Anthropology on Film

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by twisted_one, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. twisted_one

    twisted_one Regular Member

    Oct 11, 2009
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    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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?

    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.).

    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.

    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.

    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.
  2. dannygoodman

    dannygoodman BANNED BANNED

    Aug 24, 2009
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    cool, i'll check some out :D