Now (1965)

Santiago Alvarez fired off 'Now!', one of the most powerful bursts of propaganda rendered in the 1960s. He used a song by Lena Horne that was banned in America but that Horne gave Alvarez to use in the film. Using mostly photographs clipped from American magazines such as Life, Álvarez creates a dynamic montage of images in juxtaposition with the lyrics of Now.
Not intended as a work of great subtlety, Alvarez wields other people's images with perhaps more artistry than those who created them, and builds a remarkable piece of rhetorical cinema in the process.

The result is a highly emotional commentary on racism, using mostly pirated newsreel images, which synthesises music and visuals with astonishing precision.
Álvarez was almost certainly influenced by the photomontages of the German communist John Heartfield from the 1920’s and 1930s, but the only film collage work of a marginally left political nature that pre dates Now is that done in Northern California by Bruce Conner and Bruce Baillie.

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