I recently got to read this very old article from some source... All the movies mentioned here worth a watch. Had anyone of you watched any of these movies? I have not even heard of these movie names until I read this post but the below description tempts me... I love Social Engineering Concepts. _________________ Anthropology on Film - Spring '87 Review Film reviews by John S. Licwinko Copyright 1987 John S. Licwinko Each spring, Dr. Malcolm Arth of the American Museum of Natural History presents an evening series entitled "Anthropology on Film". Dr. Arth presents some of the best of the latest documentary films. The film viewings are accompanied by discussions between the audience, Dr. Arth and the films' directors or other knowledgeable persons. Below are some of my feelings about the films seen this year. PITJIRI/THE SNAKE THAT WILL NOT SINK 1986. Director: Karen Hughes Along with the ITALIANS film, below, this film comes off as an anthropological-type study, even though the director is not an anthropologist. It revolves around an eighty-five-year-old Australian folk hero, and her experiences with supernatural happenings in the 20's and 30's while acting as a nurse in the Outback. The film includes interviews with the woman, film clips from the 30's, her return to the village where some of the experiences occurred, and her journey together with the Bush People to the lost city. This film did not grab me as many others in the series did. I found it jumped around too much, and, being made in Australia, I felt it presumed some knowledge of the woman and of Australia that I did not have. For those interested, I would say her supernatural experiences are somewhat akin to those presented by Carlos Casteneda in his Don Juan series, and also similar to the kinds of things Shirley Maclaine's movie version of OUT ON A LIMB posed. SOME BABIES DIE 1985. Director: Martyn Langdon Down For those interested in the subject of death and dying, you will want to see this documentary. This film deals with still-birth and neo-natal death, and the technique used by a team of professionals to help the family cope. First of all, this film is very difficult to watch. At the series, about one-quarter of the audience left before the film started, and another quarter left during the film. In addition to being so powerful, the technique that was shown was highly controversial among the series' audience. For me, the film was the best in the series. I was emotionally caught up in the families and their pain, and I felt that experiencing the film helped me grow in being able to deal with death and dying. I highly recommend this film to those who have interest in this topic. Note that this film is not an introduction to death and dying, rather it is a documentary of one technique used for one special situation, the death of new-borns. NO LONGER SILENT 1986. Director: Laurette Deschamps A film about the women's rights movement in India, this documentary is sympathetic to the movement. (One idea brought out strongly by the series' host Malcolm Arth is that all documentary film has a bias, there is no such thing as neutral; the film maker shows what she wants.) Okay, given the sympathetic part, what else can be said. This film is crafted excellently, the director did her homework and knows how to make documentaries. What interested me was the discussions (by those filmed) of how women are viewed in Indian culture. In fact, I experienced some culture shock, culminated by discussions of the practice of bride-burning. I would recommend this film for Affirmative Action awareness raising (although I wonder if it might put Indians--especially men--in a defensive position). Also, if you are interested in the women's rights issue, see this one. At a minimum, I guarantee you won't be bored. CHUCK SOLOMON: COMING OF AGE 1986. Directors: Marc Huestis and Wendy Dallas Chuck Solomon is dying of AIDS. Although this documentary again deals with death and dying, it is more about friendship, family, community, and our capacity for love. This capacity, together with the value of truth, left me feeling positive about the human condition. What we witness in the film are family and friends pulling together, setting aside differences, and turning their personal disappointments and Chuck Solomon's tragedy into a celebration of life. It is my experience at AT&T that we have never discussed sexual preference as a discriminatory item. This film would make an excellent ice breaker into that taboo area. Why? Not because it dwells on sexual orientation, but because we can witness a gay man as a real person. On the other hand, I believe some parts of the film would seriously upset a number of people: the sexual orientation issue (and to some extent the language - remember this is a documentary) would block out the more important aspects. I wonder if AT&T is ready for this? DRIVE-IN BLUES 1986. Director: Jan Krawitz Were you aware that drive-in movie theatres are dying out? Well the director has taken note, and has produced a light, nostalgic film about drive-ins. Do you know, for instance, where the first drive-in movie was built? New Jersey. The parts I found most interesting were the inserts of actual advertising clips from the 50's and 60's (you know, shown at the beginning to warn you not to use your headlights, at intermission to entice you to the snack bar, etc.). WHEN YOU MAKE A GOOD CROP: ITALIANS IN THE DELTA 1986. Director: Louis Guida A not too terribly exciting documentary, this film presents a view of the Italians who work farms in the Mississippi Delta. Yes, there is a small community of Italians who farm. Their parents and grandparents came over around 1900 and settled in as tenant farmers, and the community still thrives. Yes, they have southern accents. This film has the requisite interviews, the necessary background material, and even an introduction by Mario Cuomo. ANGER 1986. Director: Maxi Cohen And then we saw ANGER. The director places an ad in the Village Voice asking "are you angry?" and requesting they contact her. What results is an unforgettable sequence of people discussing their anger. It's not what was expected. It's not uplifting, it's not funny. A number of us felt that the film had nothing to do with anger, but was about misfits (this was my initial feeling, then riding home, I decided the film was certainly about anger). A number of people felt the director had invaded the privacy of those filmed (even though they had done this voluntarily). A number of people felt it had no artistic merit whatsoever. For sure, this film is not slick, not pretty, and not people yelling (with a few exceptions, most notably a couple right out of a Woody Allen movie who would not be believable if this were fiction). The director shows this at her home at parties for friends. If you want to give an unforgettable party, you should too. BLUE SNAKE 1986. Director: Niv Fitchman The Canadian Ballet Company rehearses a new production, and then the premiere performance is captured on film. This film falls short in attempting to document rehearsals. For example, for the rehearsals that were filmed, the dancers wore make-up and were, naturally, on performance. As noted during the discussion following the film, this is not really how rehearsals go; rehearsals are more characterized by sweat, artistic differences, swearing, long hours; none of this was captured or felt. The premiere performance was certainly entertaining to watch, although it had some slow moments (I start to doze off). If you like splashy productions (or you're a balletomane), I'd recommend this one when it hits public TV. As a documentary, it falls well short; but as entertainment, it's okay.