Gaspar Noé – Lux Æterna AKA Lumiere Eternelle (2019)

Two actresses, Béatrice Dalle and Charlotte Gainsbourg, are on a film set telling stories about witches – but that’s not all. ‘Lux Æterna’ is also an essay on cinema, the love of film, and on-set hysterics.
Quote:
I think this film is admirable in many ways although not devoid of flaws, the main one being that for the nth time, Noé pulls the same expectable tricks with colorful lighting, flickering images and references to his classics (even just the title, “Lux Aeterna” is the György Ligeti eerie choir piece used in “2001: A Space Odyssey”), etc. So that does get a little unimaginative, especially since the atmosphere and development are very close to his latest long feature, “Climax”. Read More »

Ulrike Ottinger – Dorian Gray im Spiegel der Boulevardpresse AKA The Image of Dorian Gray in the Yellow Press (1984)

Quote:
From the panoramic, historical revue of the many faces of social prejudice and ostracism, Ottinger turns her attention to the mechanism of exclusion invested with the necessary power to make or break people. Frau Dr. Mabuse, whose illustrious precursor is Fritz Lang’s psychopathic, counterfeiting boss of the underworld, derives her power from the fabrication of reality based on the seduction of images and words. Her perfect object and victim is the Bauhaus-dandy Dorian, whose relation to Oscar Wilde’s prototype is as marginal as his relation to power. The fairy-tale framework of Ottinger’s feature compositions asserts itself strongly in this film as Dorian replaces the evil tycoon and becomes king of the media conglomerate. Read More »

Gimpo – Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid (1995)

Quote:
On 23 August 1994, the K Foundation (Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty) burnt one million pounds sterling in cash on the Scottish island of Jura. This money represented the bulk of the K Foundation’s funds, earned by Drummond and Cauty as The KLF, one of the United Kingdom’s most successful pop groups of the early 1990s. The duo have never fully explained their motivations for the burning.

The incineration was recorded on a Hi-8 video camera by K Foundation collaborator Gimpo. In August 1995, the film “Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid” was toured around the British Isles, with Drummond and Cauty engaging each audience in debate about the burning and its meaning. In November 1995, the duo pledged to dissolve the K Foundation and to refrain from public discussion of the burning for a period of 23 years. Read More »

Seyfi Teoman – Tatil kitabi AKA Summer Book (2008)

Mustafa (Osman Inan) is a hard-working and ambitious agricultural merchant who is cold and austere towards his family. One day he has a brain hemorrhage on a business trip and goes into a coma after the operation. Guler (Ayten Tokun) is suspicious of her husband having an affair. Veysel (Harun Ozuag), their teenage son, wants to leave the military academy and study business administration. Ali (Tayfun Gunay), their 10-year-old son, has to cope both with his bully classmate and the chewing gums he has to sell. Hasan (Taner Birsel), Mustafa’s younger brother, chose to live a life in solitude after getting a divorce, and has always been an outsider to the family. But now, with his brother in coma, he finds himself involved in family affairs. Hasan has to solve the mystery about Mustafa’s mistress and the money lost during his trip. (IMDb) Read More »

Mohamed Khan – Zawgat Ragoul Mohem AKA The Wife of an Important Man (1987)

Starring Ahmed Zaki and Mervat Amin, the film’s importance comes from it’s storyline written by Raouf Tawfik, it discusses a bold and sensitive subject for Middle Eastern societies, the concept of power and it’s relationship with the individual. The films that have discussed this subject in earnest are rare and in between especially in Egyptian cinema, because of censorship and intimidation, and even the films that have previously discussed the issue of authority and power abuse have only touched it from a political view, ignoring the psychological aspects.
The wife of an Important man stands in opposition to this school of thought.
In the film, we are shown two of the most important characters in Khan’s filmography. Read More »

Bertrand Tavernier – Coup de torchon AKA Clean Slate [+Extras] (1981)

Quote:
1938, in a French African colony. Lucien Cordier is the cop of this village, populated with blacks and a few whites (usually racialist and lustful). He is a washout, everyone (including his wife Huguette) humiliates him. He never arrests anyone and looks at elsewhere when a dirty trick occurs. But one day, he turns into a Machiavellian exterminating angel. Read More »

Stan Brakhage – Blue Moses (1962)

From Amos Vogel’s Film as a Subversive Art:
One of the very few Brakhage films to have a plot and be acted, this bitter and wise polemic pits an actor who constantly confesses his role against an unseen audience. He sarcastically mocks our belief in filmic truth, disclaiming the omnipotence we ascribe to him and the director and insists on the falsehood and artificiality of the art work. This is a very modern film of ambiguity, mixed tenses, skepticism, and ultimately, anguish at the realization that the artist is both con-man and magician, impotently straining for unattainable perfection yet inevitably being taken seriously by an audience panting to be duped. Read More »