Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week

Posted By on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 at 9:00 AM

The Ax Fight 1975 Timothy Asch Napoleon Chagnon
The Ax Fight (1975)
Directed by Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon
Unprecedented in both fields of anthropology and film, this remains as fresh and essential viewing as it was in 1975. Using the “sequence film” technique, Asch presents a conflict between two Yanomamo tribesman four different ways: en medias res with the crew’s confused, frightened reactions; a formalist piece with narration explaining the causes of the fight (which are later proven incorrect); a diagram explaining Yanomamo kinship relations; and an edited version of the original fight. But the film is also notable for what’s not shown: the Yanomamo’s “warlike qualities” were of particular interest to the US’ Cold War machine—which is why Chagnon and Asch got funding. Violet Lucca (July 16 at Light Industry)

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