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Arts & Culture

Matthieu Ricard, on the path to compassion

HD - 2012 - France - 52 min - Color

Matthieu Ricard, on the path to compassion

Matthieu Ricard, sur le chemin de la compassion (original title)


A film by Jeanne Mascolo de Filippis

40 years devoted to the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism have made Matthieu Ricard, a courier between East and West.

 

Scientific, Buddhist monk, French interpreter for the Dalai Lama, photographer and author of texts on Buddhism and meditation, Matthieu Ricard is today one of the world.

 

This film allows us to discover his thoughts, his research, and its humanitarian, through its association KARUNA-Shechen.

 

Matthieu Ricard spends indeed much of his time to humanitarian projects in India and Nepal, as well as many symposia in which he was invited into the world of MIND and to DAVOS LIFE. He regularly participates in scientific studies on the effect of meditation on the brain.

 

He is a man of his time, putting his knowledge and his humanist philosophy for the well-being and vitality of the greatest number.




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.