Living Dangerously: A Biography of Joris Ivens (Film Culture by Hans Schoots

By Hans Schoots

The Dutch movie maker Joris Ivens (1898-1989) was once one of many founding fathers of documentary movie. The occupation of this boundless visitor spanned over sixty years, from his first movie within the twenties to his final, comprehensive on the age of 90. between Ivens's neighbors and collaborators have been prime filmmakers and actors like Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Dovzhenko, Chaplin, Milestone, Capra, Losey, Flaherty, Grierson, De Santis, the Taviani brothers, Signoret, Montand and Marker.

In his early years Joris Ivens was once a well-known determine within the overseas movie avant-garde. From the thirties onwards he grew to become, in line with American movie historian Robert Sklar, 'the most crucial political filmmaker of the last decade, most likely of the century'. His motion pictures on Soviet socialism, the Spanish Civil battle, the Indonesian fight for independence, the Vietnam-war and the Cuban and chinese language revolutions, make him a subject matter of controversy in any debate at the dating among paintings and propaganda.

Hans Schoots has dependent his biography on new examine of Ivenss entire filmwork and of unknown production-documents, own letters and diaries, present in many records, resembling Ivens's FBI-dossier and nation files in Moscow and previous Eastern-Berlin. inventive and political milieus in Amsterdam, Berlin, Moscow, ny, Hollywood, Paris, Havana, Hanoi and Beijing give you the historical past of this interesting life-story. this is often the quantity eleven within the Amsterdam collage Press sequence Film tradition in Transition, edited via Thomas Elsaesser.

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Extra info for Living Dangerously: A Biography of Joris Ivens (Film Culture in Transition)

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Even before the premiere of THE BRIDGE, preparations were being made in the seaside village of Katwijk for the following project: the fiction film BREAKERS, based on an idea by Jef Last, directed by Mannus Franken, and with Ivens behind the camera. Jef Last - a fonner student of Chinese who " Uving Dangertllls/y had worked as a miner, fisherman and sailor Qut of sheer love for the ordinary people - was just finding his feet as a writer. Mannus Franken was another former student, from the Technical University Delft, who had gone to Paris to write.

His conclusions on this point were not saved for posterity. '0 Later Ivens could not remember when he began filming, but it must have been earlier than is generally accepted. The first datable attempt at a filmafter WIGWAM and some unambitious home movies - is mentioned in Henrik Scholte's diary, in the entry of May 16, 1927, three days after 'the night of MOTHER'. Scholte notes Ivens's intentions of making a film with Charlotte Kohler as the female lead. Kohler, a fanner girlfriend of Scholte's, had already had a minor role in the Gennan film MANON LASCAUT and was on her way to becoming one of Holland's greatest stage actresses.

They decided to defy the ban by screening the film at De Kring, and Scholte proposed 'fotulding an association to enable us to show all kinds of banned films or strongly avant-garde products for a select audience'. His friends agreed and on that very day, May 11, 1927, they decided during a meeting in Cafe Americain to found the 'Amsterdam Filmliga'. The entry in Scholte's diary for that day also states: 'Americain and De Kring have been on edge for the past few days because of the sensational airplane flight from New York to Paris', a reference to Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight.

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