Cinema's Rhythms of Resistance

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CINEMAGOGIC ECHOES? from Catherine Grant on Vimeo.

A real-time comparison, for scolarly and solidarity purposes, of Len Lye's 1958 experimental animation Free Radicals and the opening minutes of Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino's Hour of the Furnaces of 1968. This video was produced by Catherine Grant on teh morning of February 18. 2013, using readily available materials for quotation. It was made and distributed as part of a teach-in that day. Staff and students of media and cultural studies, working in a deeply personal, activist capacity, gave short presentation on their research and thinking about ideas of resistance, occupation and neoliberalism. For more information please visit the website Filmstudies For Free.

Beyond the Dream of Ideology

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TRAILER: The Pervert's Guide to Ideology from Blinder Films on Vimeo.

In The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (Sophie Fiennes, 2012) Slovene philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek re-enacts himself in films ranging from Taxi Driver to Sound of Music and from A Clock Work Orange to Titanic (and many more) to guide us in a razor sharp and hilarious cinematic journey into the heart of ideology: showing the psychological mechanisms of (any) ideology, revealing why it hurts to step out of it and how we are responsible for our dreams.    

“Never forget that every revolution is not only directed towards the futurebut also redeems the past failed revolutions.”Walter Benjamin quoted by Slavoj Žižek in The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology

For some introductory words about The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology:

A New University

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Between 25 February and 11 April 2015 the central executive building of the University of Amsterdam was transformed into a 'forum romanum' to discuss student and teachers protests and to rethink the university, education, research and academic culture in general. Top down busines models and new public mangements have reached the limits of their efficiency and sustainability. In order to survive, we need to implement alternative models of  bottum up organization that respect the knowledge, wisdom and experience of staff and students; organizational models that are more democratic, more ethical and ultimately much more productive and efficient. The massive protests in Amsterdam started in autumn with demonstrations and a Humanities Rally and is transforming into a cross- facluties and (inter)nationally recognized and supported movement to change academic life and make it healthy and thriving, contributing to find critical and creative solutions to the many challenges our world and planet faces today and in the near future. For a summary and introduction to the events in Amsterdam see Jonathan Gray's article in The Guardian; or a chronological overview in N+1. Follow the events on Rethink UvA (interfaculty staff website with English and Dutch articles in the press, position papers, blog entrees and more information), Twitter @rethinkUva or  #Maagdenhuis and the Youtube channel. You can sign the petition to support. See also my article about the jammed academic system in De Groene Amsterdammer in Dutch or in English. See also and artcile by James Anderson in Truthout or an article about the situation in England here. About the situation on higher education in the USA Noam Chomsky's analysis is pointing out what is at stake. The problems and conditions that are under discussion in the academic protest also stand for what is happening in other places in society, especially the public services (education, heath care, justice, public broadcasting, ...) that are crumbling under the weight of the systems of control and profitability. We need to rethink our life and return to "common" senses.

The mayor of Amsterdam discussing with the students.

Rapper Typhoon's support.

A Taste of Red, Yellow and Blue

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How does red smell, what is the sound of yellow words and the taste of blue? Art historian Caro Verbeek demonstrates the visual power of smell, film scientist Patricia Pisters gives a lecture about the color yellow in film and creative chef Jasper Ubink serves edible paintings from a foodbar. With the screening of: Red Mill (Esther Urlus, 2013, 5 ') Yellow (Rosella Biscotti, 2010, 22') and Limited Blue (Noud Heerkens, 1984, 9’).

Red Mill   Esther Urlus, 2013, 5’

Red Mill is a research into motion picture printing techniques. Starting point and inspiration for the film are the mill paintings of Piet Mondriaan, especially Rode Molen. In the film color is created by multiple exposures through different masks during printing. Depending what developing process is used the colors mix in two ways: additive or subtractive.

Yellow Film  Rosella Biscotti, 2010, 22’

The voice of Dik in Rosella Biscotti’s 16mm film Yellow Movie utters a vision of a world in miniature,something glittering with richness, but utterly ruined. The film’s audio comprises of recordings of psychoanalytic sessions under the influence of the drug Pentothal, conducted between 1987 and 1991.
The patient’s voice narrates what he sees, and these are terrible things. It is slowly revealed that it is not just the story and the vision of an individual, but our history, the events of World War II, that emerge between dream and waking. We are brought into Dik’s psyche in which the world which we occupy is tainted.

Limited Blue  Noud Heerkens, 1984, 9

The constant temptation of a filmmaker / writer to express himself, brings him to creating an unusual and abstract world. He alienates himself from what is happening in the outside world outside, until he realizes his vulnerable physical presence.

31 March 2015 in EYE. See also here.

This Cannot be True

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An important book by Joris Luyendijk who spend two years in The City in London to report about the financial world for The Guardian. He published his finding in the book Onder Bankiers: Dit Kan Niet Waar Zijn (Atlas/Contact, 2015) See also VPRO Tegenlicht 'Bankgeheimen'  In Dutch. Also the other episodesof Tegenlicht are important.

Out of My Skull / Chappaqua

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3 March 2015: A wonderful performance of Louis Van Gasteren's experimental film Out of My Skull that he shot at the Carpenter Centre of Harvard University in 1965. In 1966 Out of My Skull was performed in the Stedelijk Museum. The screening in EYE in the presence of Louis van Gasteren, introduced and interviewed by Patricia Pisters. Followed by a rare screening of Conrad Rooks Chappaqua.