lunes, 29 de junio de 2015

"Méimon," un film-ensayo de Rodrigo Moreno sobre el trabajo domestico

“Me parece una película muy lenta,”  reclamó furioso un hombre que se identificó como “anarquista” en su juventud y entró en una fuerte discusión con Jorge Altamira del Partido Obrero luego de la exhibición ayer en el Centro Cultural San Martín de “Méimon,” un film-ensayo de Rodrigo Moreno sobre la vida de una mujer doméstica. Para otro espectador “es una película poética extraordinaria que además logra gran profundidad.”  En realidad la “lentitud” de la película tiene que ver con la estética del director y su manera de comunicar con el espectador.
Con la excepción del hombre que debatía con el panel--que incluía  Altamira  y el director--todos los comentarios enfocaron en la poética de la imagen y en la posibilidad de reflexionar sobre la situación del trabajador. 
La lectura de “El Capital” que hacen en varias escenas un grupo de intelectuales, puntualiza  la alienación que sufre el trabajador en el sistema capitalista y tiene por fin poner en contexto las acciones cotidianas de la protagonista (Marcela Díaz).
Ella vive en un barrio sumamente pobre, con las faltas de servicios básicos que tienen las villas alrededor de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, y viaje todos los días en colectivo y tren, o a pie, para trabajar en las casas de familias ricas o de clase media, lavando ropa, planchando, limpiando platos, paredes, pisos, baños, en jornadas sumamente largas y agotadoras.
La cámara estudia su cara, sus manos, sus pies, muestra el contraste de los ambientes donde trabaja de su propia vivienda, también enfoca en los medios de transporte, en las calles repletas de personas, perros, paredes; ramas de árboles que se extienden, perros que comparten amablemente el agua; la lista de tareas que le ha dejado el patrón, el dinero y otros objetos de valor que ella no toca.
Réimon tuvo su premiere mundial en el Festival Internacional de Cine de Rotterdam, seguido por una exitosa presentación en la Competencia Internacional del 16° Bafici. Un dato a tomar en cuenta: Rodrigo Moreno produjo la película por su cuenta con apenas $34.000 y una ayuda de $18.000 del socio alemán Rohfilm. El exhaustivo detalle de los costos y contratos de los carteles iniciales parece apuntar a la intención de mostrar que no hace falta presupuestos millonarios para filmar películas de calidad.
Es ciertamente una muy buena película para escuelas y para iniciar un debate profundo sobre el trabajo, la alienación, la marginalización y la capacidad de una sociedad de superar estructuras profundamente regresivas.   

sábado, 20 de junio de 2015

Same sex artists Kevin Miller and Robert Allen

They are united in love for each other and love for art. Kevin Miller and Robert Allen live in the midst of nature in Brogue, Pennsylvania, building, painting, designing, working on sculptures, listening to the songs of birds and the calls of animals at night from the home they are designing with creativity and without pre-established notions concerning space, form or materials. Jaquematepress visited them recently at their Sawmill Barn Art Gallery and Studio.  
--Would you like to chat a bit about your marriage and creative activity?
--When were you married?
--Kevin:   Last June 14 we were married legally.  If you had ever told us a couple of years ago that we could go to the courthouse here in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and get a marriage license and be married legally by an ordained minister of the Church of the Brethren, I would have told you that you were completely out of your mind. I thought that Pennsylvania would be the last state in the country to legalize same sex marriage. I just never expected this development in my life. So this has been an enormously optimistic step. It also gives me a great deal of hope for the work I do for climate change. Sometimes we are tempted to think that there is no hope and that we are all headed for mass extinction.  And then suddenly mass consciousness appears around the subject of marital equality. Now looking at the movement for climate change I have this strong feeling in my bones that something important is about to happen, that we are approaching a radical, sudden, catalytic change. Today (June 18th) Pope Francis issued an encyclical on climate change and world poverty and I could not get through more than a few sentences without weeping. It is absolutely brilliant!
--How did the two of you meet?
Robert: I used to go to country-western dances. But the place didn’t open until eight O’clock so I went to “The Raven,” a gay resort, to wait for the dance to begin and it was there that I met Keven. That was in New Hope, near the river between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
--Kevin: I had been in a very bad relationship and had packed all my bags to stay on the road for a month at a time. But there I was at “The Raven” and I saw Robert walking on the veranda and was immediately smitten. I liked the way he looked in his tight jeans and cowboy boots and so that was the beginning. That was 20 years ago. We have lived together for 18 and a half years.
--So what’s the chemistry that keeps you together?
--Kevin: We have a lot of the same interests. I think that has a lot to do with it.
--Robert: We have a combination that would scare 90% of the gay people in the world. We aren’t clean fanatics. I don’t go around the house and pick up everything so that all is spot free. We tend to live in disarray and in projects. I could take a room apart and reconstruct it while we are living in it. We both see things the same way.  We see what the potential is, not what it originally is.
--Kevin: I agree with Robert. I think one of the driving engines of our relationship is that we are both creative project people. We love to make things. Whether it is art, a house or a garden or bringing people to these woods to see our work. I don’t think we are ever happier than when we are building. We have overlapping but not competing interests. I like to design, to design the building, let’s say. Robert’s area of expertise is to actually construct the building, or whatever the project it is. We talk about it in advance and tend to have the same vision of it. The other day we were talking about this sculpture and out of the blue we both told each other that we had had the same dream a few nights earlier about a stained glass chapel, although we didn’t tell it to each other until a few days later. Robert is the construction part. I admire him for that. I do the design but we both listen and pay attention to what the other thinks. We appear to be arguing all the time but what we really are doing is not arguing but engaging in creative conversation about how to solve problems.
--Robert: I can see a project from beginning to end. Kevin sees the final product. I know how to get there.
–Kevin: The fact is that this man has a pure heart. I value that pure as fresh snow heart more than anything else in the world. When I met him I had given up on ever finding anyone who could offer true love. I had come to think that that it wasn’t possible. That’s why we had a year and a half courtship. But one day he called me. I was on the west coast and he was on the east coast. He told me his mother was dying.
--Robert:  She had gone into a coma. I had just come back from New York and Kevin called and all he said was to ask what the closest airport was. I told him it was Syracuse airport and he packed up and flew all the way from California to my Mom’s funeral.
--Do both of your feel that there is a continuity between your love relationship and your creative activity?
--Robert: We both continually evolve but we are doing different things. We are growing but in the same direction. I went from woodwork to painting and now I’m switching from painting to sculpture. Kevin started with painting, then evolved to sculpture. Our work continues to inspire each other. We have always had a connection between the two of us.
--Kevin: I was listening to a spiritual teacher on the internet the other day and he said something which really struck me, he said: “look at your partner every day, every hour and ask yourself who are you now, who are you now.” As Robert says, we are all evolving constantly. One of the things that makes life with this man so exciting is that he never fails to surprise me. He said he would never paint no matter what but seven years ago I was painting something for someone and I had a bunch of canvases and brushes lying around and he was bored and picked up a canvass and a brush and said: “How do you do this?” I said: “You just put some paint on the brush and wipe it on the canvass.” And now look at the work he has done over the past seven years! He has just blown my mind with his body of work. He has far succeeded my success. I’ve never had an exposition but he has had an exposition at the Westmoreland museum of American art.
--What inspires you in your work with art?
--Kevin: I see art in everything, people, places, animals, design, function, I see beauty. A number of years ago we went to Paris with some friends and we spent a day at the Versailles museum. I could see that Robert’s eyes were getting bigger and bigger. We’d been there for most of the day looking at all the works of art and at one point Robert just wheeled around and said: “I’m an artist!” Most people see the world as it is. We don’t. We see the world’s potential.
--Do you feel rejected by society?
--Kevin: I don’t really care. There are people out there who are waiting to see a spark of creativity, another way of doing things.

Kevin Miller: 215-837-8171
Robert Allen: 215-837-8172

email: - or - 

lunes, 15 de junio de 2015

"We Belong," Playback Theatre in York, Pennsylvania with the direction of Chris Fitz

“Listen to the heart beat…” chanted the ten barefoot actors of the River Crossing Playback Theater Saturday as they made their way to the front of the stage at the York, Pennsylvania, YWCA for the last performance of “We Belong.”
       Founder and director Chris Fitz applauded the fifty or so spectators who showed up for the performance. “We’re going to take a journey about where we are,” announced Chris. Before the journey, Poets Christine Lincoln and Dustin Nispel set the mood with dramatic readings of their poems.  

        Playback Theater is a particular form of improvisational theatre developed around 40 years ago by Jonathan Fox in New York City. A general theme is chosen for each performance—last Saturday it was the idea of belonging. Then Chris asks members of the audience to tell stories (experiences) related to the theme and the cast acts them out stressing the use of the body to narrate and communicate the feelings that the story elicits.
      A young girl suggested “happy;” a young man added love and others talked about death and trust. The stories offered by members of the audience included one about a taxi driver who came within a hair’s breadth of colliding with a 90 year old pedestrian; a middle aged man recalled his days at graduate school when he organized dances; a woman who came from Peru shared her memories as a nine year old immigrant.
      Stories and theater thrive on conflict. The experiences offered by viewers of Playback Theater do not always take that into consideration, so the performers have to incorporate conflict into their “play backs.” The story-ideas grow in the process and evolve towards a sort of feedback in which spectators exchange views on the issued dramatized.
      Playback Theater does not consider itself to be a politically oriented form of art, but it does base itself on situations that exist in the communities where it organizes performances.
     Chris Fitz is from Marietta, Pennsylvania, and likewise is director of the Lancaster based Center for Community Peacemaking, a graduate of the International School of Playback Theatre in New Paltz, New York, and has been involved in playback technique for more than a decade. His playback workshops on improvisational art have taken him to Washington, D.C, Munich, Germany, and across the U.S. The invasion of Iraq helped stimulate his interest in resolving conflicts peacefully. He holds a M.A. in Peace, Conflict & Development Studies from the Universitat Jaume I (Castellon, Spain) and a B.A. in International Conflict Resolution from Hampshire College (Amherst, MA).
          During his university studies he got involved in performance art, “including modern dance and improvisational theater.” So the training workshops stress use of the body, choreographed type relationships and spontaneity.
          Asked what she got from “We Belong,” a female spectator said: ““This is the third time I’ve attended dramatizations by the Playback Theater.  Each one has been on a different theme and have stimulated the audiences in different ways.  What was so intriguing about this evening was the inclusion of audience members in participating as “actors” in the improvisational process. The spontaneity of the “spectator actors” was wonderful and added new dynamics to the evening!”
          In fact, the spectator-actors were able to act out a number of ideas with great spontaneity and dramatic instinct.
          “Very few of the cast has actually studied theatre,” says Chris. “I always say the biggest qualification for participating in Playback theatre is presence, listening presence and also stage presence. If anyone has that then the rest will follow.”
              --Can anyone do Playback Theatre?”
--I think everyone can do Playback Theatre, but not everyone can do it well or right away. I have seen persons come to us introverted and I have seen them soften and come out of their shell after working with us. It means using the body to express feelings, not only those ideas we want to work with but it is also necessary to recognize that we all come from different backgrounds and have different emotional lives.
--Is this your special way of doing Playback Theatre?
           --No, not at all. It began in the 1970’s by a man named Johnathan Fox.
       --Is this a social or political form of theatrical art?
          We certainly are working with social consciousness but I wouldn’t call it political. Actually, I see it as more meaningful politics than what we usually understand politics to be.
          --Has the work of Boal in Brazil had an influence on Playback Theatre?
          Yes, Fox and Boal were developing their work during the same period and in the same period you had psycho-drama also. What is different from what Boal does is that it brings more ritual and artistry into it; not just the social consciousness.
        --Are you satisfied with this series of performances on belonging?
        --Actually, I am exhausted because it was a lot of work organizing it. But when I see the people that show up and see how vulnerable they are with their stories it is extremely rewarding. 
Chris Fitz:        
 (717) 382-8292 or
River Crossing Playback Theatre
320 E Walnut St
Marietta, PA 17547