Friday, 27 December 2013

 'Try Not To Work Too Much in 2014'

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Santa and the Devil: Screening Sunday 15 December

In the spirit of being within and against the Xmas season of cheer and good will Full Unemployment Cinema present Santa Claus Army, a potlatch of Santa anarchy in a double bill with Bresson's The Devil, Probably, a nihilistic fable about doing nothing and the ennui of late capitalism.

Also, bring files, food, drink and muzak for Santa sharing before screening: 'tis Christmas after all. 

Time: 5pm Santa Share | 7pm Films

The Gym*
71a Palfrey Place

Nearest Tube: Oval

Santa Claus Army

In the lead-up to Christmas 1974, an army of about seventy Santa Clauses, male and female, paraded through the city of Copenhagen, singing carols, handing out sweets and hot chocolate, and asking everyone what they wanted for Christmas.

After spending a few days cementing the good image of good old Santa Claus, their generosity became increasingly radical. Among other things, the Santas climbed a barbed wire fence surrounding the recently shuttered General Motors assembly plant with the purpose of giving jobs back to “their rightful owners.”

The week-long performance reached its crescendo inside one of Copenhagen’s biggest department stores when the Santas started handing out presents to customers directly off the shelves. Before too long, security guards and shop assistants interrupted the magic, desperately tearing the presents out of people’s hands. The police soon showed up and escorted the Santa Clauses out onto the street, where they were roughed up and thrown into paddy wagons in spite of the fact that it wasn’t clear that a criminal act had been committed, except perhaps on the part of customers who took home the presents without paying.

The performance exposed the radical implications of the myth of Santa Claus’ boundless generosity, demonstrating that true generosity is impossible within the narrow terms of capitalist society. With widely distributed photos of Santa Claus getting beaten for being too generous, the action was a hit.
The people behind Santa’s beards were the Danish theater collective Solvognen (“The Sun Chariot,” an allusion to Norse mythology). During the 1970s, the collective performed many large-scale actions intended to make bourgeois Danish society “act itself out as theater.”



And this beautiful zine:

The Devil, Probably

Robert Bresson's 1977 film follows its student protagonist Charles through his intense disillusionment with politics, religion and psychoanalysis. The Devil, Probably is an examination of the militant disavowal of the utopias promised by each with Charles as a very atomized agent of self-negation in stark contrast to the dreams fostered by the collective revolt of May '68. In addition, the film is strangely prescient about the fate of those deemed surplus to the economy in the present, being a study of unemployed negativity with nowhere to go.

While Charles chooses to drift-rejecting work to the point of giving up on his precarious private tutoring income-its less absolute freedom he experiences than the recognition that anything that seems to offer help or meaning is but another trap.  As the film progresses Charles' weirdly blank negation of everything on offer-including the radical alternatives of ecology and anarchism-becomes a mirror to the vacuity of late capitalist ideology, work, relationships and, uh, public transportation (see yt link below). And eventually, as is inevitable, the mirror begins to crack...

Bus as Hell:

See also an excellent Denis Lim article but WARNING contains spoilers:

'How to account for the intensity of feeling this film inspires? Speaking from experience, I can only suggest that for those on its wavelength, The Devil, Probably has the force of a revelation, even on repeat encounters. It’s an existentialist horror movie, complete with zombielike cast and looming apocalypse, and in place of scare tactics, a brutal, breathtaking logic and concision.'

 An Infernal Seasons Greetings from FUC!

Human labor! That explosion lights up my abyss from time to time.

Nothing is vanity; on toward knowledge!" cries the modern Ecclesiastes, which is Everyone. And still the bodies of the wicked and the idle fall upon the hearts of all the rest... Ah! quick, quick, quick there; beyond the night... that future reward, that eternal reward... will we escape it?

- What more can I do? Labor I know; and science is too slow. That praying gallops and that light roars... I'm well aware of it. It's too simple, and the weather's too hot; you can all do without me. I have my duty; but I will be proud, as others have been, to set it aside.

My life is worn out. Well, let's pretend, let's do nothing! oh, pitiful! And we will exist, and amuse ourselves, dreaming of monstrous loves and fantastic worlds, complaining and quarreling with the appearances of the world, acrobat, beggar, artist, bandit, - priest! On my hospital bed, the odor of incense came so strongly back to me; guardian of the holy aromatics, confessor, martyr...

There I recognize my filthy childhood education. Then what!... Turn twenty: I'll do my twenty years, if everyone else does...

No! No! Now I rise up against death! Labor seems too easy for pride like mine: To betray me to the world would be too slight a punishment. At the last moment I would attack, to the right, to the left...
- Oh! - poor dear soul, eternity then might not be lost!

Lightning, Arthur Rimbaud, 1873.  

*please lock yer bikes up outside to avoid entangled pile up