Saturday, February 2, 2008

Movies at Cafe Rozella

Last night we screened the Battle of Algiers at the Cafe. This is a powerful movie whose message appears timeless given the current state of events. The film depicts an episode in the war of independence in then-French Algeria, in the capital city of Algiers. It reconstructs the events of November 1954 to December 1960 in Algiers during the Algerian War of Independence, beginning with the organization of revolutionary cells in the Casbah. From there, it depicts the conflict between native Algerians and European settlers (pied-noirs) in which the two sides exchange acts of increasing violence, leading to the introduction of French paratroopers, under the direction of General Massu and then Colonel Bigeard, to root out the National Liberation Front (FLN). The paratroops are depicted as "winning" the battle by neutralizing the whole FLN leadership through assassination or capture. However, the film ends with a coda, depicting demonstrations and rioting by native Algerians for independence, in which it is suggested that though the French have won the Battle of Algiers, they have lost the war. (Wikepedia). And most certainly it is true that the French lost Algeria while neutralizing the combatants. A lesson we should all take to heart.

Next week's fare will be quite lighter with the showing of Woody Allen's film, "Annie Hall." This is certainly one of the classic meloncholy romantic films of our time. And it is, perhaps, Allen's best film. Annie Hall is an Academy Award-winning, 1977 romantic comedy film directed by Woody Allen from a script he co-wrote with Marshall Brickman. It is one of Allen's most popular films: it won numerous awards at the time of its release, and in 2002 Roger Ebert referred to it as "just about everyone's favorite Woody Allen movie." Allen had previously been known as a maker of zany comedies; the director has described Annie Hall as "a major turning point", as it brought a new level of seriousness to his work, in addition to consolidating his signature cinematic style, which includes long, realistically written scenes of conversation, often shot in uninterrupted takes, and an equal thematic investment in both hilarity and heartbreak. The film will be screened at Cafe Rozella at 7 p.m. on Friday February 8th at 7 p.m. As the file is sponsored by the White Center Arts Alliance it is free. Come and enjoy another classic at Cafe Rozella.

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