Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Sq, 11am
This is part of the Essay Film Festival. Full details here.
For this special event Thom Andersen will present a re-mastered and re-edited version of Red Hollywood (1996), a revelatory essay film made in collaboration with Noël Burch, which examines the films made by the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist and offers a radically different perspective on a key period in the history of American cinema. As described by Andersen and Burch, “the victims of the Hollywood blacklist have been canonised as martyrs, but their film work in Hollywood is still largely denigrated or ignored. Red Hollywood considers this work to demonstrate how the Communists of Hollywood were sometimes able to express their ideas in the films they wrote and directed.” Andersen will also introduce an episode from Burch’s series of film historical essays, What Do Those Old Films Mean? (1987).
Chicago Reader review:
A highly illuminating, groundbreaking, and entertaining video documentary by Thom Andersen and Noel Burch about the film work of Hollywood communists—mainly writers, directors, and actors—using commentaries, interviews, and a good many film clips (1995). Many of the clips come from films of the 30s, 40s, and 50s that have received virtually no attention before; this video offers new ways of looking at these films—and also at Hollywood movies in general. Contrary to the received wisdom, many victims of the Hollywood blacklist worked a lot of political and social content into their studio assignments, and the beliefs of these party members and fellow travelers were far from uniform or monolithic. If you've ever wondered about things such as novelist Nathanael West's work as a screenwriter or what communists had to say for and against Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust, this provocative investigation has plenty to impart.
Here (and above) is the trailer.