In the Intense Now (Dir. by João Moreira Salles)
Date: June 12, 2018
Location: Downtown Independent
Address: 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA. 90012
Co-presented by Los Angeles Filmforum
Made following the discovery of amateur footage shot in China in 1966 during the first and most radical stage of the Cultural Revolution, In the Intense Now speaks to the fleeting nature of moments of great intensity. Scenes of China are set alongside archival images of the events of 1968 in France, Czechoslovakia, and, to a lesser extent, Brazil. In keeping with the tradition of the film-essay, they serve to investigate how the people who took part in those events continued onward after passions had cooled. The footage, all of it archival, not only reveals the state of mind of those filmed—joy, enchantment, fear, disappointment, dismay—but also sheds light on the relationship between a document and its political context. What can one say of Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, or Beijing by looking at the images of the period? Why did each of these cities produce a specific sort of record?
Narrated in first person, the film reflects on that which is revealed by four sets of images: footage of the French students' uprising in May of 1968; the images captured by amateurs during the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of the same year, when forces led by the Soviet Union put an end to the Prague Spring; shots of the funerals of students, workers, and police officers killed during the events of 1968 in the cities of Paris, Lyon, Prague, and Rio de Janeiro; and the scenes that a tourist—the director's mother—filmed in China in 1966, the year of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. (Icarus) Presented as part of the series "1968: Visions of Possibilities."
At once melancholy, inspiring and evocative.
J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books
A bittersweet, ruminative documentary essay... thoughtful [and] disarmingly personal.
A.O. Scott, New York Times
Remarkable... a rich, immersive contemplation of the emotional battery life of revolutions.
Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
Immersive, involving, sometimes revelatory... would stand as an invaluable assemblage simply on the basis of its archival finds alone.
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
A meditative film that stands against the familiar narrative... [Its] necessary pessimism calls the past as we know it into question, reminding viewers that we often experience these events second-hand via a series of provided images and figureheads that might require re-assessment.
Andrew Northrop, MUBI Notebook