I was in Pully this weekend for the fifty year celebrations of the City Club Cinema celebrating half a century of existence. There were a number of special events, from a silent film being screened with a live orchestra to a number of documentaries being screened as well.
I particularly enjoyed the documentary screenings because the documentary producers and some of those interviewed in those documentaries came to the screenings and presented their films before the film and answered some questions at the end.
The documentary the I enjoyed, or at least found most interesting was “La Citadelle Humanitaire”, a documentary by FrÃ©dÃ©ric Gonseth and Catherine Azad. It explored the work done by AndrÃ© Rochat when he worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Yemen in the 1960s. The documentary explored the interesting work carried out by these humanitarian workers and the challenges they faced. It was told as much by AndrÃ© rochat as those that worked with him.
It showed some of the challenges they faced, from where to situate the hospital to having more mobility, facilitating prisoner exchanges up to the point of hostage releases being negotiated successfully. It’s a great piece of documentary making and within the next few days a few of the Q&A questions should appear on this blog as well as my own.
A second documentary that I watched, but that did not appeal to me quite as much was La Reina del CondÃ²n by Silvana Czeschi and Reto Stamm. It confused me. I couldn’t see why an East German would come to Cuba to speak about Sexual liberation in a machist country. I couldn’t see any of her motivations in carrying out such a project. If I had produced the documentary that’s what i would have concentrated on. I would have interviewed her more extensively, spent more time exploring the personality and the motivations behind what she did.
What we had instead was an exploration of three or four people’s views which did not make the documentary uninteresting so much as that famous “So what?” question that an English teacher used to always ask me to elaborate on. It’s the same with this film. I simply think the exposition could have been more researched.
Umare Te Wa Mita Keredo (Les Gosses de Tokyo) by Jasujiro Ozu is a 1930s film from Japan looking at two children at this specific moment in time. It’s a silent movie where the two main characters are Children and a few days out of their lives. What made this screening special was the live four piece orchestra playing live at the front of the Room.
Finally Lars and the Real Girl was also screened. It was a strange topic to be explored but it made me think of the Film Parle Avec Elle to some extent, the role of online and offline relationships as well as dealing with people with certain characteristics. It’s a comedy and as a result you’ll spen some time laughing but at the same time it’s a reflective film into how we behave. I found the film to be quite interesting but another individual said that it was a little too slow so it’s hard to say whether you’d enjoy it.
Overall I enjoyed being at the City Club for their fiftieth anniversary, having interesting people to meet and good documentaries to watch.