tales of the wind

spent many hours at the pacific cinematheque absorbing several documentary films by the late, great joris ivens. a tale of the wind is a sort of autobiographical piece, weaving metaphor and the fantastic. joris’ love of film and of life is pure inspiration.

his early films, the bridge, rain, industrial symphony, new earth, and misère au borinage are all visual feasts. his cut rate is frenetic, something i hadn’t expected. the silent films are glorious. the annoying part is listening to either the people complaining about the lack of sound or the yahoos in the projection room yapping it up. take your pick.

the spanish earth, narrated by hemingway, reads like classic propaganda. it is a great film, and is necessary watching to follow up your reading of orwell’s homage to catalonia.

there aren’t enough words to describe the 17th parallel, iven’s film about the vietnam conflict. it was filmed while he and his co-director/wife marceline loridan lived with the vietnamese people. aurally, the film is a constant bombardment of american armament falling on vietnam. one of my favourite scenes is when the vietnamese are describing how useful a supersonic jet is to them. this is followed by a shot of a man taking some bolts from the wreckage and using them to repair his bicycle rear wheel. this film is an absolute must for anyone, anywhere, who wants to understand war.