La Commune (Paris, 1871)

Film/Video

La Commune (Paris, 1871)

La Commune (Paris, 1871)

Peter Watkins, 2000

Contemporary Screen

Films fresh from the international film festival circuit, area premieres, award winners, and recent audience favorites.... You'll find films you won't see anywhere else in central Ohio on the Contemporary Screen schedule.

Sun, Jan 18, 2004 1 PM

"White-knuckle thriller, history lesson, polemical mass-media critique, genre-bending docudrama:...big, passionate, and brimming with compelling human details."--Variety

Named the best film of 2002 by the Village Voice, Peter Watkins's epic La Commune (5 hrs., 45 mins.) is an extraordinary evocation of the bloody working-class uprising that briefly ruled Paris in 1871 after the nation's defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. Shot on a soundstage with a cast of hundreds, La Commune goes beyond historical reconstruction by incorporating the techniques of modern mass media in the telling, mainly through simulated television coverage of the events, via government-sanctioned "Versailles Television" and the rebels' own "Commune Television."

As in his other groundbreaking works (The War Game, Punishment Park, Edward Munch), Watkins dazzlingly redefines the relationship between historical fact and its filmic reconstruction, resulting in "a brilliant, heady, dizzying, immersing experience: a vital piece of filmmaking that locates the present in the past using the cleverest and most economic means" (Time Out).

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