Paris Commune movie

John M Cox coxj at
Thu Jul 3 06:01:30 MDT 2003

July 3, 2003
It's Paris in 1871, and You Are There

At 67, Peter Watkins remains a restless radical, creating films that
spectacularly defy narrative conventions, entrenched ideologies and, it
must be said, the patience of his viewers.

With a running time of 5 hours 45 minutes, Mr. Watkins's most recent film,
"La Commune (Paris, 1871)," is far from his longest work, but in many ways
it is his most ambitious. (The longest, "The Journey," a 1987 survey of
the nuclear arms race, was 12 hours.)

Centered on the story of the Paris Commune, the working-class insurgency
that briefly ruled the French capital in 1871, Mr. Watkins's film is at
once a provocative account of a neglected episode in social history, a
call to arms against the contemporary injustices of capitalism, a critique
of the mass media and an experiment in collective filmmaking that recalls
the heady days after France's last mass rebellion in May 1968. "La
Commune" opens today with its New York theatrical premiere at Anthology
Film Archives in the East Village....


John Cox
Chapel Hill, NC
"The world only goes forward because of those who oppose it."

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