The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

CINEMA OF AGITATION
red menaced
Where will I be tomorrow night and most of the day Saturday? Glad you asked.

I'll be at the Salvador Dali Museum for the Cinema of Agitation: Russian and Slavic Fantastic Film Festival. It starts at 6 PM Friday, runs until 11 PM that night, then starts up again the next day at 1 PM, and ends at 11 PM Saturday. In that time, they'll be showing a bunch of movies with Slavic accents and English subtitles. To quote the promotional flyers, it'll be "a two-day festival exploring the use of Surrealist and fantastic techniques and concepts in Russian and Slavic films".

I'm really looking forward to this. I don't think I've seen any of the films on the slate, so it will will be a fresh experience. Lots of mind-bending stuff. Even better, there's a heavy dose of model-based (versus drawing-based) animated shorts in this, which I just love.

Here's some of the offerings, listed by directors (in no particular order):

Andrei Tarkovsky: Stalker (I love what I've seen of Tarkovsky, and can't wait for this one.)

Wladyslaw Starewicz: The Frogs Who Wanted A King, The Mascot, The Cameraman's Revenge (A forgotten animation pioneer, with his signature works.)

Fyodor Khitruk: Film, Film, Film (More provocative animation.)

Emir Kusturica: Underground (A contemporary piece, over 3 hours long; I'm not sure if I'll stick around for this one, scheduled as the wrap-up presentation on Saturday night.)

Vera Chytilova: Daisies (New Wave cinema, Czech style; the kickoff presentation. Also the only female director in the whole festival.)

Jan Svankmajer: The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (This fest wouldn't be complete without a contribution from the renowned Svankmajer. I may have actually already seen this one, but I'm not sure.)

Sergei Parajanov: The Color of Pomegranates (A cult classic of minimalist cinematic expression.)

Dusan Makavejev: W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism (This one is purportedly a wild ride; originally earned an X rating back when it was released thirty years ago. A tribute to the works of Wilhelm Reich.)

Dziga Vertov: Man With A Movie Camera (A groundbreaking piece that captures slice-of-life perspectives behind the Iron Curtain.)

If you're in the Tampa Bay area, and you dig alternative / experimental cinema, there are worse ways to spend a couple of days. Come on down to the Dali!