CineSpin: Brussels Loops
Free Streaming Presentation
Available for One Week Only, November 13–20, 2020
Originally made for the American Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, the short silent films compiled in Brussels Loops expand beyond the picturesque, propagandistic vision of the United States for their intended global audience. Indeed, their energy and kineticism provide a truly inquisitive look into the wide variety of landscapes in late 1950s America. One can feel the love of rhythm and movement as directors Shirley Clarke and D. A. Pennebaker trace the dance of everyday life, finding serenity in the gestures of the mundane. In this playful and sensitive exploration of the 1950s, one discovers and rediscovers the joys of moving through a world vastly different and surprisingly similar to the one we have now. Clarke was known for her unglamorous and honest depictions of those marginalized in New York life, and she and Pennebaker give the United States—in all its aspects—a knowing vibrance. New musical accompaniment by Cal student Ryan Shah provides a contemporary spin on a rarely seen but still resonant mid-twentieth-century treasure.