and Valencia, and in Prague and other locations in the Czech Republic.