(14/07/07)

DRAWING ON FILM: DRAWING CENTER, NEW YORK CITY: TO JULY 24, 2008: A survey of the practice of "direct film"—the process of drawing, scratching, or otherwise manipulating film stock to create images without a camera. The exhibition presents works spanning from the late 1930s to the present and highlights an overlooked facet of experimental film. Many of the works to be exhibited are seminal films in the history of the genre—including Len Lye’s A Colour Box (see Kamera’s blog for a peek) and Norman McLaren’s Blinkity Blank — while other, more contemporary works are being screened for the first time. Artists include: Stan Brakhage, Robert Breer, Amy Granat, Pierre Hébert, Len Lye, Norman McLaren, Bärbel Neubauer, Jenny Perlin, Jennifer Reeves, Richard Reeves, Dieter Roth, Harry Smith, and Jennifer West. MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT (MEMORIAS DEL SUBDESAROLLO (CUBA, 1968), BARBICAN CENTER, LONDON. PLAYING NOW: Hailed as one of – if not the most – sophisticated film ever to come out of Cuba, Memories Of Underdevelopment (Memorias Del Subdesarollo) is visionary Cuban director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s tour de force. Listed at number fifty-four on Derek Malcolm’s 100 Greatest Movies, this cinematic masterpiece will receive a theatrical release on 11 July 2008 as the centrepiece film of the Cine Cuba season (see attached press release) at the Barbican. Memories Of Underdevelopment follows Sergio (Sergio Corrieri – Soy Cuba), through his life, following the departure of his wife, parents and friends in the wake of the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Alone in a brave new world, Sergio observes the constant threat of foreign invasion, before meeting Elena (Daisy Granados), a young woman he seeks to mould into the image of his ex-wife, but at what cost to himself? Even though director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea was a staunch and devoted supporter of the revolution, Memories of Underdevelopment offers a raw and uncompromising analysis of the newly formed system of government. Through a moving blend of narrative fiction, still photography and rare documentary footage, Alea catalogues the intricacies of the early days of the Castro regime; producing a stirring and enigmatic work that feeds off the culture of the very subject it is studying: Cuba. BLAKE EDWARDS, AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE, LOS ANGELES. TO JULY 26: In a career that has spanned over fifty years as a writer, producer and director, Blake Edwards has provided audiences with classics in nearly every genre of the cinema. Though known primarily for comedies such as The Party and the Pink Panther series, Edwards has exhibited mastery of the domestic melodrama (the beautiful and tragic Days of Wine and Roses), the thriller (Experiment in Terror) and the musical (the criminally underrated Darling Lili). In the best tradition of studio-era auteurs like Howard Hawks, Edwards has managed to inject distinctly personal ideas and styles into popular forms; regardless of genre, all of his films share a profound interest in close relationships (between friends, lovers or colleagues) and their pitfalls. No director is more finely attuned to the wide spectrum of emotions that characterise the human experience, and his best films — films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Victor/Victoria and S.O.B. — veer from humiliation and anxiety to giddy romance and celebration all within the space of a couple of hours.

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