Southern Comfort

Kinemastik weekend at MCA, 21st and 22nd March 2009

Saturday 21st March, 17:00

Life Without Death (2000) Frank Cole

The Sahara Desert occupies most of the northern continent of Africa. It’s eight-and-a-half-million square kilometres in area, and stretches from Mauritania on the Atlantic coast, through Mali, Niger and Chad, and ends at the Red Sea in Sudan. It’s arid, bleak and unforgiving. Outbreaks of civil war between various desert tribes spring up continuously along the entire route. The carcasses of the desert’s victims — camels, goats and scorpions – litter its vast expanse, having succumbed to the heat or the lack of water or the violence of its storms. What, then, would possess someone to traverse this hell on earth – alone?
In the case of the late Ottawa filmmaker Frank Cole, equally obsessive passions for love of life and fear of death were reasons enough. In 1989, following the death of his grandfather, Cole set out to cross the Sahara. He carried with him water bottles, preventive medication, his grandfather’s ashes and a Bolex camera equipped with a timer. Over the course of a year-long journey, he recorded in meticulous detail the adventure that would earn him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. The journey would also earn him a unique position in the world of film. Life without Death, the 90-minute documentary that Cole created over the ensuing 10 years, is a haunting, brilliant and bittersweet homage to the pursuit of eternity.

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Saturday 21st March, 19:00

Music Is The Weapon by Jean Jacques Flori

Music Is the Weapon may be short, but it’s essential viewing for Fela fans. Filmed in 1982, the 53-minute documentary captures the late Nigerian musician/activist at his peak. (There are slight differences between the English and French versions, so it’s best to watch both.) For the uninitiated, it’s hard to explain–in mere words–how one man could so successfully mate the sexuality of James Brown with the righteous politics of Bob Marley and sinuous sounds of Miles Davis. Fela drew as much inspiration for his “Afro-beat” from Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X as funk, reggae, and jazz. Music Is the Weapon features interviews with Fela and a few of his many wives, along with performances of “ITT,” “Army Arrangement,” and other anthems. A controversial figure throughout his life, Fela is described as both “superstar” and “man of the people.” This short, but potent document ably explores that dichotomy. –Kathleen C. Fennessy

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Sunday 22nd March, 17:00

Le Peuple Migrateur by Jacques Perrin

The cameras of Jacques Perrin fly with migratory birds: geese, storks, cranes. The film begins with spring in North America and the migration to the Arctic; the flight is a community event for each species. Once in the Arctic, it’s family time: courtship, nests, eggs, fledglings, and first flight. Chicks must soon fly south. Bad weather, hunters, and pollution take their toll. Then, the cameras go south of the Equator; Antarctica is the summer destination. The search for food, good weather, and a place to hatch young takes this annual cycle of stamina across continents and oceans. There is a spare narration and a few titles; for the most part it’s visual, a bird’s eye viewwingedmig2lc2.

Sunday 22nd March, 19:00

Darwin’s Nightmare

The larger scope of the story explores the gun trade to Africa that takes place under the covers — Russian pilots fly guns into Africa, then fly fish back out to Europe. The hazards and consequences of this trade are explored, including the pan-African violence propagated by constant flow of weapons into the continent. If it is a “survival of the fittest” world, as Darwin concluded, then the capitalist interests that fund the gun runners are climbing the evolutionary ladder on the backs of the Africans in this stark Darwinian example. Much like the foreseeable extinction of the Lake Victoria perch, and death of Lake Victoria itself, the Africans are in grave jeopardy, even as they survive in the only ways they know how.

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Killing the fiction – weekend screenings at MCA

SATURDAY 31st january 2009

During the projections we have squeezed some Stagno orange juice, that was served with vodka. The delight and amazement with the squeezer never failed to impress orange hair and orange eyes.

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Kinemastik has admitted 8 new members during the weekend.

Kinemastik membership provides a free entrance to all our events and includes a DVD of Maltese short films. It goes against a fee of 10 euro a year. Bar gain.

We showed “The Bridge” and “Deep water on Saturday, Mr Death and Aileen Wournos on Sunday.

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A picture says a thousand words.

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SUNDAY 1st february 2009

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Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.

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Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer

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The Great Proletarian Cultural Weekend with Kinemastik

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Former prime minister of Malta, Dr Alfred Sant, attended “The Great Proleterian Cultural Weekend with Kinemastik” and hosted a discussion after the film “Please vote for me” by Weijun Chen.

Malta Contemporary Art

Saturday 27th December 17:00h
All in this tea
A film by Les Blank

Saturday 27th December 19:00h
The 8 Model Works
A film by Yang Ban Xi


Sunday 28th December 17:30 h
Please vote for me
a film by Weijun Chen


Sunday 28th December 19:00h
Up the Yangtze
A film by Yung Chang

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Kinemastik Screening At MCA

Kinemastik has teamed up with the MCA to put together two afternoons of film on the 22nd and 23rd of November. It was kind of a sneak preview of this awesome space that will be permanent home to contemporary art for Maltese and International artists. These events, which are free of charge, ran from 15:00 until 19:00. Three documentaries and one film on and about art have been selected. Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio and a documentary on British artists Francis Bacon & Billy Childish doc plus Devil and the Daniel Johnston. Kinemastik is set for next 6 months of screening at MCA, where we ll be showing mostly documentaries and art films, hosting talks and discussions. The next event (TGPCWwK) will take place on the 27th and 28th of December.

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Notte Bianca 2008 without Kinemastik

We have discussed our ideas for 2008 with Peter Busuttil, coordinator for this year’s Notte Bianca: to create a number of wooden boxes that would represent different islands. Inside these boxes we would project the films made on different islands around the world. One of the boxes would be Maltese. Viewing these films would be possible only through little holes, in a sort of a peep-show environment, a metaphor for the celebrity-obsessed, fly-on-the-wall world in which we live.

However, this idea was rejected and the explanation given was this:

Due to the huge response we had for participation in Notte Bianca 2008, we regret to inform you that your proposal has not been selected for this year’s edition.
However, we shall start working on the programme for Notte Bianca 2009 immediately.  We will be keeping your proposal and details as reference.  Should you wish to submit a new proposal for 2009, we would be accepting proposals for Notte Bianca 2009 as of November 2008.
We thank you for your interest and hope to have the opportunity to work with you in the future.

The applications chosen may be viewed at the site of N.B. http://www.nottebiancamalta.com/ in the news section.

We believe that we are making an important contribution to the local pot of culture, with our stringent focus on independent and avant-garde cinema. Whilst we fully understand that all events must be sustainable, we also must insist that the infrastructure should be able to provide a secure platform for the institutions approached; institutions such as Kinemastik which is an NGO and not commercially driven need the support of the council if it is to continue to contribute to a dynamic vision, created without the ambiguity of whether or not there will be funding for the project.
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