Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 7:30pm
Chuck Jones's Duck Amuck + The Dziga Vertov Group's Wind from the East
177 Livingston Street, Brooklyn
Presented by Michael Chaiken
Vent d'est (Wind from the East)
The Dziga Vertov Group (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Gérard Martin), digital projection, 1969, 100 mins
In the tidal pull of events following May 1968, Daniel Cohn-Bendit proposed to Jean-Luc Godard the two collaborate on a Marxist spaghetti western. Securing funds from the film production arm of the Rizzoli publishing house, Godard set up in Rome and assembled a crew of militants, anarchists, film technicians and actors (including Gian Maria Volonte and Andy Warhol impersonator Allen Midgette). Filming quickly ran aground after the anarchists and militants took to the beach and the production money Godard was funneling to local revolutionaries was used to open a transvestite bar. Deep in woe, Godard summoned literary critic turned filmmaker Jean-Pierre Gorin to Rome where a general assembly was called addressing the myriad of problems facing production. . .
Bearing tangential relations to Das Kapital, D.W. Griffith, Louis Althusser and Sergio Leone, the resulting film became the first in a series of brilliant, unclassifiable collaborations between Godard and Gorin, films that infused post-‘68 cinema with a radically new aesthetic consciousness born of, never beholden to, the politics of the age. In an interview with Le Monde, Godard praised Gorin’s contribution to Vent d’est, speaking of the works consistent “overturning of the traditional notion of editing, of no longer making a simple assemblage or collage of shots but an organization of shots.” The film's fractured, self-reflexive structure is divided into tableaux sections (“The Strike," “The Mobilizing Minority," “Civil Violence," etc.), held loosely together by a series of long, exquisitely framed static shots that bristle with the kinetic Pop energy of Roy Lichtenstein. The doctrinaire verbiage of the soundtrack slides uneasily between competing manias as slapstick gives way to terror, the pastoral to the detritus of modern life, as if witnessing the auto de fé refracted through the prism of Leo McCarey. - MC
Chuck Jones, 16mm, 1953, 7 mins
Who is Daffy Duck anyway? An apéritif before the main course. - MC
Tickets - $7, available at door.