Manifesto is the flagship in our Spotlight on Troublemakers. It is the good ship trouble that carries a pirate crew of muckrakers, disturbers of the peace, radicals, revolutionaries, and, of course, cinéastes, embodied in the words of this century’s great cultural and political manifestos. Rabid dissent and gonzo defiance are given voice by actress Cate Blanchett in the guise of a baker’s dozen of characters.
A portrait of photographer Denise Bellon, who pioneered the art of photojournalism, Remembrance of Things to Come is bookended by two Surrealist exhibitions (1938 and 1947). Or, as Marker terms them: “Two small Islands of strangeness, as between two hands.” Circuitous and discursive, the narrative is pinned in place by Bellon’s extraordinary eye.
Yan Chun Su observes the last of Tibet’s drokpa (nomads) as they lead herds of yak and sheep over hilly grasslands. No longer limitless, the drokpa move across the section of pasture randomly allotted to them by the Chinese government. The film captures the last years of an agentive people caught inside a political and ecological landscape beyond their control.
French-Canadian filmmaker François Jacob captures life in contemporary Norilsk (the city alone produces 20% of the world’s nickel) with a roaming camera, depicting the city and its residents with care and curiosity. A mix of black and white archival footage and a minimalist piano score softens the industrial-strength grimness.
Whether or not they knew it, Hitchcock and his collaborators created a pivotal point in the cultural and cinematic landscapes of North America. Alexandre O. Philippe’s 78/52 seeks to understand just what made that scene so legendary, deconstructing it to explore what each stab of the knife meant for cinema and culture.