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Monday, July 09, 2012

Joris Ivens: Études de mouvements

(Bonjour Paris)
no copyright infringement intended

The small, yet comfortable projection room shows a four-minute short from 1927 titled Études des mouvements à Paris by Joris Ivens. The silent film takes its name literally as viewers are shown shots of cars transversing past the Opéra Garnier and the Louvre, their tires occasionally sloshing through puddles, while policemen on horseback conduct traffic. The legs of pedestrians walk quickly and with purpose as the city's buses take people to work, all just a few years before The Great Depression hit.
Nicole Smith: Screening of Études des mouvements at an art gallery on Rue de Lille

Some images (for instance the one with the street car lines and all that stuff) call in mind Vertov's Человек с Киноаппаратом. But the movie of Vertov came two years later, in 1929. And then, Ivens is a bit different - he has some unique je ne sais quoi in all his movies. For him everything, rain, landscape, people (even in his politically engaged films), cars, a bridge lifted up and down with a train in waiting, everything is poetic meditation, everything is the image of a ballet. He is the poet of the quotidian. Watch each of his movies at least once cutting the sound, and you will be charmed by his poetry.

(Joris Ivens)

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