Arlecchino Cinema > 11:15


Arne Sucksdor


Sunday 02/07/2017


Original version with subtitles


Film Notes

Arne Sucksdorff (1917-2001) is Sweden’s most prominent non-fiction filmmaker, having directed 16 shorts and four feature-length films between 1941 and 1965. From the beginning he shot films on location depicting nature and wild-life, which was also the theme of his first feature film Det stora äventyret (The Great Adventure, 1953).
It is somewhat ironic that arguably the best films by this great nature filmmaker are the ones that take place in the city: the Academy Award winning short Människor i stad (Symphony of a City, 1947) and Mitt hem är Copacabana. It is as if his experience filming landscapes and animals, often spending many hours waiting for the right moment, made him able to reveal relations and configurations in cityscapes which other filmmakers were not able to see.
After the CinemaScope and colour India [song] En djungelsaga (The Flute and the Arrow, 1957, screened at Il Cinema Ritrovato in 2006), Sucksdorff returned to Sweden to make Pojken i trädet (The Boy in the Tree, 1961), his failed attempt at fiction filmmaking. In 1962 he agreed to go to Rio de Janeiro to participate in training organized by Unesco. He stayed, and in January 1964 started shooting Mitt hem är Copacabana. In visually striking and amazingly choreographed takes, where the movement of the camera acts in perfect harmony with the movements in front of the camera, he depicted the dreams, fears, joy and terrible conditions of four street kids as they spend their days in Babylon Hill favela and Copacabana beach. In the end, Sucksdorff may not indeed be the great renderer of nature and wild-life but of children; showing their innocence and hopes as well as their obstacles and hardships, whether they grow up north of the Polar circle, on the high plateaus of central India or in the favelas of Rio.
While conducting training in Brazil, he encountered Nelson Pereira dos Santos and others, and Sucksdorff is sometimes referred to as a father of cinéma nôvo. After Mitt hem är Copacabana he stayed in Brazil, making a television series on Pantanal in Mato Grosso.

Jon Wengström

Cast and Credits

F.: Arne Sucksdorff. Scen.: Arne Sucksdorff, Flávio Migliaccio, João Bethencourt. Mus.: Radamés Gnattali. Int.: Josafá Da Silva Santos (Paulinho), Antônio Carlos de Lima (Rico), Leila Santos de Sousa (Lici), Cosme dos Santos (Jorginho). Prod.: AB Svensk Filmindustri. DCP. D.: 88’ a 24 f/s. Bn.


Film Notes

While filming the making of Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt in 1963, Jacques Rozier also shot two complementary short films, Paparazzi and Bardot-Godard. Le Parti des choses. In the latter work he takes a more serious look at the creative act, revealing the daily tasks of the technicians, the movements of the actors, the director’s point of view… In short, the film depicts the randomness of the shooting process, frequently determined by unforeseen events.

Bardot and Piccoli, who play the estranged couple, sensitive and fragile, take their positions. The scene directors are busy and the sound and image technicians coordinate between each other. The clapper loader announces action and Godard directs Fritz Lang with reverential fear: “the old Indian chief”, “the spokesman of the Gods”, “he who scrutinises men” says the voiceover, that voice, which for all the film seems to transmit the common thought of both Godard and Rozier. Jacques Rozier, visibly fascinated by Fritz Lang and Brigitte Bardot, is also fascinated by his friend Jean-Luc Godard. With his camera, he follows Godard’s camera: this time he is the ‘paparazzo’, hunting down the movie camera. Thanks to the Mitchell Camera and the Technicolor equipment, Jean-Luc Godard will sublimate Brigitte Bardot, and the comment makes it clear that “from the very beginning, until the last breath, every Jean-Luc Godard film is a truth document devoted to modern woman: illogical, disarming, capricious, exasperating, regal, mysterious”.

If the random component is not alien to cinema, and in any case is neither foreign to the cinema of Godard nor that of Rozier, it is because their films constantly feed on a reflection of modernity and on the necessity to imagine the world and our representation of it in a different way.

Jacques Rozier takes advantage of the situation to redefine cinema, thanks to the presence of Godard, Bardot and Lang, three exceptional figures that find themselves together on a sun-drenched Mediterranean set. The short Bardot Godard. Le parti des choses is a malicious mirror of Jacques Rozier’s thoughts; in some ways it is his description of modern woman: illogical, disarming, mysterious and regal.

Hervé Pichard

The pleasure of travel and holidays, the reoccurring theme of water and islands, the poignant sense of time, the inclination for popular genres and actors, the hybridisation of documentary and fiction, the supremely artistic improvisations and sublime inversions indelibly mark this style of cinema, which evokes like none other the sensation, at once both joyous and melancholic, of the grace of existence and the fragility of the instant. Paradoxically, nothing is more in tune with the world, or nothing is more visionary than such an insular cinema, which manages to grasp the essential by proceeding in a zigzag manner

Jacques Mandelbaum, “Le Monde”, 1° settembre 2001

Cast and Credits

T. alt.: Bardot et Godard. F.: Maurice Perrimond. M.: Jacques Rozier, Jean Collet. Mus.: Antoine Duhamel. Int.: Brigitte Bardot, Jean-Luc Godard, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, Fritz Lang. Prod.: Argos Films. DCP. D.: 8’. Bn.


Film Notes

Gai dimanche is the second of Tati’s screen performances to survive on celluloid, and this particular three-reel film was written with Enrico Sprocani, a circus clown known affectionately as Rhum. The pair’s own down-at-the-heels experiences inspired the story.
Tati and Rhum play tramps who come up with the idea of hiring a dilapidated old car to ferry tourists around the countryside. A series of visual gags offer an early insight into the themes and methods Tati would develop to perfection years later.

Neil McGlone

Cast and Credits

Scen., Int.: Jacques Tati, Rhum. F.: Marcel Paulis. Mus.: Michel Lévine. Prod.: Marcel de Hubsch per Atlantic Film DCP 2K. D.: 21’. Bn