By Hans Schoots
In his early years Joris Ivens used to be a trendy determine within the foreign movie avant-garde. From the thirties onwards he grew to become, in accordance with American movie historian Robert Sklar, 'the most vital political filmmaker of the last decade, most likely of the century'. His movies on Soviet socialism, the Spanish Civil struggle, the Indonesian fight for independence, the Vietnam-war and the Cuban and chinese language revolutions, make him a topic of controversy in any debate at the dating among artwork and propaganda.
Hans Schoots has dependent his biography on new learn of Ivenss entire filmwork and of unknown production-documents, own letters and diaries, present in many records, corresponding to Ivens's FBI-dossier and nation records in Moscow and previous Eastern-Berlin. inventive and political milieus in Amsterdam, Berlin, Moscow, manhattan, Hollywood, Paris, Havana, Hanoi and Beijing give you the historical past of this interesting life-story. this is often the amount eleven within the Amsterdam college Press sequence Film tradition in Transition, edited through Thomas Elsaesser.
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Additional info for Living Dangerously: A Biography of Joris Ivens (Film Culture in Transition)
George was absent for long periods, Helene van Dongen copied his signature so that the mail could be sent off, and when his father telephoned from Nijmegen, the store manager would say: 'Your son is out demonstrating cameras. '5 His parents realized that George's career was developing in an unintended direction. Joris Ivens and his father argued on the telephone. 'But you mustn't imagine that there was any shouting or slamming of doors,' said his sister Thea. 6 A commercially interesting film commission from the Dutch construction workers' union in May 1929 gave big brother Wim the opportunity to negotiate a compromise.
This sequence was filmed and Ivens's brilliantly dynamic editing made it the highlight of the film, but Ivens himself, in his incorrigible optimism, wanted to add a hopeful continuation in which Jef Last, suddenly and inexplicably in possession of a fishing boat, sails off toward distant horizons. The filmmakers had to work with modest means but, more importantly, they had no experience with fiction films and, according to the critics, showed little talent for the genre. Ivens's positive contribution was limited to a number of visually successful sequences.
Ivens founded a modest library there for Filmliga members. He and distributor and Filmligamember Ed. Pelster arranged the Filmliga film acquisitions, and Capi's third floor projection room in the Kalverstraat virtually became a branch of the organization. The board members met there to subject film after film to their critical appraisal. In his enthusiasm Ivens drew Capi employees into the Filmliga activities. Correspondence clerk Helene van Dongen was entrusted with the Filmliga's international communications.
Living Dangerously: A Biography of Joris Ivens (Film Culture in Transition) by Hans Schoots