Raoul Ruiz – Comédie de l’innocence AKA Comedy of Innocence (2000)

Quote:

After Calderón and Proust, Comédie de l’innocence is another literary adaptation, this time from the little-known Italian surrealist Massimo Bontempelli. Updated from the last fin de siècle to this more recent time of uncertainty, Comédie de l’innocence’s plot is small but perfectly formed. With Aristotelian rigour it moves from the opening conundrum (a child torn between two mothers), through the complication (the confrontation between the mothers and Ariane’s brother Serge), to a satisfying conclusion. Ruiz, who takes a co-credit as scriptwriter with Françoise Dumas, keeps up the tension, however, with laconic and enigmatic dialogue. When Ariane visits the empty flat of Isabella, a nosy neighbour remarks: ‘I really don’t want to know.’ Ariane replies: ‘There is nothing to know.’ Read More »

Joko Anwar – Janji Joni AKA Joni’s Promise (2005)

Synopsis:
Joni (Nicholas Saputra) is obsessed with film, and he’s not the only one, as he points out in a pre-credit sequence, in which we hear various Jakarta residents comparing their own lives to the movies that they love. Joni has made the movies his life, even if it’s just as a delivery man, using his motorbike to bring film reels from one theater in the city to the next, so that the canny exhibitors can save money on prints. Joni prides himself on always getting to his destination in time for the reel changes, so the screenings aren’t interrupted. Read More »

António-Pedro Vasconcelos – Jaime (1999)

Quote:
Veteran director Antonio-Pedro Vasconcelos spins this gritty, unsentimental tale about underage street kids in Portugal. The film opens with a teenaged worker at a bakery getting dumped off at a hospital after losing his finger. The boss instructs the youth’s father to tell the doctors that he lost his digit playing with a knife, but fearing an investigation, the boss subsequently dumps his other underage workers, including 13-year old Jaime (Saul Fonseca). Jaime is struggling to mend his tattered family. Read More »

Nele Wohlatz – El futuro perfecto (2016)

A smart and innovative look at the possible futures of a young Chinese immigrant to Buenos Aires, told in the stilted language of an elementary Spanish textbook. Read More »

Sion Sono – Tokyo Tribe (2014)

Synopsis:
Five years after the Shibuya riots, the Tribes of Tokyo have been enjoying a period of relative peace, until Kim and two other members of the Musashino Saru intrude on the territory of the Wu-Ronz in Bukuro. Mera, the leader of Wu-Ronz kills the three Saru, under the assumption that they were members of the Shibuya Saru. Two days later, after searching for who killed his friends, Musashino Saru member Kai runs into Mera. Old friends in their high school days, the two get into a confrontation that ends up leaving Tera, the leader of Musashino Saru, dead and setting the stage for violence between the Tribes. Read More »

Bertrand Bonello – Zombi Child (2019)

IMDB:
Haiti, 1962. A man is brought back from the dead to work in the hell of sugar cane plantations. 55 years later, a Haitian teenager tells her friends her family secret – not suspecting that it will push one of them to commit the irreparable. Read More »

Bette Gordon – Variety (1983)

Quote:The sexually charged tale of a woman’s journey of self-discovery, Bette Gordon’s Variety is a fascinating independent film that challenges common notions about feminism and pornography. Emerging out of the underground NYC arts scene that produced the late 80s boom in American independent cinema, Variety contains the contributions of an impresive array of talent, including cinematographer Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion), actor Luis Guzmán (Boogie Nights), a script by the late cult novelist Kathy Acker, and a score by actor and musician John Lurie (Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law). Read More »