1961-1970

Philippe Garrel – Le revelateur (1968)

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This film stands out as a fine example of the Zanzibar movement in France, and as a metaphor for the spirit of repression lived during that era. The film itself was recorded mostly near german concentration camps, and the crew had a lot of problems with the police, nonetheless they managed to shoot a really wonderful film, a continous portrait of escape through dark and gray landscapes much to the reminder of the wonderful text by Gorky, which starts: “Last night I was in the Kingdom of Shadows”.

–fitz Read More »

Carmelo Bene – Don Giovanni (1970)

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Quote:
More sombre, controlled and abstract than Bene’s earlier work, this is a baroque, ironic and claustrophobic avant-garde ‘restatement’ of the opera’s incest episode. Accompanied by Mozart’s score, this compulsive, cubist fragmentation of conventional plot in favour of a more profound exploration also utilizes complex, subtle montage, varying from minimal cinema to a sustained staccato rhythm. Bene is reconfirmed as one of the true iconoclastic talents of contemporary cinema. Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Skammen AKA Shame [+Extras] (1968)

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The middle segment of Ingmar Bergman’s late ’60s trilogy of films set on the island of Fårö, Shame is less enigmatic than Hour of the Wolf and more harrowing than The Passion of Anna. It’s impossible to think that Bergman wasn’t in some way affected by the worldwide debate over American involvement in Vietnam when he wrote the script for Shame, though its politics are neutral. Bergman is much more interested in exploring the inability of civilians to get out of the way of a war and what the consequences are when it does touch them. Precisely because Jan and Eva Rosenberg take no sides in the civil conflict they are trying to avoid, their basic reaction to danger is one of pure survival… When Eva tries to recall a remark that would comfort her, her memory fails her; it’s one of the most powerful scenes in the career of one of the world’s greatest filmmakers.

— Tom Wiener, AllRovi Read More »

Burt Kennedy – The Rounders [+Extra] (1965)

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Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com
Two aging bronc-busters (Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda) make their meager money by breaking wild horses. They dream of better days–possibly retiring to some island paradise–but they never put any money in the bank because they spend it all on booze and girls. They think their no-dough days are done until they acquire a wild drunkard horse which they enter in a bucking contest–no one can ride the wild, hiccupping nag. This is a pretty funny ’60s western-style comedy. Read More »

Joyce Wieland – Cat Food (1967)

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Cat Food
Canada / 13:30 min. / 1967
sound / color

“In Catfood Wieland shows a cat devouring fish after fish for some ten minutes. There seems to be no repetition of shots, but the imagery is so consistent throughout–shot of the fish, the cat eating, his paw clawing, another fish, the cat eating, etc.–that it is just possible the shots are recurrent. There is no question that Wieland has a unique talent.”- P Adams Sitney, Film Culture

“A cat eats its methodical way through a polymorphous fish. The projector devours the ribbon of film at the same rate, methodically. The lay of Grimnir mentions a wild boar whose magical flesh was nightly devoured by the heroes of Valhalla, and miraculously regenerated next morning in the kitchen. The fish in Wieland’s film, and the miraculous flesh of the film itself, are reconstructed on the rewinds to be devoured again. Here is a dionysian metaphor, old as the West, of immense strength. Once we see that the fish is the protagonist of the action, this metaphor reverberates to incandescence in the mind.” – Hollis Frampton Read More »

Philip Kaufman & Benjamin Manaster – Goldstein (1964)

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Quote:
An Old Man (Lou Gilbert) rises out of Lake Michigan and interacts briefly with a few creative people as he drifts merrily through Chicago, at one point riding in a truck from the Goldstein Company. A metal sculptor (Tom Erhart) looks for the old man while trying to patch up his relationship with Sally (Ellen Madison). She discovers she’s pregnant and makes arrangements for a bizarre out-of-town Doctor (Severn Darden) to perform an abortion. The sculptor asks his father for help and brings along his friend Jay (Benito Carruthers), who lifts the father’s wallet. Jay uses some of the money to bankroll a night with some fancy ladies, while the sculptor continues to search for the inspirational Old Man. Read More »

Peter Nestler – Ödenwaldstetten (1964)

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Portrait of a small south German village and its residents in the early sixties.
Rural culture is undergoing a transformation caused by the intrusion of the industrial world. Gestures at work and words of its inhabitants.

“COUNTER (HI)STORIES”
From the start, Nestler’s films attest how an observational description of reality can become an authentic art form. He consistently refuses to comply with the insistence of television editors and directors to provide explanatory comments of the pictures through neutral narration. Nestler insists on leaving things and testimonies of people standing side by side before the camera. But one who violates the unwritten policy conditions that come along as formal laws of the medium (motto: “people will not understand it…”) will be placed on the index. So he never became a TV reporter. In March 2007 he was dedicated a retrospective at the Paris Cinéma du réel documentary film festival at the Centre Pompidou for this. “My first films in the early 60s (that weren’t ‘political’) contained something that was irritating, disturbing the peace, especially in the films Mülheim (Ruhr), Ödenwaldstetten (both 1964) and Von Griechenland (1965). I was cut off the money supply, and so I moved to Sweden”, thus Nestler 1998 laconically. from ray Filmmagazin Read More »