Vicente Aranda – Celos AKA Jealousy (1999)

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Quote:
A month before he’s to marry Carmen, Antonio finds a photograph of a man with his arm on her shoulder. The photograph triggers jealousy: he questions Carmen, Carman’s friend Cinta, and his friend Luis who introduced him to Carmen. Cinta tells Antonio the man’s first name. Carmen tells him that the man meant nothing to her, and that the photograph was taken before she met Antonio. She loves Antonio and sets out to wipe the photograph from his mind through exuberant sex, but her ploy backfires and Antonio remains fixated. Slowly he finds out about the man, and about Carmen’s past. Will jealousy consume this couple or can they find a way to kill the green-eyed monster? Continue reading

Servando González – El escapulario AKA The Scapular (1968)

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Synopsis: A woman who is about to die calls the town’s priest and hands him a scapulary, saying that she knows of its great powers. Anybody who does not believe in them will end up dead.

In the times of Mexican Revolution, a dying woman sends for the young priest of the village, she confesses to him that she has a miraculous scapular which has the power to protect the life of the owner; before she dies, she tells the skeptical priest how the scapular saved the life of her four children, thus reviving four incredible crossed stories.

The movie gives the date: November 7, 1910, a mere two weeks before the Mexican Revolution. Yet, in the flashbacks, seven years earlier, we can see a full fledged organized insurgency. Continue reading

Jacques Doillon – Ponette (1996)

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An extremely captivating movie on how a little girl copes with her mother’s death. She withdraws from all the people around her, waiting for her mother to come back. She tries waiting, and when her mother still doesn’t appear, tries magic chants, praying to God, and then becoming a child of God, to have some power over Him. All to no avail. But then, when she is in despair, her mother does come back… Continue reading

Hsiao-hsien Hou – Qian Xi Man Po AKA Millenium Mambo (2001)

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Synopsis: Winner of the Grand Prix Technique at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, Hou Hsiao Hsien’s MILLENNIUM MAMBO is a strikingly beautiful film set in Taipei’s hot nightclub scene. The remarkable Shu Qi stars as Vicky, a lost soul who hangs out… Winner of the Grand Prix Technique at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, Hou Hsiao Hsien’s MILLENNIUM MAMBO is a strikingly beautiful film set in Taipei’s hot nightclub scene. The remarkable Shu Qi stars as Vicky, a lost soul who hangs out partying with her friends, smoking nonstop, and dancing and flirting. She lives with Hao-Hao (Tuan Chun-hao), but he doesn’t seem to excite her anymore, so she starts seeing an older gangster, Jack (Jack Kao), although the depth of the relationship is left purposely ambiguous. Continue reading

T. Minh-ha Trinh – Reassemblage (1983)

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From Allmovie:

Director Trinh T. Minh-ha’s first film is an ethnographic portrait of rural Senegalese women, but its provocative editing and self-conscious narration question the very activities of ethnography and documentary filmmaking; Minh-ha inverts and critiques authoritative Western representations of the “other.'” ~ Sarah Welsh, All Movie Guide

INTERVIEW WITH TRINH MINH-HA

Interviewer Interviewed: A Discussion with Trinh T. Mihn-ha

by Tina Spangler
Emerson College

BORN IN VIETNAM, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a writer, composer and filmmaker She has been making films for better than ten years and may be best known for her first film Reassemblage, made in 1982. However her most recent film Surname Viet, Given Name Nam (1989), which examines “identity and culture through the struggle of Vietnamese women” has received much attention, including winning the Blue Ribbon Award at the American Film and Video festival Trinh T. Minh-ha is a professor of Woman Studies and Film at the University of California, Berkely and was recently a Visiting Professor at Harvard University. Continue reading

John Boorman – Hell in the Pacific (1968)

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A shot-down American pilot finds his way to a small, unpopulated island where he hopes to find provisions. He soon discovers that he is not alone; there is a Japanese officer marooned on the island also. Will they continue to fight each other to the death, or will they reach a modus vivendi?

Lone Japanese soldier Toshiro Mifune diligently scans the ocean from his island lookout as he must have thousands of times before, but this time he spies an abandoned life raft resting on a rocky bluff. Within minutes he’s face to face with American sea-wreck survivor Lee Marvin and the two begin an elaborate game of cat and mouse. Director John Boorman presents this two-man war as a deadly game between a pair of overgrown children, who finally tire of it (as kids will) and settle into tolerated co-existence and then even something resembling a friendship. With impressionistic strokes, Boorman paints a lush tropical paradise in colors you can drink from the screen, capturing the texture of their experience as refracted through the cinema: the look of the island as seen through the haze of smoke, the sound of a sudden rainstorm as it hushes the island in a calming roar, the timelessness of life outside of civilization. Continue reading

Claire Denis – Beau Travail AKA Good Work (1999)

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Synopsis
This film focuses on ex-Foreign Legion officer, Galoup, as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in the Gulf of Djibouti. His existence there was happy, strict and regimented, but the arrival of a promising young recruit, Sentain, plants the seeds of jealousy in Galoup’s mind. He feels compelled to stop him from coming to the attention of the commandant who he admires, but who ignores him. Ultimately, his jealousy leads to the destruction of both Sentain and himself.
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