Spinema: CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER (1961) + La Rabia (1963) [Thursday 27 November]


(Chronique d’un été)
Directed by Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin
85 minutes
In French with English subtitles

One of the key films in the history of cinema, and one that is rarely ever shown these days. Ethnographer Jean Rouch is famous for his anthropological films about African culture, and he was a pioneer in creating a new kind of documentary cinema in which he made films with the participation of his subjects. He would be heralded by the French New Wave, especially by Godard and Rivette, and you can see the impact of his films on their cinema. He is also a favorite of Werner Herzog.

In 1960 filmmaker-anthropologist Rouch collaborated with sociologist Edgar Morin on an experiment. Instead of making so-called “ethnographic” films about people in faraway lands, they decided to turn the camera on their own culture for a change. Using a newly available 16mm camera they set out to do what no one else had done before… to try and capture daily life and discuss it. They felt they needed a structure or theme to unravel the project, so they went into the streets of Paris to ask people if they were happy. The result is shattering, both cinematically and emotionally. Souls are revealed in a way that no dramatic acting could ever come close to…. piercing and moving, precisely because its so real and unscripted. As one viewer said “watch it and be blown away.”

This will be a high-definition screening.


La Rabia (1963)

Directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini
54 minutes
In Italian with English subtitles

Produced in 1963 this is a documentary film by the great Italian director Pasolini in which he was given some roles of film and asked to make a movie about his thoughts concerning the following question: Why are our lives ruled by discontent, anguish and fear? The result is a hypnotic journey into the mind and beliefs of the director.

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