Fernando Birri, Italy/Argentina, 1967-1979, 177 min., Italian w/ English subtitles
Based on the same ancient Indian legend as Thomas Mann’s story “The Transposed Heads,” Fernando Birri's ORG is a monstrous, nearly three-hour long film that’s only rarely been screened since it premiered at the 1979 Venice Film Festival. Ever since his debut Tire Dié, the late director, who was also a poet, painter, teacher and film school founder, has been a key figure in Latin American cinema. ORG was the result of his experience of exile in Italy: “The film is a nightmare with closed eyes because it counts among the most terrible moments of my life, my second exile, which lasted a very long time.” But above all, ORG is an experiment in perception that features over 26,000 cuts and some 700 audio tracks. ORG was partly funded by leading actor Mario Girotti, better known as Terence Hill. Today, it provides a kaleidoscopic insight into the experimental, aesthetic and political trends of the 1970s.