Monday 30th of July, the French writer, photographer and filmmaker Chris Marker (1921) has passed away. He died one day after his 91st birthday. Marker cooperated on three films with Joris Ivens: Rotterdam-Europoort, …à Valparaiso and Loin de Vietnam that arose from the concept of Pour le Mistral and he once said: ‘Le Mystere Ivens’ or ‘How I learned to like Joris Ivens and stop worrying’. In 1963 Joris Ivens ensured recognition for Markers’ work as a member of the selection jury at the Leipzig documentary festival, by forcing the first price for his controversial film Le joli mai.

In the fifties and sixties Ivens and Marker belonged to the circle of leftish friends and activists. Later, when they got older, Ivens and Marker took distance from this restricted label ‘political filmmaker’ because to them, most important of all was the relation between art and history: The small histories in everybody lives, with a subjective memory and the big history of the oppressed and oppression. “What I’m passionate about is History, and politics interest me only insofar as it is the cross-section of History in the present.”

About the cooperation between Marker and Ivens and about the start of Loin de Vietnam:

André Stufkens: ‘Joris Ivens, wereldcineast’, p. 337, 351, 403.
Ian Mundell: ‘Far from Vietnam, the genesis of the collecive film Loin de Vietnam’, Ivens magazine #9, November 2003, p.25-27.
Click here for an article about the work and life of Chris Marker:

A new book about the work of Chris marker will be presented on the closing ceremony of the International Documentary Film Festival. For more information click here.

Since Saturday, the 2nd of June is Manifesta 9 officially open for the audience. The film ‘Borinage’ of Joris Ivens and Henri Storck, in which they have filmed the life of the Belgian mineworkers, will also be screened. The work of Erik van Lieshout, wich is inspired by the film ‘Borinage’, will beexhibited as well.

Read more: ‘Borinage’ and Erik van Lieshout at Manifesta 9

Monday 28th of May was the film ‘Hemingway and Gellhorn’ broadcasted in the United States. The role of Joris Ivens is played by Lars Ulrich, the drummer of Metallica. 

This new HBO film, directed by Philip Kaufman, is about the love affaire between journalist Martha Gellhorn (by Nicole Kidman) and the writer Ernest Hemingway (by Clive Owen). An important part of the story involves their period in Spain, during the shooting of ‘Spanish Earth’ of Joris Ivens. The film will be broadcasted in the Netherlands on the 22th of July.

The new `Ivens magazine` is out, with interesting articles like: 
- Erik van Lieshout and the re-creation of Borinage
- The adventures of Till Eulenspiegel
- New HBO fiction series about Hemmingway, Gellhorn with Joris Ivens

You can download the Ivens magazine for free at our website. Click here. 

In this brand new edition (number seventeen already) are articles about the following subjects: 

-Crisis? No crisis. Create!
Erik van Lieshout and the re-creation of Borinage
-Manifesta 9
The European Biennial of Contemporary Art
-The foundation update
-The adventures of Till Eulenspiegel
500th anniversary & Gerard Philipe and Joris Ivens: The troubles with Till
-Hemingway, Gellhorn and Ivens
A HBO fiction film series about Ernest hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, with Joris Ivens
-The Spanish Earth
The reception of the documentary in Spain
-The Spanish Earth
Shooting in thin air
-David Perlov and Joris Ivens
-A father, a son and two bridges
Waalbrug 75 with photos, exhibition, book and festivities
-Centi Anni Fa: Wigwam 100
-From censored povery to cultural wealth
-New publications
-Short cuts

Matera, with the Sassi (caverns) as shown in Ivens’ l’Italia non è un paese povero 

A notorious sequence in Ivens’ film oeuvre was shot in the Italian city of Matera. In the framework of his documentary l’ Italia non è un Paese Povero (1960) Ivens filmed deplorable poverty in the hollow city of Matera: poor people living in the caverns built into the calcareous rock. This sequence was censored and cut from the version broadcasted in Italy by RAI for the simple reason that they didn’t want to show poverty in a film focussing on industrial progress. 
A new film about Matera, called Hollow City, directed by Andrea de Sica, shows the remarkable switch from a deplorable area, kept secret because of shame, towards a spectacular cultural pinnacle, praised by UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund and famous directors. 

Read more: From censored poverty to cultural wealth

Eight films of  young documentary filmmakers compete in the International First Films Competition for the Joris Ivens Award at Cinéma du Réel in Centre Pompidou in Paris. Since 1978, the Cinéma du Réel international documentary film festival has been an outstanding international meeting point, where the public and professionals discover the films of experienced authors as well as new talents, the history of documentary cinema as well as contemporary works. The festival programs features some two hundred films. 

Read more: Joris Ivens Award at Cinéma du réel in Centre Pompidou

Simone Signoret performing Jeanine in the French part of The Compass Rose

Recently two articles were published about Ivens` The Rose Compass / Die Windrose (1957) in the Newsletter of the DEFA Film Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This institution houses an extensive collection of [East] German films. Last year the Summer Film Institute (SFI) featured screenings of little-known and rare films on the topic COLD WAR/HOT MEDIA: DEFA and The Third World. One of the selected films was Joris Ivens’ The Compass Rose (Die Windrose, GDR, artistic Dirs. Joris Ivens, Alberto Calvacanti; Dirs. Wu Kuo-Yin, Yannick Bellon, Gillo Pontecorvo, Alex Viany, Sergei Gerassimov).Dennis Hanlon and Günter Jordan wrote about it.

The first essay in English is by institute participant Dennis Hanlon. He is an ACM-Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Film Studies and Emerging Media at Beloit College. His research interests are in transnational cinema, as well as politics and film; he will co-host a panel at the SCMS conference in Boston, entitled "The Shifting Valence of Verité: Documentary in Diverse Historical and Cultural Contexts," in which he discusses the Heynowski & Scheumann film I Was, I Am, I Will Be(GDR, 1974, doc.), about Chilean concentration camps during the Pinochet regime. Click here to read Hanlon’s essay.

In addition, the second article is written by documentary filmmaker and film historian Günter Jordan (Film in der DDR, 2009). He shared information about The Compass Rose that he recently found in the film`s production files, which are housed at the Bundesfilm-archiv in Germany. (NB: Jordan`s text is in German.) Click here to read Jordan`s essay.

Please note: The Compass Rose is available at the DEFA Film Library for research in the unsubtitled German version with an English dialogue list from the DEFA Film Library. It will be of particular interest to teachers and scholars engaged with the following topics: Joris Ivens; the global spread of Neo-Realism, especially where it intersects with the socialist realist tradition; cinema novo and New Latin American Cinema more generally; the representation of women and women`s issues in 1950s cinema; East German and/or Soviet bloc internationalism and solidarity with the Third World; and films that combine documentary and fiction film practices.

For more information:

The European Foundation Joris Ivens scanned and archived the entire photo collection. Fifty-two boxes full of pictures taken by Ivens where digitized. There are  photos taken from Ivens during meetings, on the set, visiting world leaders and famous artists and filmstills collected by Ivens or others.


Read more: The digital archive

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