Monday, September 21, 2009

People's Park and Other Protest Films with Tom Palazzolo @ Melwood Screening Room Sept 22

Filmmaker, Tom Palazzolo will be @ The Melwood Screening room in Oakland to introduce a selection of films which capture the trials and turmoil of the late sixties and early seventies.

"Assembly Line — This intimate and starkly photographed narrative tells the tale of factory worker Eddie Ryan who throws himself into the neon glitz of downtown Philadelphia on his night off, thinking a wallet full of cash will buy him excitement, companionship and meaning in life. To his distress he finds all the invites and come-ons to a good time are a con and a fraud – he can spend his money but it buys him nothing, and he manages to connect with no one. (Morton Hellig, USA, 1961, 30 min)

America's in Real Trouble — This free-wheeling reportage from the street captures all the disconcerting contrasts of patriotic Vietnam-era parades as they move in lock-step through the poverty-ridden ghetto of Chicago’s Near Northside. The soundtrack is exclusively composed of music that was heard over the radio that very same moment in time, mostly country songs that celebrate the conservative virtues of God and Country. The result is an unmediated "snapshot of the moment" that resembles a home movie in its naive pacing and composition; but it is precisely this casual and spontaneous approach that manages to capture the mood and mentality of the day more effectively than all the staged Hollywood spectacles. (Tom Palazzolo, USA, 1968, 15 min)

People's Park — This fiercely partisan version of the People’s Park story captures not only the famous incident – the street battles between the people of Berkeley intent on defending a park they created and the police and national guard acting on behalf of the property owners – but also a radical style of filmmaking that sought to shed light on aspects of the story ignored by the major media outlets. This is protest cinema at its most compelling. (The San Francisco Newsreel Group, USA, 1969, 25 min)

Love It/Leave It — This film fluidly weaves sound and image together to create a hallucinatory montage of urban America at the height of anti-war demonstrations. Equal parts totalitarian nightmare and candy-coated consumer fun fair, like most of Palazzolo’s work, it’s devoid of overt editorial comment and full of ambiguity – a searching to capture the spirit and times and people without imposing the filmmaker’s own political agenda. (Tom Palazzolo, USA, 1970, 15 min)"

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