This essay in The Atlantic sums up a lot of things I’ve been feeling about the disaster in the Philippines… but haven’t been able to clarify.
Last night I went to Huset, a former anarchist squatter house turned into a multi-purpose arts and culture space. They have a small cinema, run by my old friend Jack Stevenson, who used to live in San Francisco. Jack has done many screenings at YBCA over the years. The cinema is one of the venues for the film festival I’m here attending.
And the screening last night was, of all things, PERFUMED NIGHTMARE, the classic 1977 Filipino film by Kidlat Tahimik. It was a selection of festival guest curators The Yes Men. I had seen the film before, but enjoyed seeing it again, presented in an excellent 16mm print. A few Filipino-Danes (is that the correct term?) showed up, and we chatted about the typhoon and life in Copenhagen.
This is the lobby/cafe space outside of the cinema.
Underground cinema’s not dead!
Me and Jack
Today’s liveliest screening was 99% THE OCCUPY WALL STREET COLLABORATIVE FILM. Did this show in San Francisco and somehow I missed it? Anyway, there are quite a number of documentaries on this subject, but this one is probably the most comprehensive. And, even though the events captured in the film happened barely two years ago, something about it seems like…ancient history. Directors Audrey Ewell and Aaron Aites were there in person for q&a - which was good but slightly strained, since the Danish did not have an Occupy movement of their own. If their names sound familiar, you may remember we showed Audrey and Aaron’s documentary on black metal music, UNTIL THE LIGHT TAKES US, in 2009.
The screening was held in the beautiful old Grand Teatret.
Here’s the interior:
All cinemas in Copenhagen have little cafes, cozy places to hang out and chat before or after the show. Wouldn’t it be nice to have this at YBCA?
I’m here at the CPH:DOX film festival in Copenhagen, and I’m going to be posting blog entries about the films I’m seeing. But before I do that, I want to encourage everyone to donate to relief efforts in the Philippines, from the devastation caused by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The stories and images coming out of this region of the eastern Visayas are unbearable.
There are many ways to donate, but two excellent charities are the Philippine Red Cross and the World Food Programme of the United Nations. Direct links to their donation pages are provided below.
Anonymous: Dear Mr. Shepard,I am sorry, my computer will not let me write this in the format I would like but i would like to thank you for working to put together the Filipino Film Festival. My friends saw "Harana" and I have been telling everybody I know to see it. I inteend to see it again.You have awakened my long lost interest in Filipino films and for this I thank you heartedly. Do you have any plans to show Brilliante Mendoza's films "Captive" and "Thy Womb"? They have gained international awards .
Thanks for writing. I have begged Brillante Mendoza for months to show those films, but he will not give permission. I don’t know why. We had the San Francisco premieres of the two films he made before those, KINATAY and LOLA. I hope to show CAPTIVE and THY WOMB someday.