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The Clash of ’68

March 27, 2008 - April 23, 2008

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Z, April 19

Soon to be forty years old, May ’68 is demonstrating creaky joints, age-related depression, and memory loss. Definitely memory loss. So The Clash of ’68 is dedicated to the memory of that most remarkable month and its surrounding history. The emphasis of this program is an expansive sense of global unrest focused on Paris, May ’68, as a watershed upheaval that surged forward with great optimism, only to be crushed by unyielding power. Not one to relinquish its influence easily, the United States also figures dramatically throughout—after all, it was the Vietnam War that catalyzed protests throughout the world and signaled a dramatic turn in the history of colonialism. Through Pontecorvo’s searing The Battle of Algiers and a rare screening of his Queimada!, a complex look at the contradictions of conquest; Chris Marker’s savant-like synthesis of global insurrection, A Grin Without a Cat; Alain Tanner and John Berger’s comic critique Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000; Oshima’s experiment in radical revelation, The Man Who Left His Will on Film; Bertolucci’s brilliant homage to bourgeois stasis, Before the Revolution; Antonino Isordia’s stylized look at the aftermath of Mexico’s Tlatelolco Massacre, 1973; Peter Watkins’s epic restaging of that utopian incubator, La Commune (Paris, 1871); and others, The Clash of ’68 presents an amalgam of unrest that reminds us that history never grows old.

The Clash of ’68 is presented in conjunction with the BAM exhibition Protest in Paris 1968: Photographs by Serge Hambourg.

Revolution Rewind Moments
In pithy montages, the Pacifica Radio Archives has captured vital audio of some of the most incendiary events of 1968, as originally heard on KPFA 94.1 FM and elsewhere: H. Rap Brown on the Mexico Olympics; Melina Mercouri on the Greek military junta; James Baldwin interviewed the night before Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated; Madame Nguyen Thi Binh on Vietnam’s war of liberation; Jean Genet and Allen Ginsberg touring a Yippie demonstration, and many others. Revolution Rewind Moments will be played in the twenty minutes prior to each screening.

Steve Seid
Video Curator

Thursday, March 27, 2008
8:30 p.m. Before the Revolution
Bernardo Bertolucci’s early masterpiece has “the lyricism and narcissism . . . of the intelligent young.”—Pauline Kael.

Saturday, March 29, 2008
6:30 p.m. Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000
Alain Tanner and John Berger’s beloved, marginal, funny characters live out May ’68 ideals in 1976.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008
7:00 p.m. A Grin Without a Cat
Introduced by Larry Bensky. In analyzing history, “Chris Marker has a genius for poetic aphorism and the documentary equivalent of the bon mot.”—Village Voice.

Friday, April 4, 2008
9:15 p.m. La Chinoise
A new print of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 Pop-agitprop, prophetic portrait of revolutionary youth.

Saturday, April 5, 2008
6:30 p.m. The Battle of Algiers
“Because of its perfect fusion of form and content, one of the most strikingly successful subversive films ever made.”—Amos Vogel.

Thursday, April 10, 2008
6:30 p.m. 1973
Stylish documentary from Mexico looks at the disillusionment of 1968 in the next generation’s youth. With Comunicados.

Thursday, April 10, 2008
6:30 p.m. 1973


Thursday, April 10, 2008
9:00 p.m. The Man Who Left His Will on Film
“Oshima demands of his Japanese audience that it confront what has befallen the restless youths of the New Left.”—Joan Mellen.

Friday, April 18, 2008
9:00 p.m. The Revolutionary
With the excellent John Voight, Paul Williams’s film set in 1970 London is “a masterful piece of social observation.”—Time Out.

Saturday, April 19, 2008
6:00 p.m. Queimada!
Known here as Burn!, Gillo Pontecorvo’s gutsy follow-up to Battle of Algiers stars Marlon Brando as an agent provocateur. Shown in an uncut version.

Saturday, April 19, 2008
8:45 p.m. Z
Yves Montand and Irene Papas in a true classic of political suspense, made by exiles including Greek director Costa-Gavras.

Sunday, April 20, 2008
1:00 p.m. La Commune (Paris, 1871)
Special Admission: $12. Peter Watkins’s “revolutionary” film beautifully and daringly reenacts the Paris Commune, making it very much about today. Part 1: 1–4 p.m.; Part 2: 5–8 p.m.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008
7:30 p.m. Society of the Spectacle
Introduced by Ken Knabb. Guy Debord’s film of his book—a provocative example of the subversive Situationist tactic détournement.

Special thanks to Jessy Vega Eslava, C.C.C.; José Manuel García and Ivan Trujillo, Filmoteca de la UNAM; Hanna Bruhin, Swiss Films; Chris Chouinard, MGM; Brian Meacham, Academy Film Archive; Anne Morra, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Edith Kramer; Mark McElhatten, The Film Foundation; Jesse Lerner; Konrad Steiner; Ken Knabb; and Summer Brenner. Additional thanks to Adi Gevins, coordinator, and Brian DeShazor, director, Pacifica Radio Archives, www.pacificaradioarchives.org.