"The "pre-Code era" refers to a roughly five-year period in film history, beginning with the widespread adoption of sound in 1929 and ending on July 1, 1934, with the inauguration of the Production Code Administration and a policy of rigid censorship. Before July 1, 1934, restrictions on movie content varied widely, depending on local laws, mores and public taste. As a result, "pre-Code films" tend to be racier, sexier, more adult, more cynical, more socially critical, more honest and more politically strident than the films produced by Hollywood on up through the early 1960s." [Mick LaSalle. GreenCine ]
Happy New Year, Mediaheads!
The end of the calendar year was hectic, as usual, in the Media Center. Among the activities in MRC was a flurry of video digitization. The following titles are available for viewing online (with Windows Media Player or Flip4Mac for Mac). No password or ID is required.
Free Speech Movement Project
A student oral history project from 1977, this group of videos includes interviews with notable participants in the FSM, Berkeley faculty, and campus administrators. While the visual and sound quality of the videos is often rocky, the content is uniformly fascinating. Interviewees include:
Peter Dale Scott
Peter Dale Scott , a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher.
Author, historian, feminist, UC Santa Cruz faculty, Bettina Aptheker , presents a historical overview of the Free Speech Movement
Interview with Pat Brown , Governor of California from 1959-1967.
Clark Kerr was University of California, Berkeley chancellor from 1952 through 1967.
John Searle , philosophy professor at UC Berkeley, analyses the objectives and outcomes of the movement and expounds upon the philosophy of the student activists.
Long Train Running: a History of the Oakland Blues.
A film by Marlon Riggs. Examines taverns and clubs in Oakland, California where a distincitive style of blues music unique to Oakland was developed and performed. Includes interviews with blues musicians in the Oakland area and segments from the San Francisco Blues Festival. 29 min.
Pierre Perrault Film Works: La trilogie de l'Île-aux-Coudres
The trilogy primarily concerns Pierre Perrault's encounter with apeople who have been anchored on the shores of the St. Lawrence Riversince the seventeenth century, of whom it was said they had no history as they were too busy surviving; it recognizes that in the actual lives and traditional activities of this people there lie memory, speech and human bearers of history and knowledge. Perrault, the poet-filmmaker, made this wealth universal. By focusing on the spoken word and ridding the documentary of its usual voiceover commentaries, Perrault and his teams fashioned reality, via careful editing, into a narrative, and allowed the sailors, navigators, farmers, schooner builders and people of Île-aux-Coudres to stand out as legends. [National Film Board of Canada]
In this innovative animated feature Madame Tutli-Putli boards the night train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past. She travels alone, facing both the kindness and menace ofstrangers. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure. Adrift between real and imagined worlds, Madame Tutli-Putli confronts her demons and is drawn into an undertow of mystery and suspense. Story and direction, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski.[National Film Board of Canada]
Wal-Mart Nation is an access oriented documentary about theinternational anti-Wal-Mart movement. The filmmakers were trying to answer the question, "how did the world's most successful and influential company become the most hated." The film is a two year long journey into a contentious world of protests, pageants, union organizing (and busting); dirty tricks and low low prices. Wal-Mart's emergence as a global corporate powerhouse has triggered an unprecedented political backlash. No company has ever faced such angry and organized opposition, The filmmakers were granted rare access both to Wal-Mart itself, andthe inner sanctums of its bitterest enemies. The result is a provocative, engaging and frequently humourous POV documentary. [Filmwest Associates]
Can't Do It In Europe
Already visited Paris, Rome, Berlin, Madrid andthe other great cities of Europe? Looking for a truly unusual tourist spot? Then how about the silver mines of Potosi in Bolivia, billed as "the best adventure in the Cerro Ricco," where you can don helmets, gloves and overalls and descend into the dark, stiflingly hot, and polluted mines to watch real Bolivian miners at work?
Can't Do It in Europe portrays this new phenomenon of 'reality tourism,' whereby bored American or European travelers seek out real-life experiences as exciting tourist" adventures." The film follows a group of such international tourists as they visit the mines in Potosi?the poorest city in the poorest nation in Latin America?where Bolivian miners work by hand, just as they did centuries ago, to extract silver from the earth.
Led by their Bolivian tour guide, a former miner himself, and walking through constricted, muddy and poorly ventilated tunnels, breathing fetid air laced with arsenic, asbestos and toxic gases, and occasionally dodging fast-moving carts loaded with silver ore, the tourists take in the "sights" with goggle-eyed amazement and not a little uneasiness. Although they give the miners recommended gifts of coca leaves and soft drinks, the cultural encounter is no less awkward,with the miners cracking jokes about the "gringitos" and wondering,"God knows why they come to see us." [First Run/Icarus Films]
Greenpeace: Making a Stand
With dramatic action footage, still photographs, lively interviewswith unforgettable characters, evocative period and contemporary music,GREENPEACE: Making a Stand explores what inspires people to risktheir lives for their beliefs - to sail a ship into a nuclear testzone, to get between a pod of whales and an explosive harpoon, or to block bulldozers mowing down a forest. This compelling documentary looks at the 35 year evolution of Greenpeace from the early days of the environmental movement in the 1970s, to the front lines of a potentially dangerous campaign in Argentina.
Thirty-five years after the Phyllis Cormack, Greenpeace?s first seafaring vessel, set sail for Amchitka to fight testing of the nuclear bomb, Producer/Director Leigh Badgley?s cameras follow Weyler to Argentina where he interacts with young Greenpeace recruits on a potentially dangerous campaign where they fight to save the Chaco forest ? homeland of the indigenous Wichipeople. Together with John Watterberg , an energetic young campaigner from New York, they witness vast tracts of virgin forest being cleared by bulldozers making way for massive industrial soya plantations. The film follows Weyler and Watterberg as they jointhe Greenpeace Jaguars ? a daring squadron of Argentine activists whoride high-power dirt bikes into the forest to stop the bulldozers in their tracks. Despite its modern rhythm, the old drumming still echoes through the jungle as new wars are being fought on today?s environmental battle grounds. As a result of the attention that Greenpeace and the documentary crew brought to the Wichi people?s plight, on August 15, 2006, the Argentine president formally gave the title deed for the Pizarro Reserve to the Wichi Indians.
Every year in October, the Head of the Media Resources Center gets to attend a very cool and productive conference, The National Media Market (http://www.nmm.net/ ). The Market brings together librarians, eductors, and distributors of documentary and educational films in a concentrated three-day flurry of screening and buying. (The NMM is one of the few opportunities to leisurely preview video materials before they're purchased). This year's market yielded an uncommonly large number of terrific new documentaries. Described below are some of the more notable titles purchased for the Media Resources Center.
Bloqueo : Looking at the U.S. Embargo Against Cuba -- DVD 8705
Looking to really find out how the blockade affects Cuba? Sick of the media spin? Want something more substantive on the Cuba debate? "Bloqueo: Looking at the U.S. Embargo Against Cuba" is a newly-released documentary by two young filmmakers that offers some answers.
Featuring voices from the streets of Havana and the Cuban
countryside, Bloqueo (or blockade) lets Cubans speak for themselves
about how they have been affected by the blockade, and what it means to live in Cuba
today. The 45-minute documentary also features analysis from activists
traveling with the Pastors for Peace Caravan - an annual journey
calling attention to this controversial policy. Bloqueo looks at the
successes that have made Cuba a model in healthcare, environmental
stewardship, and other arenas that forge an alternative, and ultimately
more sustainable, system.
The Borinqueneers -- DVD 8605
The Borinqueneers is the first major documentary to chronicle the never-before-told story of the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment, the only all-Hispanic unit in the history of the U.S. Army. Narrated by Hector Elizondo.
Mapping Stem Cell Research -- DVD 8707
When his 15-year-old daughter became paralyzed from the waist down in a
tragic skiing accident, Jack Kessler - the current chair of
Northwestern University's Department of Neurology and Clinical
Neurological Sciences ? abruptly shifted the focus of his embryonic
stem-cell research from peripheral nerve disorders to spinal-cord
injuries in hopes of a cure. Mapping Stem Cell Research: Terra Incognita
charts Kessler's efforts to unlock the mysteries of neural regeneration
over the course of two years. His advances and setbacks, and those of
like-minded colleagues, have helped spark nationwide debate about
genetics and about the legal, medical and ethical concerns that shape
public policy. Director Maria Finitzo ? an associate of Kartemquin
Films, the production company behind Hoop Dreams and Stevie
? accordingly presents the controversy from a number of angles:
doctors, research scientists, bio-ethicists, religious leaders and of
course patients all weigh in on the promises of and implications for
The Blood of Yingzhou District -- DVD 8244
Documentary on the AIDS epidemic in rural China focusing on one year in
the life of a young boy with AIDS whose parents have died of the
disease. Looks at how people living with the disease are ostracized.
Shows how economic realities force many of the population into selling
their blood to make ends meet, a practice that can expose them to
unsafe medical practices that can expose them to the virus. Directed by
The Prize of the Pole -- DVD 8637On a hot summer day in 1897, Robert E. Peary - the most famed explorer of his day - docked in Brooklyn with cargo so outrageous that it would soon become one of the most heart-wrenching stories of the cost of American expansionism. What Peary had brought, for his financiers at the American Museum of Natural History, were six, live Polar Eskimos.
The tabloid press ate it up, and over the course of the next several months, thousands of New Yorkers flocked to the museum to catch a glimpse of the "savages". Unfortunately, the Eskimos were unfamiliar with the city's exotic germs, and most of them soon perished. The last Eskimo to remain was a boy named Minik, just 6-years old.
Thus began a strange, twenty-year saga as Minik's life became inextricably intertwined with Peary's, and Polar Eskimo culture became intermingled with the American dream. (First Run/Icarus Films)
Forever -- DVD 8637
A poignant tour of the importance of art in the lives of visitors to
the Pčre-Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the final resting place for
legendary writers, composers, painters and other artists from around
(First Run/Icarus Films)
Algeria's Bloody Years -- DVD 8632
Chronicles the country's struggle for peace, stability and democracy
since independence, and the surprising origins of the brutal conflict
between Islamic fundamentalists and the national Army.
(First Run/Icarus Films )
The Face of Evil -- DVD 8648
A history of attempts to categorize the physiognomy of evil. From the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch to physiognomics, phrenology, eugenics, and anthropometrics.
(First Run/Icarus Films)
Nanjing -- DVD 8648
Although the Nanjing Massacre, a series of war
crimes committed by Japanese troops in China's capital during the
second Sino-Japanese War, occurred seventy years ago, the nature and
extent of these atrocities remains the subject of continuing historical
debate and the source of political tensions between China and Japan.
(First Run/Icarus Films )
Marketing the Message -- DVD 8761
Marketing the Message rides along as Christian evangelicals adopt marketing strategies from the commercial advertising world. A Jesus bobblehead, blasphemy or a great way to teach kids about the Gospel? Husband and wife filmmakers, Joe and Kate Bly take a road trip from Washington D.C. to Orlando, Florida, surveying ways in which Christian evangelism is stepping up its campaign and rebranding itself to fit within mainstream pop culture.
They find a Christian skateboarding tour hosted by Stephen Baldwin, hip Christian accessories for teens and a preaching wrestler who has a tag-team partner in Jesus. The debate is joined by commercial marketers, pastors and plain folks. Author, David Dark ( The Gospel According to America ) provides commentary and critique as NASCAR fans distribute racing bibles and the Holy Land Experience, a bible themed amusement park, pushes the envelope of faith based entertainment. The tone is refreshingly fair and respectful, but not afraid to ask whether it's deception, cheapening or charged by the Apostles. (Filmwest Associates)
International Feature Films
DVD 8103 A prairie home companion
DVD 8106 The mistress of spices
DVD 8116 300 (The Three Hundred)
DVD 8137 David Lynch's Inland Empire
DVD 8138 Zodiac
DVD 8142 Les amants reguliers Regular lovers
DVD 8189 Children of men
DVD 8190 Miss Potter
DVD 8194 Nell Shipman collection. Volume 1, A girl from God's countryDVD 8202 Running with scissors
DVD 8209 The steel helmet
DVD 8221 Five 5 long takes dedicated to Yasujiro Ozu
DVD 8227 The bloody child
DVD 8232 Dance, girl, dance
DVD 8234 Te doy mis ojos Take my eyes
DVD 8246 Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia Curse of the golden flower
DVD 8267 Jeanne Dielman 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
DVD 8296 Reel talent first films by legendary directors
DVD 8160-8165, 8166, 8170, 8171 Alexander Kluge Collection
Avant-garde and Experimental Films
DVD 8101 The world of George Kuchar
DVD 8102 Videoworks. Volume 1 Mirra, Helen
DVD 8114 Avant-garde. experimental cinema, 1928-195: Films from the Raymond Rohauer Collection
DVD 8143 Phantom museums short films of the Quay brothers
DVD 8078 Summer of love
DVD 8079 Darfur diaries message from home
DVD 8126 The Charles Bukowski tapes
DVD 8135 Iraq in fragments
DVD 8146 In debt we trust America before the bubble bursts
DVD 8162 How to eat your watermelon in white company (and enjoy it)
DVD 8164 El inmigrante
DVD 8168 The perfect life growing up in urban America
DVD 8169 Mirror of the soul the Forough Farrokhzad trilogy : Iran's greatest poet
DVD 8205 Stravinsky's Rite of spring
DVD 8220 Histoire(s) du cinema Godard, Jean Luc
DVD 8222 The bloggers new rules, or no rules?
DVD 8235 Guns, germs, and steel
DVD 8244 The blood of Yingzhou District
DVD 8259 Joyce to the world
DVD 8265 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater beyond the steps
DVD 8266 Frost / Nixon Watergate
DVD 8291 Historic San Francisco Worlds Fair, 1915
DVD 8303 For life against the war ... again [a collective outcry]
DVD 8310 Simon Schama's Power of art
DVD 8311 Portrait of a 60% perfect man Billy Wilder
DVD 8314 U-Carmen