Best Documentary Movies of 1961
Symmetry is one of five shorts featured in the film "Mathematical Peep Shows." The collection was made by Charles and Ray Eames for the IBM Mathematica Exhibit which opened in 1961. The degree to which an object is symmetrical is illustrated by the number of different positions in which it can fit into a box of its shape.
A classic NFB documentary about the Golden Gloves boxing tournament, the Canadian amateur's hope for success in the boxing world. This Gilles Groulx film shows three Montreal boxers in training. In behind-the-scenes interviews they talk about their ambitions and what prompted them to take up the sport. - NFB
This fly on the wall-style documentary from 1961 won an Oscar for best documentary, and shows the changing patterns of human emotions during 24 hours in the life of Waterloo Station.
2n: A Story of the Power of Numbers
2? is a story about the exponential growth of numbers raised to powers. Part of the Mathematica Peep Shows, one of five films made to accompany the Mathematica: A World of Numbers and Beyond exhibition at the California Museum of Science and Industry and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
Compilation film, tracing the political career of Dr. Hans Globke, allegedly a former Nazi, now Secretary of State in West Germany.
A study of Antoni Gaudí's architecture (especially the Church of the Holy Trinity in Barcelona), his sources of inspiration and his influence on Picasso. (BFI)
Very Nice, Very Nice
Arthur Lipsett's first film is an avant-garde blend of photography and sound. It looks behind the business-as-usual face we put on life and shows anxieties we want to forget. It is made of dozens of pictures that seem familiar, with fragments of speech heard in passing and, between times, a voice saying, "Very nice, very nice." The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film.
They Took Us to The Sea
Made for the NSPCC by the noted film director John Krish, They Took Us To The Sea follows a group of children taken by Inspectors of the NSPCC on an outing from Birmingham to Weston-Super Mare.
Days of Thrills and Laughter
An appreciative, uncritical look at silent film comedies and thrillers from early in the century through the 1920s.
Bruce Baillie's Mr. Hayashi might be thought of as a putative East Coast story transformed by a West Coast sensibility. The narrative, slight as it is, mounts a social critique of sorts, involving the difficulty the title character, a Japanese gardener, has finding work that pays adequately. But the beauty of Baillie's black-and-white photography, the misty lusciousness of the landscapes he chooses to photograph, and the powerful silence of Mr. Hayashi's figure within them make the viewer forget all about economics and ethnicity. The shots remind us of Sung scrolls of fields and mountain peaks, where the human figure is dwarfed in the middle distance. Rather than a study of unemployment, the film becomes a study of nested layers of stillness and serenity.