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The Battle of Algiers _ Gilles Pontecorvo [Movie]

Biography of Gillo Pontecorvo _ Producer of The Battle of Algiers .

He was born in Pisa in 1919. During the second world war, while pursuing studies in chemistry, he worked as a journalist and messenger for the Italian Communist Party. He participates in a network of supporters and anti-fascist war took the name Barnaba. Once peace is signed, he became Paris correspondent for several Italian newspapers. Then he sees the film Paisa Rossellini and immediately abandons his profession as a journalist, bought a camera and began making short documentaries.

Gillo Pontecorvo think very quickly on a feature film the war Algeria. But he sees the day that three years after the end of hostilities, when Saadi Yacef, a former commander of Algerian troops, who became president of Casbah Films, he proposes the idea of a film based on his memories of combat. This will The Battle of Algiers (La Battaglia di Algeri ) in 1965.

"I am not a revolutionary at all costs. I'm just a leftist like many Italian Jews. "

Movie: The Battle of Algiers

Film Gillo Pontecorvo (Italy / Agere, 1965, 2h03mn, VOSTF)

Screenplay by Franco Solinas, based on a book by Saadi Yacef

Starring: Brahim Haggiag (Ali la Pointe), Jean Martin (Colonel Mathieu),

Saadi Yacef (El-Hadi Jaffar) Samia Kerbash (Fatima),

Fusi El Kader (Hassiba), Ugo Paletti (Captain), Kelif Sanaani (Omar Little)

Image: Marcello GattiMusique: Ennio Morricone, Gillo Pontecorvo

Producer: Antonio Musu, Saadi Yacef

A dramatic reconstruction of the struggles that opposed the FLN French army tour two years after Independence. A legendary film, banned in France at the time, which saw emerged triumphant in 2003 ... In a restored version and for the first time on television.

Ali Lapointe, hero

Aged 27 at the time of his death, Ali was born in the peak Miliana May 14, 1930 under the surname of Ammar Ali, he s' is made known player in Algiers as "chick-Tchicai" Bab El Oued.
Many items come in different attacks orchestrated by him and the boss of the Area autonomous and some news clippings about the famous explosion of 5, rue des Abderame stating that "Ali LaPointe did not jump, he was attacked in her tight marking by the Green Berets," notes the echo of Algiers. The target for the press at the time was clear: do not make a martyr who chose to blow themselves up rather than surrender. It was not to provoke desire to follow his example. But what the newspaper does not say is that "With him, it was untouchable, he had the strength, courage. The French were very afraid of him. If we found ourselves facing a roadblock, he was heading, it did not hesitate and he was not afraid. "

(Presentation of Ali Lapointe from 2: 36)

The journey of a cult film


Before ... This is well before the end of the events that Gillo Pontecorvo has the desire to make a film about the war in Algeria. His project is called then Paras. It is based on a survey that he and his co-writer Franco Solinas conducted in the Casbah, considered very dangerous for Westerners.

1964. Algeria had won its independence. Saadi Yacef fought to liberate his country and there he has created Casbah Films. He wants to set up a film recounting the years of struggle. He mounts a co-production between Algeria and Italy, and contact three Italian directors: Francesco Rosi, Luchino Visconti, Gillo Pontecorvo. The latter accepts, provided they have a range of views and complete artistic freedom.
Gillo Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas plunge in six months of intensive research: they search the police records, re-read the press at the time, questioning both veterans of the French troops as the Algerian revolutionaries. To all this must be added the personal memories of Saadi Yacef, he has written down in prison after being arrested by the French. The script took six months to Franco Solinas additional.

During ...

Gillo Pontecorvo obtained permission to film on the site of the Battle of Algiers, y-understood in the old headquarters of the French forces which sometimes dilapidated sets are reconstructed on site. The aim: to trace the exact geography of events. In the Casbah, the streets are so narrow that only cameras in the shoulder can be used. This constraint arises from the documentary style film. Anecdotally, it is said that during filming, the director continues to whistle the music he Ennio Morricone has composed with a heady mix of percussion, so he says, do not lose the rhythm of the film. Similarly
interpretation is it composed entirely of non-professionals, with one exception: John Martin, a stage actor marginalized after he signed a manifesto against the war in Algeria. For the role of Ali La Pointe, the head of the urban guerrilla, Gillo Pontecorvo discovered Brahim Haggiag, an illiterate peasant, in a market in Algiers. Saadi Yacef recreate on camera the role he played in life, the commander of the Algerian troops. Of thousands of extras, men, women and children of the Casbah, met for the crowd scenes.

1954. Ali, who is still a little ugly in the Casbah, engages in the independence movement. Playing the messengers between him and the FLN, a child explains his mission: he must kill a policeman. But it does not yet know that the pistol he was given is not responsible for: a test to prove his determination. (First video, from 06: 56)

Interview with John Martin, actor

After ...
1966. The French delegation boycotted the presentation of The Battle of Algiers at the Venice festival - the film walks away with the Golden Lion ... The government banned the film in France. Nominated for three Oscars (best foreign film, best director and best screenplay) change nothing.
1971. The film gets its visa operations in France. As a result of political pressure and threats of bombs, it is quickly removed from the screens.
2003. Why the Pentagon is interested Does the film?
The history of The Battle of Algiers rebounds August 27, 2003. As reveals an article in Le Monde dated September 8, 2003, the U.S. Pentagon has invited officers and civilian staff at a private screening of the film. According to the newspaper, "a ministry official, whose comments are reported anonymously by The New York Times on September 7, said that this film gives a historical view of the conduct of French operations in Algeria" and that his projection was intended to "provoke an informed discussion of the challenges the French have had to face." "
Clearly, the top U.S. command attempts to study the mistakes of the French occupation in Algeria to find a solution to the tragedies brought about by the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. According to Garry Casimir expert: "The film can be seen as an experiment in cinema verite of what happens when a Western nation is self-evident even to the Muslim people. "Parallel with the clipping. (Which?)
October 20, 2003. The Battle of Algiers had a discrete distribution on cable channel Public Sénat French followed by a discussion with Saadi Yacef.
January 9, 2004. Film Release triumphant United States. After a special screening, two days earlier, in Bethesda (Washington DC) in the presence of Saadi Yacef, it is shown in New York, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Chicago, Washington and more than a dozen cities, and harvest more than 500 000 U.S. $ in revenue.
May 19, 2004. The Battle of Algiers spring finally in theaters in France, after an exhibition at the Festival de Cannes (Cannes Classics).
If the French public has seen little of The Battle of Algiers, boycotted for years, prohibited leaving very little broadcast TV (Public CinéCinéma and Senate in 2003 in France), the film has nonetheless inspired many filmmakers. It was one of the favorite films of Sam Peckinpah. It is also said that Stanley Kubrick would have watched to prepare for the final sequence of Full Metal Jacket. More recently, Gaspar Noe has included in his selection for The Curious Festival. And the film Bloody Sunday, the Irish drama, he has often been compared
... The Battle of Algiers in the history of the War of Algeria
September 30, 1956. Three Algerian women placed bombs in three symbolic places, including offices of Air France. This is the beginning of the Battle of Algiers. This episode
especially the war in Algeria is the will of the FLN movement to bring the struggle of rural to urban areas, to generate a greater resonance. The attacks of 30 September 1956 triggered an escalation of violence, in which bombs and killing become the everyday lives of people. Very many losses mount among civilians.
French side, General Massu [pattern Colonel Mathieu in the film by Gillo Pontecorvo] was instructed to use all necessary means to restore order in the city. He tries to fight terrorism ... by other acts of terrorism. Of FNL members were arrested and tortured until they speak - or not. Massu used the skydivers to break the general strike of 1957 and destroy the infrastructure of the FLN. But it showed how he could strike at the heart of French Algeria ...

Colonel Mathieu. He is the only professional actor in the film.
In the skin of Colonel Mathieu in The Battle of Algiers, Jean Martin, actor 1 meter 90 performer with great accuracy Colonel Mathieu, a character inspired in part by General Massu. Forty years later, he returns Turning on this difficult and emotional, episode from a stage career and busy film. Gillo Pontecorvo why did he appeal to you to interpret the role of Colonel Mathieu? At the time, he needed an actor not known too, because he wanted his film to be seen as a reenactment. However, seeing a celebrity on the screen, the viewer might think it was a fiction. He did not want either a non-professional - which is where the majority of actors in the film - because my character talks a lot. He says important things, especially to explain how France has come to torture. But when he told me I was going to start playing a role of colonel of paratroopers, I told him that was impossible. I just served in the army and the Liberation it had not rained at all! How did the filming? Pontecorvo refused any dramatization. Often, he catches me again until exhaustion. It did not help matters ... We also had long discussions. He wanted to be as clear as possible about the meaning of the scenes. He wanted to avoid at all costs we think it was biased. In my view, it is quite convoluted this pitfall: the film does not glorify the French nor the Algerians, and shows the victims of violence on both côtés.Quels were your dealings with the Algerians? When we were shooting crowd scenes like those events of 1960, they felt they no longer played, they relived the events. Remember that the shooting happened two years after independence. It was so intense that I sometimes feel that they would lay the camera down.

Helen & Chloe.


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