The Atomic Cafe is a portrait of the United States in the 1950s, especially the nuclear threat and arms race of the Cold War.
The film makes use of archival government footage and propaganda.
Agnès Varda was a Belgian-born French film director.
Her films were popular among critics and directors, giving her the status of a cult director.
This is perhaps not the best of times to rid the world of a minor misconception regarding the work of Varda, but it is what I must do after researching her oeuvre following her death.
Another film from that same year is called Huey! and is directed by a certain Sally Pugh. It can be seen in full on YouTube [below] and has nothing to do with Varda, although the general subject matter as well as some scenes overlap.
Yesterday 14/3/19 I watched Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (2018) at CinemaZuid.
The film is interesting for its details on the ‘making-of’ of Land Without Bread (1933).
It reveals how Buñuel staged several scenes of his documentary: killing a donkey to be ‘eaten’ alive by bees and killing a goat to be eaten by the locals who would otherwise never eat meat.
While showing a dwarf in the style (or maybe it is that same dwarf) as depicted in fig. 44 of Las Jurdes : Étude de géographie humaine (1927), the book that was the inspiration for the film, the narrator says:
“Dwarfs and morons are very common in the upper Hurdanos mountains. Their families employ them as goat herders if they’re not too dangerous. The terrible impoverishment of this race is due to the lack of hygiene, undernourishment and constant intermarriage. The smallest one of these creatures is 28 years old. Words cannot express the horror of their mirthless grins as they play a sort of hide and go seek.”
Another scene shows a sickly and very thin girl lying in the street:
“In a deserted street, we come across this child. Our guide tells us that she has been lying there for the last three days … but no one seems to know what her ailment is. One of our companions examines her. The child’s throat and tonsils are terribly inflamed. But unfortunately, we could do nothing about it. Malady and infestation is their lot. Two days later, they told us that the child had died.”
After watching the whole Land Without Bread film, I got the impression that Buñuel wanted to go for a lost tribe effect, since the opening title card reads:
And a little bit further, when showing a baby covered in trinkets:
“Though actually Christian, these trinkets are amazingly like the charms of African natives.”
On the Hurdanos walking barefoot:
“Shoes are a rare luxury and the roads are cruel to naked feet.”
Graham Greene, in a review of the movie for Night and Day magazine, called it “an honest and hideous picture.”
And ugly it is.
Coke? The perfect commodity. Why?
The documentary is now online in full. (update: the documentary was taken offline a few days after I had posted it.)
Slavoj Žižek is unique in using films to prove philosophical points, see film and philosophy.
The full text of the The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology is here.
Sex: The Revolution (2008) was a four-part documentary miniseries that chronicled the history of sexual culture in America from the 1950s through the turn of the millenium. Ironically, the version shown on VH1 was pixelated to censor nudity including in discussions of censorship of nudity.
I’m afraid this is that pixelated version.