Florence, 1st- 7th November 2009

International documentary film festival

  • ... A Valparaiso

    Chile/France 1962 28'
    Directed by: Joris Ivens
    Built on a series of steep hills dividing the bourgeois neighbourhoods near the sea from the working-class areas in the outskirts, in this case high up on the hilltops, the port city of Valparaiso is a theatre for human toil, hardship and the feverish will to live despite everything. Depicting the verticality of the city, its bizarre architectonic peculiarities and the routine of daily life, stigmatizing its social divisions, Joris Ivens achieved full artistic maturity.

    2009 Saturday November 7th, Odeon, 5:00 PM

  • A Happy Mother's Day

    USA 1965 26'
    Directed by: Joyce Chopra, Richard Leacock
    On September 14th, 1963, Mary Ann Fischer brought five magnificent twins into the world. The happy news immediately breaches the quiet borders of Aberdeen, South Dakota, and attracts the attention of the media, who transform the event into a national story. The family’s request for privacy is ignored by the community’s major exponents, who want to financially exploit this new tourist attraction. The film is still today a prime example of an America that is dogged by the deleterious effects of media coverage.

    2009 Friday, november 6th, Spazio Uno, 7:30 PM

  • À Saint-Henry le cinq septembre

    Canada 1962 42'
    Directed by: Hubert Aquin
    A group of filmmakers explore a day in the life of a working class neighborhood in Montreal, from morning to night, while off-screen the voice-over interrogates the images on screen, and the possibility of filming a world’s day to day goings on. At the forefront of «cinema-direct» theory, the film is a collective and «open» work in which each image is a revelation of the unexpected.

    Photo: © National Film Board of Canada

    2009 Thursday november 5th, Spazio Uno, 3:30PM

  • Asamblea general
    General Assembly

    Cuba 1960 14'
    Directed by: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea
    Cuba, 2nd September 1960. Since the first lights of the day the preparations for the General National Assembly of Cuban People are well under way. The audience waiting for Fidel Castro’s speech becomes immense. The leader’s words are counter-pointed by the images shot by six cameramen from different angles in the square. The event has been afterwards named «The First Havana Declaration».

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 5:00 PM

  • Baltais zvaniņs
    The White Bells

    Latvia 1961 20'
    Directed by: Ivars Kraulītis
    A small child is crossing the heart of the city looking for a bunch of flowers. Produced as a feature film, “Baltie zvaniņi” brilliantly documents the fast-growing Rīga of the 1960s, while also reservedly showing the daily rush of its inhabitants. One of the best Latvian documentaries and an excellent example of poetic cinema.

    2009 Thursday november 5th, Spazio Uno, 3:30PM

  • Collage di Piazza del Popolo

    Italy 1960 12'
    Directed by: Sandro Franchina
    A curious eye casts around Rome’s Piazza del Popolo. A film that is also an electrifying journey on the hunt for faces, bodies, expressions and gestures of pedestrians in one of the most famous piazzas of the capital, with continuous turns and improvised leaps through both common and exceptional situations. A film that is also an example of free cinema that, while seeking out day to day reality, is also mysterious.

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 5:00 PM

  • Gare du nord

    France 1964 17'
    Directed by: Jean Rouch
    Paris, the early sixties: a long bridge near the train station, a girl who has just fought with her boyfriend, a mysterious man who wants to win her over, a grand finale. A fictitious film that is in reality a cinematic essay about the slow sequence and the «reality» of documentaries. Rouch demonstrates the absolute value of documentaries in every mis-en-scene and every fiction, clearly showing his close ties to the Nouvelle Vague.

    2009 Monday november 2nd, Odeon, 5:00 PM

  • I dimenticati

    Italy 1959 20'
    Directed by: Vittorio De Seta
    The hard life of a small Calabrian town in 1959, from the difficulties of the day to day to the joy of an ancient spring festival to the coming of night. De Seta’s images capture habits that have by now disappeared and the collective life of a world that has been lost, making his film the extraordinary tool to discovering a culture through its most ancient faces, smiles and gestures.

    Film print restored by Cineteca di Bologna

    2009 Sunday november 1st, Odeon, 9:30 PM

  • Khaneh Siah Ast
    The House is Black

    Iran 1962 22'
    Directed by: Forough Farrokhzad
    Sixties Iran. Life inside a leper colony reveals the small things that unite all humans in the form of daily needs: nourishment, health, understanding, joy. Avoiding voyeurism and scientific explanation, the filmmaker gets directly to the humanity of the film’s subjects. To alleviate the ineluctability of fate, the poet’s lines are read over the images in a montage that transforms the film into a visual poem.

    Film restored by Les Archives Françaises du Film, according to the films’ maintenance plan of the Ministry of Culture.

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 3:00 PM

  • La canta delle marane

    Italy 1961 10'
    Directed by: Cecilia Mangini
    On a hot summer day, a group of children from the Roman outskirts joke and play around in one of the city’s many canals. The camera scrutinizes them, gets close to them, shows their gestures and expressions, and sweeps them up in a visual dance while the commentary (thanks to the poetic sensibility of Pier Paolo Pasolini) tells their stories, hopes, dreams, and future.

    2009 Tuesday november 3rd, Odeon, 9:15 PM

  • La casa delle vedove

    Italy 1960 13'
    Directed by: Gian Vittorio Baldi
    In a run-down four-storey house in the heart of the old city, thirteen women live on modest means, beset by the ailments of old age and memories of the past. Baldi probes this corner of the world with acute perception, sensitively bringing out the women’s different characters. The film won the Golden Lion for Best Short Film at the 21st Venice Film Festival.

    2009 Sunday november 1st, Spazio Uno, 3:30 PM

  • Lambert & Co.

    USA 1964 15'
    Directed by: D A Pennebaker
    One morning in 1964 Dave Lambert arrives by taxi at RCA Studios to rehearse with his new quintet, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. Pennebaker’s camerawork weaves fluidly inside the recording studio, observing musicians and opera singers, capturing gestures, faces, glances, filming the music and emotional flow that animates the group.

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 7:00 PM

  • Le Mystère Koumiko
    The Koumiko Mystery

    France 1965 54'
    Directed by: Chris Marker
    During the 1964 Olympics, in the sports stadium in Tokyo, the camera observes the faces in the crowd. Among them is a girl, Koumiko. Marker begins to follow her, looking for a lost identity. Around her, the voice over remarks, is Japan - its customs, colors, infinite and mysterious images. The film chronicles an impossible portrait and, at the same time, the truth of one eye incessantly interrogating the world.

    2009 Monday november 2nd, Spazio Uno, 8:00 PM

  • Les Inconnus de la terre
    Strangers of the Earth

    France 1961 36'
    Directed by: Mario Ruspali
    Through recorded, sound synchronized interviews, the film makes visible (and audible), people who are often invisible and forgotten, like the residents of one of the poorest and depressed areas in France, Lozère. Ruspoli shows the various residents and allows them to tell their own story to the camera, at the same time revealing a vision of the world and life.

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 3:00 PM

  • Les Raquetteurs
    The Snowshoers

    Canada 1958 19'
    Directed by: Michel Brault, Gilles Groulx
    In 1958, during an annual meeting of «snowshoers», Michel Brault films what was supposed to be a four minute news report for a television magazine. The film, which for the first time used synchronized sound and a wide-angle lens, let him showing people in crowds demonstrating with evident freshness the rituals, chats, and pleasures of the gathering. Les Raquetteurs is the film that will mark the Direct Cinema.

    Photo: © National Film Board of Canada

    2009 Sunday 1st november, Spazio Uno, 3:30 PM

  • Li mali mestieri

    Italia 1963 10'
    Directed by: Gianfranco Mingozzi
    “A Palermo, per campare – Paradiso senza santi – li mistieri sono tanti”. (“in Palermo, to survive – a Paradise with no saints – you think out many professions”). This Ignazio Buttitta’s piece of poetry in Sicilian language becomes the background, with the rhythm of a popular ballad, of Palermo’s alleys and small squares. Those ancient alleys, daily trodden by a mass of have-nots who, masters of ingeniousness, make up humble but incredibly witty jobs.

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 3:00 PM

  • Lonely Boy

    Canada 1962 28'
    Directed by: Wolf Koenig, Roman Kroitor
    The film is a many-sided portrait: the portrait of a pop star (a very young Paul Anka) shot with a constantly moving camera, able to capture revealing moments of a modern icon and, at the same time, it’s the portrait of an extraordinarily human and vital world, a world behind the music phenomenon, behind the pop media machine, a world of desire and admiration, dreams and poetry.

    Photo: © National Film Board of Canada

    2009 Monday november 2nd, Odeon, 9:00 PM

  • Meet Marlon Brando

    USA 1965 29'
    Directed by: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
    In 1965 Marlon Brando travels through America joining the promotional campaign for Bernhard Vicky's Morituri, where he plays his latest role. The actor, not particularly enthusiastic about the movie, meets with the different local station journalists, going under a «firing» session of interviews. Albert and David Maysles keep on filming him along the long question-and-answer sessions, resulting into a brilliant portrait of a star.

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 7:00 PM

  • Pull My Daisy

    USA 1959 30'
    Directed by: Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie
    In a New York apartment, a group of poets, musicians and artists hang out, talk, dance, improvise poetry and scenes, and throw a dinner party with a bishop and his family. The film is structured to the free and wild rhythms of jazz. Based on a piece by Jack Kerouac, its editing breaks conventions and tunes in to the improvisation of open music, even if foreseen and organized by the director. A manifesto of the Beat Generation and New American Cinema.

    The film and video of Robert Frank is distributed by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 9:00 PM

  • Salut les Cubains

    France/Cuba 1963 30'
    Directed by: Agnès Varda
    From 1962 to 1963 Agnès Varda traveled to Cuba and took hundreds of photographs. Her subjects were common folk, as well as artists, poets, musicians, officials of the party in power. Later she will realize a film with a sense of montage, in which music and audio commentary transform the photos into frames, and carry them into a vortex of idealism and fervor. The result is a small film set to a Cha-cha-cha rhythm and full of contagious energy.

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 5:00 PM

  • Terminus

    Great Britain 1961 33'
    Directed by: John Schlesinger
    Twenty-four hours in the Waterloo train station in London. A symphony of footsteps, faces, expressions and voices in the rhythm of jazz. A careful study of the reality, the originality of the setting and a taste for improvisation raise timeless freshness to one of the most famous English short film of the Sixties.

    2009 Thursday november 5th, Spazio Uno, 3:30 PM

  • Tire Dié

    Argentina 1960 33'
    Directed by: Fernando Birri
    A group of people living on the outskirts of a city whose stories and presence are excluded by society. At the end of their story, the people in the film unite and, for a moment, become visible to the city’s residents. In a film that inaugurated the «Nuevo cine latinoamericano» movement of the Sixties, Birri demonstrates the ability of film to depict reality without worrying about showing its fairy-tale side, however raw and cruel.

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 3:00 PM

  • We are the Lambeth Boys

    Great Britain 1958 49'
    Directed by: Karel Reisz
    Late-Fifties London. The boys from Lambeth look for places to hang out, play cricket, pick up girls, organize dances or getaways, have animated discussions about the things of the world. Karel Reisz films them as they are: with all the messy energy that corresponds with their age, when adolescence ends and adulthood strikes at the workplace or at play with their peers.

    2009 Sunday 1st november, Spazio Uno, 3:00 PM

  • With Love from Truman

    USA 1966 16'
    Directed by: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
    In 1965, a little after “In Cold Blood’s” publication, Truman Capote received a journalist at his beach house. Albert and David Maysles filmed the interview in which the writer offers up his own interpretations of his latest book, which is seen as an example of a new literary genre, the «non-fiction novel», passionately explaining his participation in the process and the absorbing relationship he formed with the two young killers.

    2009 Saturday november 7th, Odeon, 7:00 PM

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