Pirates of the Great Salt Lake, October 18
In this drama set on the streets of Beijing, where the black market in pirated DVDs thrives, China's "Sixth Generation" director He Jian-jun creates fiction from a stark reality: a society where fantasy thrives as an illicit marketplace of images. With short Abuse of Power.
"An intelligent, satirical, character-driven, laugh-out-loud funny comedy-action hybrid of Cervantes' Don Quixote and Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean-with ghosts, heroes, villains, the plank, [and] plenty of eyeliner."-SF Indiefest 2006. With Rodney Graham short Vexation Island.
Ulrike Ottinger's adventure in female piracy is brilliantly costumed and playful in its swashbuckling earnestness. It is also a unique discourse on women and power, as seven women dare to forfeit the boredom and safety of their everyday lives and set sail aboard the ship Orlando, where the timid hold no course.
"Alexander Mackendrick's yarn of pirate-captured children adrift between primitivism and Victorianism is pure cinema and pure entertainment, with comedy and tragedy ironically balanced in the combination of childhood dreams and adult dread."-Time Out. With Negativland short No Business.
Local artist Craig Baldwin's avant-garde classic practices and preaches piracy: it is a charged montage of movie lifts, quirky quotation, and prankster pastiche drawn from his legendary archive of cultural hand-me-downs. With short Uso Justo (Fair Practice).
In 1951, Jacques Tourneur (Cat People) gave the infamous female pirate Anne Bonny her own film, and her own proto-feminist reasons to pillage the British fleet around Jamaica, along with many a male ego. Jean Peters and Louis Jourdan star.
Judy Garland and Gene Kelly star in Vincente Minnelli's sly parody of the swashbuckler, an ode to illusion set to Cole Porter songs and played out against the director's always marvelous color schemes and visual choreography. With Negativland short Gimme the Mermaid.
Avast, ye Flynn fans! This is Errol at his swashbuckling best, a commanding and athletic presence, in a 1940 classic directed by Michael Curtiz with anti-Hitler overtones. Preceded by a short film with a long title, The Artwork in the Age of Its Mechanical Reproducibility by Walter Benjamin as Told to Keith Sanborn.