Rite of Spring + Transformers

Rite of Spring (Acto da Primavera)

Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal, 1963, DCP, 94’


Rite of Spring is a dizzying film. All at once, Manoel de Oliveira films: a) one of the most manifest and moving versions of the Passion of Christ in the history of cinema; b) an incredibly popular Portuguese ritual of the sixteenth century, recited as if it were a song, anticipating his film-opera, The Cannibals, by several decades; and c) an ethnographic record of the representation of that ritual by the village community of Curalha, in 1963, during the century of cinema and the World Wars. As it dissolves the frontiers between reality and myth, passing from pure documentary record to the glorious artifice of spectacle, making the viewer inhabit these distinctly different territories and time periods within a single film, within a single scene, within the same shots, Rite of Spring invents modernity in Portuguese cinema. (Miguel Gomes)

Transformers: The Premake

Kevin B. Lee, USA, 2015, DCP, 25’


In his production of the (59th?) new Transformers film, Michael Bay and his production team hop around the world, activating various places as blips on the great Transformers map, displaying how truly globalized the American entertainment system has become. Opposing the maximalist tendencies of Bay, Lee uses the rhizomatic capacities of the Internet to source a radical, critical “making-of” film, exhibiting the first-person vantage of the computer screen. By presenting, in Lee’s words, “a critical counter-image in which personalized digital media asks what Hollywood is really doing in the world,” Transformers: The Premake examines the post-national worship of CGI as a new transcendental ritual.

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