The scholar Paul Henley has published one of the best reviews of André Gide and Marc Allégret's film Travels in the Congo: "Travels in the Congo, first released in France in 1927 as Voyage au Congo, is without doubt the masterwork of French ethnographic cinema in Africa prior to World War II. And yet, in the literature on ethnographic film and the history of documentary cinema more generally, it has been strangely neglected. It does not feature, for example, in the extensive UNESCO catalog, Films ethnographiques de l’Afrique noire, edited by Jean Rouch and published in 1967. Although Rouch
OVID.tv, the curated streaming destination for documentary and art-house films from around the world, rings in 2021 with an extraordinary lineup of films. Explore the 18 new titles across eight days in January below.
On OVID, we have two versions of Guy Debord’s classic film The Society of the Spectacle: the French original with commentary by Guy Debord himself, and one with an English voiceover. When we first received the restored film from Films du Losange, we noticed that Guy Debord’s French voiceover layered with English subtitles was overwhelming to viewers if they weren’t fluent in French. Luckily, Ed Halter and Thomas Beard of Light Industry, a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, had produced a bootleg English copy with Paul Chan a few years ago and posted it online. With their per
According to the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, Madeline Anderson (b. 1927) was the first African-American woman to have directed a documentary film. Hard as it is to believe—as the history of cinema goes back over 120 years—it was only in 1960 when Anderson directed her first film Integration Report 1.
An Open Letter from OVID Director and Icarus Films President Jonathan Miller, on the Launch of OVID.tv: metafilm
In September, 2019 I wrote to everyone on the Icarus Films email list about how I saw the media landscape, particularly for independent films, documentaries and global cinema, and why – in that context – we launched OVID.tv. Not to belabor the obvious but a lot has changed since then.
OVID is pleased to premiere and present exclusively in the United States, the restored version of the French New Wave’s classic omnibus film, Six in Paris (Paris vu par…). And taking advantage of a capability in our platform, OVID is able to present Six in Paris in both its original feature-length version, and as the six separate short films […]
Jiayin Liu’s Oxhide (2005) is composed of 23 static shots, inside of a small, claustrophobic apartment in Beijing, China. Within each shot are only pieces of the apartment, along with only pieces of Liu, her mother and her father. She commits to a narrative refraction of an only child in a family of bag makers with a non-fictional rigor that eschews any kind of objective context for a Western spectator. Distinctions between the film’s events and Liu’s real life cannot be accounted for. Her presentation operates with biblical fervor, awash in every frame, are individual moments that are p
Mothers and daughters have incredibly complicated relationships but few have been so thoroughly dissected with a gaze simultaneously affectionate and unforgiving. The raw and beautiful nature of this fundamental relationship evolves and twists in Yang Mingming’s character-driven debut feature. Originally premiering in the prestigious Berlin Panorama in 2018, the ironically titled “Girls Always Happy” is directed, written and edited by Yang, who also stars.
The immersive, unforgiving documentaries of Wang Bing are often described in terms that would have their director as the Olympic marathoner of the contemporary cinema pantheon. Not only do his films appear monumental by virtue of their long running times, but Wang, even when his voice and image are effaced from his films, is no less present, evidently matching as best he can the intense physical demands of his subject’s environments, whether this be the toxic fumes of a smelting plant (the “Rust” section of West of the Tracks) or the everywhere-by-foot vertiginous slopes in Yunnan provin