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La Commune (Paris, 1871)


La Commune (Paris, 1871)
Join us Saturday April 20 as we venture into "La Commune (Paris, 1871)," director Peter Watkins' six-hour-long paeon to the revolutionary spirit of France. "As France?s republican government fled to Versailles in 1870, determined workers and radical intellectuals barricaded Paris and installed La Commune, a rapturous attempt at a utopian society. Peter Watkins' monumental and exhilarating masterwork keeps the radical spirit alive, audaciously mixing past and present to debunk the notion that history is available through a singular representation. Several hundred nonprofessional actors were charged with inventing their roles, beautifully reanimating the ill-fated utopia. This staging relies on serpentine tracking shots that glide between spirited arguments in the street, school lessons, and marching drills to reveal the intensifying strife. Over its six-hour transit, this 'impassioned hubbub,' as J. Hoberman calls it, generates great immediacy. The urgency is heightened by two opposing news stations offering up their hasty commentary on the unfolding insurrection, as well as scenes in which the cast breaks out of 1871 to comment on the present moment. Infectious and heady, La Commune is itself evidence that revolutionary possibilities still linger."


La Commune (Paris 1871) is part of the PFA?s April film series, "The Clash of '68," a survey of films that celebrate the revolutionary spirit and legacy of May 1968.
For more on "The Clash of '68": www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/clash_of_68

Pacific Film Archive Directions and Information: www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/visit/directions

Tickets are $12 adults, $9 students and seniors, $8 PFA members. 12 noon Purchase tickets at PFA's Box Office (2575 Bancroft) then meet across the street at Cafe Milano (2522 Bancroft) for salads/sandwiches/coffee. 12:40 Head to PFA's theater (2575 Bancroft) to take our seats. Part 1 of "La Commune" starts at 1.

4 We will meet again meet across the street at Cafe Milano (2522 Bancroft) during intermission.

4:40 We will head back to the PFA for Part 2, which starts at 5.

8:00 Those of us who are still standing, will meet afterwards at Caffe Strada (two blocks up Bancroft, at 2300 College) for conversation.

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  • John

    In spite of its low budget and lack of visual style, this film was incredibly thought provoking and emotionally stirring. La Commune rendered an extremely complex moment in European history with much of its complexity and fervor intact. The dialog, acting, and direction were all first rate. Ingenious.

    April 20, 2008

4 went

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