Articles From : PollockTheater
Gulabi Gang (2012) is set in the badlands of Bundelkhand in central India, a place of dust, oppression, and resistance. This film follows the Gulabi Gang, an unusual group of rural women led by the energetic and charismatic Sampat Pal. They travel long distances to fight for the rights of women and Dalits. Often they encounter apathy, corruption, and even ridicule. Sometimes whole villages connive against them to protect the perpetrators of violence.
Ghana’s Electric Dreams presents the planning and wide-ranging impact of the Akosombo Dam, Ghana’s most ambitious development project. The film visits sites affected by the hydroelectric dam and by the broader vision of modernization that it represents. Historical footage and interviews with Ghanaians reveal the complexity and contradictions, unintended consequences, social inequities, rural/urban divides, and gender differences that underlie this confluence of energy, power, and creativity in the West African country.
Presented in conjunction with UCSB Reads 2019, this program of six shorts by filmmakers from the Vietnamese diaspora includes documentary, narrative, and experimental films. Like this year’s UCSB Reads text The Best We Could Do, these short films take up questions of Vietnamese heritage, family, and memory. This selection of films was curated in cooperation with the Viet Film Fest. Filmmakers Kady Le, Lan Nguyen, and Quyên Nguyen-Le will join moderator erin Khuê Ninh (Asian American Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion.
Films to be screened:
In 2010, after Jafar Panahi was arrested and charged with making propaganda against the Iranian government, he was banned from making films or operating a camera for twenty years. In 2011 he made This is Not a Film, which was shot entirely in Panahi’s home, using the help of his friends, a camcorder, an iPhone, and the legal loopholes in his ban. The film debuted at Cannes after being smuggled there in a cake. With a playful charm, This is Not a Film grows from a diary of Panahi’s house arrest into an indirect examination of censorship, filmmaking, and plucky resourcefulness.
Based on Edmundo Desnoes’ novel and presented here in a new 4k restoration, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s Memories of Underdevelopment (1968) is a fictional meditation on disillusionment in post-revolutionary Cuba. Left behind by his wife and family, the protagonist Sergio elects to remain in Havana following the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, an historical moment that the film chooses to reflect on through Sergio’s unmoored, flâneur-like lifestyle and anomie. The Cuban capital engulfs Sergio and simmers beneath the social and political forces of the Cold War. Ramon F.
Directed by celebrated Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, Hero) and based on Nobel Prize-winning author Mo Yan’s novel, Red Sorghum is a landmark in contemporary Chinese cinema and culture. The film blends the stories of three generations of a family with their region’s journey through feudalism, war, and revolution. After several years as a cinematographer, Zhang Yimou chose Mo Yan’s novel for his directorial debut.
Past and present, trauma and eros, the personal and the collective all intermingle in this groundbreaking film from French New Wave director Alain Resnais and visionary novelist Marguerite Duras. Centering on a short, intense affair between a French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada), Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) unfolds in a rebuilt and modernized Hiroshima. As the central couple explore their powerful attraction, their trysts are interrupted by memories of the war and the surrounding traces of atomic mass destruction.
The production of Roberto Rossellini’s Rome, Open City (Roma città aperta, 1945) began only months after the end of the Nazi occupation of Rome and the arrival of Allied forces during the Italian campaign of World War II. The film triangulates the tension of the German occupation through a rich cast of characters: children, landlords, clergy, military men, unwed mothers, cabaret girls, collaborators, resistance fighters, and subversives of all kinds, and of course the city itself.
Invoking the energetic and defiant spirit of its main subject, Floyd Norman: An Animated Life offers a captivating tour of the sixty-year career of its eponymous animator and writer. Dubbed by peers as “animation’s Forrest Gump,” Norman had a remarkable professional journey that included time at Disney (from Sleeping Beauty to Mulan), Hanna-Barbera (The Smurfs), and Pixar (Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc.).
Floyd Norman will join moderator Vilna Bashi Treitler (Black Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion.
The year is 2020 and most of Earth’s human and animal population has been wiped out by sightless creatures of unknown origin. Directed by John Krasinski, A Quiet Place (2018) explores one family’s struggle to survive in a desolate New York City in an era of complete and utter silence. As Earth’s newest invader is attracted to noise, even the slightest of sounds can be deadly.
We are delighted to welcome Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (screenwriters/ executive producers) for the 50th installment of Script to Screen, which will be moderated by Pollock Theater Director Matt Ryan.
Upstream (1927) strays far from director John Ford’s classic Western landscapes. Centered on an eclectic mix of stage actors, knife-throwers, and vaudevillians, Upstream is a backstage comedy set in a busy New York boardinghouse. Tensions arise after a member of the household, a pretentious thespian named Eric Brashingham (Earle Fox), is summoned to London to perform Hamlet. Upon his return, he meets with rejection from his former friends. Less than twenty percent of Ford’s silents survive, and for decades Upstream was mourned as a lost film.
LAND HACKS: Masculine Media Anxiety Disorder (or 55 Film Locations Near Bakersfield), released in 2018, retraces the migration of the Oakies to rural California and visits 55 Hollywood film locations spanning the southeastern corridor of the state. Kern County, in California’s Central Valley, promotes itself as the “most red-state county in blue-state California” and “the Texas of California”; the county’s labor wars, land extraction economies, and media stereotypes combine to reveal rural folks and urban elites uneasily attempting to “hack” each other when they “partner” to make films.
Soaring at 28,000 feet without a drop of fuel, nothing is predictable: not the weather, not the technology, and certainly not the fate of a man, alone for five days in a fragile, first-of-its-kind aircraft with nothing but ocean below. Point of No Return takes you behind the headlines of the first solar-powered flight around the world, where two courageous pilots take turns battling nature, their own crew, and sometimes logic itself, to achieve the impossible. Their aim is not just to make history, but to inspire a revolution.
In Peter Ott’s 2017 film The Milan Protocol (Das Milan-Protokoll), Martina (Catrin Striebeck), a German doctor working and living in Iraqi Kurdistan, is kidnapped while traveling through ISIS-controlled territory in Syria. When news of her capture breaks, a range of global players try to take advantage of the hostage situation, including intelligence agencies in Germany, Turkey, and Iraq. Unsure of whom to trust, Martina starts to lose her ability to distinguish friend from foe.
Preston Sturges’ daring and sexy romantic comedy The Lady Eve (1941) opens as a naturalist (Henry Fonda) emerges from the jungle after a year up the Amazon studying snakes. On board a ship, he is targeted by a female cardsharp (Barbara Stanwyck). When the two begin to fall in love, complications arise for both the con woman and the mark. Widely lauded as one of the best screwball films of all time, this film was a favorite of both Stanwyck and Fonda, who crackle and crack up as a duo.
Nadie (2017) tells the story of love and deception in the Cuban revolution, seen through the eyes of a man who was initially mesmerized by all its possibilities. Rafael Alcides was once a widely-known and celebrated writer of the Cuban revolution; now, a stranger in his own country, he tries to salvage his unpublished novels as the ink fades away from their pages. Filmmaker Miguel Coyula has created a pop culture collage, combining clips from old movies, photographs and imaginary conversations all held together by the magnetic personality of raconteur Rafael Alcides.
Set in the psychedelic paradise of Pepperland, Yellow Submarine (1968) pits Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band against the Blue Meanies, enemies of fun and music. Director George Dunning and art director Heinz Eidelmann employ a constantly-shifting array of ’60s pop art settings in this revolutionary animated feature, which has inspired directors ranging from Terry Gilliam to John Lasseter. On its 50th anniversary, the film retains its ability to dazzle from its opening scene to the sing-a-long final credits.
With the hallucinatory visual style of Revolver, the poppy sentiment of A Hard Day’s Night, and a songbook that spans the Beatles’ discography, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe (2007) reimagines the Beatles music as the soundscape for art, revolution, and love in the 1960s. British dockworker Jude (Jim Sturgess) travels from Liverpool to the US in search of his father, but ends up he falling in love with a young upper-class American, Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood).