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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions at The Museum of Modern Art
Features Six Titles from the dGenerate Films Collection!
The "Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions" series opened at The Museum of Modern Art on May 4th and continues through June 1st. Comprising 28 films made over the past 25 years, the series is one of the most significant surveys of China's New Documentary Movement to appear in North America. Icarus Films is proud that the series includes six titles from our dGenerate Films Collection, including Pema Tseden's acclaimed OLD DOG, which will make it's New York theatrical premiere run in conjunction with the series.
ReadJason Fox's overview of the series in the Brooklyn Rail, and the primerson each film in the series that will be posted on the dGenerate Films website throughout the run.
See below for information on all the dGenerate Films titles in the series.
OLD DOG will move overto Brooklyn's indieScreen on May 21st, following the conclusion of the MoMA run.
OXHIDE II (Niu pi II) A film by LIU Jiyan Breaking new ground in cinematic art, Liu Jiayin's follow-up to her masterful debut OXHIDE turns a simple dinner into a profoundly intimate study of family relationships. Watch the trailer!
TAPE (Jiao Dai) A film by LI Ning For five grueling years, Li Ning documents his struggle to achieve success as an avant-garde artist while contending with the pressures of modern life in China. TAPE captures a decade's worth of artistic aspirations and failures, while breaking new ground in individual expression in China. Watch the trailer!
Icarus Films is very excited to announce that THE LOVING STORY, a definitive account of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that ended state statues against interracial marriage, has won a Peabody Award! See the complete list of 2013 recipients here.
Congratulations to director Nancy Buirski, producer Elisabeth Haviland James, and everyone who worked on the film for winning one of the prestigious prizes in media.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Susan Vogel and El Anatsui to appear on Leonard Lopate Show
I AM SOMEBODY depicts a 1969 strike by the Hospital Workers Union Local 1199 in Charleston, South Carolina, almost of all of whose members were black women.
"As the first contemporary documentary made by, for, and about black women workers, I AM SOMEBODY offers a unique opportunity to reconsider the intersections between feminism, union activism, and the civil rights movement in the late sixties,"Warren begins before detailing a history of the film's reception in the context of other feminist works of direct cinema, and performing a scene-by-scene "surface reading" of the film.Warren argues that "[Anderson's] intervention occurs at the level of surface representation, where the technologies of cinema make possible the public, visual emergence of a new political subject."
"I AM SOMEBODY," Warren concludes, "speaks to the racialized, gendered politics of labor organizing in the late sixties...Rather than argue that the film be relocated with the canons of black cinema, union films, or civil rights documentaries, I suggest we mine the possibilities of the incorporation of I AM SOMEBODY into the category of feminist documentary films of the seventies."
The article can be read on JSTOR, here. You can read Madeline Anderson's artist statement on the Signs website, here.
You can order, and find more information on, I AM SOMEBODY here.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Shôhei Imamura in New York and Los Angeles
On Thursday, November 15, Shôhei Imamura's A MAN VANISHES begins its Premiere U.S. theatrical run at Anthology Film Archives in New York, where it will play alongside five other documentaries directed by Imamura in the 1970s, all recently acquired by Icarus Films. For more information on the series, click here.
On Friday, November 16, the Imamura series begins at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles. Click herefor more information.
"If “A Man Vanishes” — a movie about a disappearance and the transformation of reality into an ever more mercurial mystery, a vertiginous drama and the very stuff of cinema — played at the Cannes Film Festival this year, it would have been hailed as a thrilling discovery. That surely will be the response of filmgoers lucky enough to see this 1967 masterwork from the Japanese director Shohei Imamura (1926-2006), which begins a weeklong run on Thursday in Manhattan at the Anthology Film Archives before moving elsewhere. Seemingly banal in its conceit, wildly startling in its execution, it tracks a film crew that, like a detective squad, investigates what became of an ordinary man."
"The Anthology series is an opportunity, not to be missed, to sample the work of a filmmaker who crossed and recrossed the documentary boundary long before established figures like Werner Herzog, Jonathan Demme and Spike Lee could do so without a second thought."
"A MAN VANISHES, which enjoys a weeklong run, is the can't-miss...KARAYUKI-SAN: THE MAKING OF A PROSTITUTE might seem matter-of-fact, but it carefully builds to a concluding revelation. Sympathetic but unsentimental, Imamura lets the details speak for themselves."
"Imamura made the film without access to the lightweight cameras and sound recorders and fast film stocks pioneered by Richard Leacock and his associates in New York in the mid-'60s, and the result is as astonishing as it is rough-and-ready. Imamura's genius in this period was to marry his political critique of Japanese society with his conceptual and technical innovations. He found himself rethinking the ontology of the film image."
"An existential essay on elusiveness of identity, a self-debunking bit of directorial mischief, a vertiginous travesty of a procedural, and an influential merging of life and fiction...A Man Vanishes envisions life as a tangle of subjectively staged "dramas," each complementing and contradicting the other."
"The last several minutes of A Man Vanishes are some of the most fascinating ever filmed, and functions as a sort of verité answer to the overblown fourth wall shattering of Jodorowsky in The Holy Mountain."
"If A Man Vanishes is entirely fictional, Imamura creates a world as actual as the one Jim McBride devised for his more humorous “mockumentary” from the same year, 1967, David Holzman’s Diary. Both films use the techniques of cinéma-vérité (in stark black-and-white). However, Imamura’s project stands out today as more ambitious—a true meditation on the medium with an increasing sense of unease as it slowly moves along (with echoes of Citizen Kane)"
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
MARX RELOADEDscreening & panel discussion at Columbia University's Miller Theater Monday, November 12, 2012
On Monday, November 12, 2012, at 7 PM, Columbia University's Miller Theater will be screening our fall release MARX RELOADED. The film examines the renewed relevance of Karl Marx's thought in the wake of the global financial crisis. Written and directed by writer, lecturer and translator Jason Barker, MARX RELOADEDfeatures light-hearted animation sequences, as well as interviews with leading thinkers on Marx, pro and con, including Norbert Bolz, Micha Brumlik, John Gray, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Nina Power, Jacques Rancière, Peter Sloterdijk, Alberto Toscano, and Slavoj Zizek. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring director Barker, along with:
Stanley Aronowitz (Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center)
Todd Gitlin (Professor of Sociology and Journalism, Chair of the Ph.D. program in Communications, Columbia University)
Bruno Bosteels (Professor of Romance Studies, Cornell University)
Frances Negrón-Muntaner (Director, Center for Study of Ethnicity and Race, and Associate Professor of Latino Studies and English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University)
Icarus Films acquires six classic Jean Rouch films for North American Distribution
Icarus Films is excited to announce the acquisition of six classic films by French filmmaker and ethnographer Jean Rouch for North American distribution. A founder of cinéma vérité, Rouch is widely recognized as one of the world’s most significant documentary filmmakers, but much of his filmography has long been unavailable in the United States.
Icarus Films is producing new subtitles for three of the films, and they will be released to theatrical and non-theatrical audiences this fall. The films will appear in New York this fall as part of a two-part, 40-film Rouch retrospective held at French Institute Alliance Française and Anthology Film Archives between November 7-27, which will be accompanied by a one-day symposium at New York University. The retrospective will be followed by a North American tour, stopping at venues including The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Pacific Cinematheque in Vancouver.
The six films are:
LES MAÎTRES FOUS 1955/ color/ 26 minutes Rouch’s classic and controversial depiction of a spectacular trance ritual of Accra’s Hauka religious sect, made up mostly of migrant workers from rural Niger, that also constitutes a theatrical protest against West Africa’s colonial masters.
MAMMY WATER 1956/ color/ 19 minutes Along the coast of Ghana, near the old Portuguese slave forts, children play in the ocean and fisherman perform ceremonies to placate the sea gods whose favor determines their catch.
MOI, UN NOIR 1957/ color/ 72 minutes In Rouch’s landmark ethnofiction, three Nigerien migrant workers in Treichville, outside Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, describe their lives in the city, the difficulties of urbanization, and their dreams, playfully re-enacting their daily routines for the camera, and taking on the names of American movie stars.
THE LION HUNTERS (LE CHASSE AU LION À L’ARC)
1965/ color/ 80 minutes Recorded over the course of seven years on the border between Niger and Mali, THE LION HUNTERS documents the traditional lion hunt of the Songhay people, taking it as a key to understanding the region’s social organization.
JAGUAR 1967/ color/ 89 minutes Three young men from Niger travel to Accra to work. Rouch once again collaborates with his subjects, who narrate the film together, recreating dialogue, explaining their motivations, and infusing the documentary footage with fantasy.
LITTLE BY LITTLE (PETIT À PETIT) 1969/ color/ 92 minutes In LITTLE BY LITTLE, viewers rejoin the three men from JAGUAR, now running an import-export company in Niamey. Business brings them to Paris, where they perform a reverse anthropology of Rouch’s own culture.
Icarus Films acquires distribution rights to dGenerate Films Collection!
Icarus Films is proud to announce the acquisition of exclusive distribution rights to the dGenerate Films collection of award-winning, independent films from mainland China.
Founded in 2008, dGenerate quickly established itself as the primary North American resource for China's digital cinema vanguard. The collection includes more than 40 documentaries and fiction feature films.
dGenerate will continue as a label within the Icarus Films collection. Icarus anticipates adding five new titles a year.
You can browse the 24 titles already added to the Icarus website here. Keep an eye on the site for the titles we will be adding throughout the summer and fall.
Icarus Films acquires A MAN VANISHES (1967) and five other rare films by Shohei Imamura
from A MAN VANISHES (1967)
On July 10th, Icarus Films announced the acquisitions of six rare films from Shohei Imamura. Imamura, called “one of the most significant filmmakers of Japan’s postwar generation" by the New York Times' Dave Kehr, is known widely for his fiction features, but the documentaries and quasi-documentaries he produced in the late 1960s and early '70s have remained long unknown in the United States.
An investigation into the disappearance of an office worker, A MAN VANISHES conflates the boundaries of documentary and fiction. It is an early example of what film historian Donald Ritchie called, “One of Imamura’s major themes… [the] confrontation of illusion with reality (and the resultant problem of telling which is which).”
from A MAN VANISHES (1967)
Alongside A MAN VANISHES, Icarus will be releasing the 1975 feature documentary KARAYUKI-SAN, THE MAKING OF A PROSTITUTE, and five documentaries made for television: IN SEARCH OF THE UNRETURNED SOLDIERS IN MALAYSIA (1971), IN SEARCH OF THE UNRETURNED SOLDIERS IN THAILAND (1971), MUHOMATSU RETURNS HOME (1973), and THE PIRATES OF BUBUAN (1972).
Icarus Films is currently producing newly subtitled, high definition masters