Tag Archives: 02. The Popular Front: United States/France/Spain (1930s-40s)

02. The Popular Front: United States/France/Spain (1930s-40s)

“Nearly all the films that emerged from the radical cinema movement in the United States were documentaries…Why has documentary been the characteristic mode of left-wing expression in the cinema, to the exclusion of other alternatives?” Russell Campbell To answer this question, we must focus upon key similarities and dissimilarities between montage and social realist documentaries […]

Ivans. Spanish Earth, p 1

SPanish Earth 1 1937 Directed by Joris Ivens Commentary by Ernest Hemingway Photography by John Ferno Music by Marc Blitzstein and Virgil Thomson Narrator Orson Welles Sound Director Irving Reis Film Editor Helen Van Dongen

Ivans. Spanish Earth, conclusion.

SPanish Earth, end 1937 Directed by Joris Ivens Commentary by Ernest Hemingway Photography by John Ferno Music by Marc Blitzstein and Virgil Thomson Narrator Orson Welles Sound Director Irving Reis Film Editor Helen Van Dongen ( more )

Ivans. Spanish Earth. Going on leave

Spanish Earth, leave 1937 Directed by Joris Ivens Commentary by Ernest Hemingway Photography by John Ferno Music by Marc Blitzstein and Virgil Thomson Narrator Orson Welles Sound Director Irving Reis Film Editor Helen Van Dongen

Renoir, Jean. “Is the Cinema Art?”

“Fascism, like Communism, believes in progress. The followers of both creeds look to a social order based on technology…Progress is dangerous because it is based on perfect technology. It is its success which has distorted the normal values of life and compelled man to live in a world for which he was not intended.” Jean […]

Ivens. The Camera and I. Re documentary and objectivity.

“I was surprised to find that many people automatically assumed that any documentary film would inevitably be objective.  Perhaps the term is unsatisfactory, but for me the distinction between the words document and documentary is quite clear.  Do we demand objectivity in the evidence presented at a trial?  No, the only demand is that each […]

Ivens. The Camera and I. re agitate-mobilize

“A writer’s problem does not change.  He himself changes, but his problem remains the same.  It is always how to write truly and having found what is true, to project it in such a way that it becomes a part of the experience of the person who reads it” (Ernest Hemingway in Ivans)– I would […]

Ivens. The Camera and I. Re ojectivity.

And on every hand, in both the United States and England, there were demands for more ‘objectivity’. I was often asked, why hadn’t we gone to the other side, too, and made an objective film? my only answer was that a documentary film maker has to have an opinion on such vital issues as fascism […]

Lorenz, Pare. The River (1937). Trailer.

A clip from the Pare Lorentz documentary featuring a newly recorded soundtrack of the classic score by Virgil Thomson.

Renoir, J. “My Life and My Films,” re progress

“but for me, as I have said again and again and shall go on saying, the real enemy is progress, not because it doesn’t work but precisely because it does. Aircraft are not dangerous because they occasionally crash, but because they leave and land on time and carry their passengers in comfort. Progress is dangerous […]