Tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 6, the International House is programming shorts from this past year's Flaherty Film Seminar, on the topic of "work." Screening is at 7PM.
dir. Michael Glawogger, Austria, 1987, BetaSP, 3 mins, color
Haiku uses the clang of metal forming as the basis for an earsplitting rhythm that mirrors the repetition of life structured by the factory’s whistle.
dir. Mika Rottenberg, US, 2008, BetaSP, 16 mins, color
Cheese conflates farm-girl imagery with the fairy tale Rapunzel into a story loosely based on the Sutherland Sisters, renowned for their extremely long hair. Floating through a pastoral yet mazelike setting of raw wooden debris cobbled together into a benign shantytown, six longhaired women in flowing white nightgowns ‘milk’ both their locks and their goats to generate cheese. As nurturing caretakers, these women represent maternal aspects of Mother Nature.
Me Broni Ba
dir. Akosua Adoma Owusu, US/Ghana, 2008, BetaSP, 22 mins, color, Twi and English w/ English subtitles
Who dictates the whims of fashion and what can these whims tell us? Me Broni Ba remixes the traditional anthropological documentary (including the classic story about Euro-colonialism) into a mad and inventive fusion of both forms and formats. Titled for an Akan term of endearment (me broni ba or my white baby), Me Broni Ba is a lyrical and impressionistic portrait of hair salons in Kumasi, Ghana, combining images of Ghanaian women who practice braiding on discarded white baby dolls with a child’s story of migrating from Ghana to the United States.
The Pottery Maker
dir. Robert Flaherty, US, 1925, BetaSP, 14 mins, b/w, silent
A humble experiment using the new Mazda incandescent lamps instead of mercury vapor lights, The Pottery Maker was shot in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s basement in collaboration with the Arts and Crafts Department and proved to be important as a preliminary study for the pottery-making sequence in Industrial Britain.
The Sixth Section
dir. Alex Rivera, US/Mexico, 2003, BetaSP, 26 mins, color, Spanish and English w/ English subtitles
The Sixth Section is a portrait of a Mexican migrant community inhabiting a transnational space between the village of Boquerón, Puebla and Newburgh, NY, where they formed a niche enclave, ready to supply their labor in menial occupations. Having come north with the intent of supporting families back home, Newburgh’s Poblanos shrewdly consolidate their efforts into Grupo Unión, a benevolent society (headquartered in a backyard tent) dedicated to public-welfare projects in Boquerón. Rivera leafs through Grupo Unión’s jaw-dropping portfolio: the construction of a 2,000-seat baseball stadium; purchase and delivery of an ambulance for the village clinic; instruments for a marching band; completion of an abandoned, half-dug well; and more — all done from upstate New York.
dir. Uruphong Raksasad, Thailand, 2006, BetaSP, 6 mins, color, Thai w/ English subtitles
A man with a young boy on his shoulders maneuvers through a tall thicket. “This is the old way,” he says, reassuring the boy that they have not much farther to go.