Films Saturday and Sunday: Chris Marker's "Description of a Struggle" and Manoel de Oliveira's "Aniki Bobo"

From: John
Sent on: Friday, August 8, 2008 7:04 PM
Dear Radical Visionaries,

I've scheduled two films for this weekend, a documentary by Chris Marker and Manoel de Oliveira's first feature. Both films play in Berkeley. More detailed information is posted below. As usual, I will be wearing a black shirt at brown blazer. My cell is[masked]-3190.


Description of a Struggle/Description of a Memory

Saturday August 9
Roda Theater
2025 Addison St
Berkeley, CA 94704

Join us the morning of Saturday August 9 when we view French director Chris Marker?s award-winning documentary on Israel, Description of a Struggle, and Israeli filmmaker Dan Geva?s followup, Description of a Memory. In Marker?s film, ?A young boy joyfully rides a pushcart down the hilly streets of Haifa, a humped camel crosses a street, and an innocent girl paints an unseen picture in what may best represent the emergence of a new country and its unknown future. These are the arresting images captured by internationally acclaimed filmmaker Chris Marker (LA JETEE, SANS SOLEIL) in his 1961 travels to Israel. Winner of the Golden Bear at the 1961 Berlin Film Festival, Marker's remarkable documentary thoroughly examined, critiqued and predicted the newly created state's past, present and future. Striking in the beauty of its images, ranging from the vastness of the desert landscape and the tranquility of the sea to the hubris of Tel Aviv, Description of a Struggle allows a rare and memorable glance at an Israel in the making.?

Nearly 50 years after Chris Marker's film...?Dan Geva's Description of a Memory engages with and pays tribute to its progenitor. Clearly Marker's film left a lasting impression on the Israeli-born Geva, who uses images from the original film as a springboard to uncovering the many changes that have taken place in the physical and political landscapes of Israel and in its inhabitants. Attempting to answer questions originally raised by Marker, Geva tracks down some of the people featured in Marker's film (what did happen to that young girl at the easel?), with surprising and emotionally complex results. Description of a Memory is an intimate portrait of the nature of change in a multifaceted land where history and memories intertwine to create an odyssey both personal and universal.?

Description of a Struggle and Description of a Memory are presented jointly by the 28th Jewish Film Festival, San Francisco Cinematheque, and Berkeley?s Pacific Film Archive. For more information on the 28th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, please see

Tickets are $12.
Discounts are available to Seniors, Students, and JFF Members. For details please visit:

For advance tickets, please see and/or
Roda Theatre (at Berkeley Repertory Theatre) Directions and Information:

11:00 am. Purchase tickets at Theatre Roda?s Box Office (at Berkeley Repertory Theatre,
2025 Addison Street, Berkeley). The films start at 11:30.

2:00 We will meet afterwards at the nearby Au Coquelet Cafe (2000 University Ave at Milvia) for conversation.

Aniki Bobo

Sunday, August 10
Pacific Film Archive
2575 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720

Join us Sunday August 10 when we view the rarely screened debut film of the great Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira.?A singsong children?s game forms the basis for Oliveira?s first feature, a sly parable of adolescence and acquiescence under dictatorship that led to the director being blacklisted by Portugal?s repressive government. Two young boys, the shy Carlitos and the brash bully Eduardinho, compete for the attentions of Teresinha, a contest that soon blossoms into rebellion and promises a certain escape from their well-patrolled lives. Oliveira films the world of these pint-sized protagonists with an unsentimentally direct hand, treating their naive games of cops and robbers (referred to in the film?s title) as mere trial runs for the decision all adults must make, that between authority and resistance. With its nonprofessional cast, natural lighting, and street-level direct shooting (in Oliveira?s beloved Porto), Aniki-Bobo has been called the first neorealist film, having been made several years before the movement?s presumed debut, Rossellini?s Rome, Open City (1945).?

Preceded by short:
The Hunt (A ca?a) (Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal, 1963). Two boys join a bizarre hunting party with tragic results in Oliveira?s dark, visionary parable, shown with both Oliveira?s original ending and a version appended later.

Aniki Bobo is part of ?Talking Pictures,? a month-long retrospective of Oliveira?s films at the PFA (August 9-31). For more information on the PFA?s Oliveira restrospective:

Pacific Film Archive Directions and Information:

Tickets are $8 adults, $5 students and seniors.

4:00 Purchase tickets at PFA?s Box Office (2575 Bancroft) then meet across the street at Cafe Milano (2522 Bancroft) for salads/sandwiches/coffee.

4:40 Head to PFA?s theater (2575 Bancroft) to take our seats. The films start at 5:00.

6:40 We will meet afterwards at Caffe Strada (two blocks up Bancroft, at 2300 College) for conversation.

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