1981-1990

Raoul Ruiz – The Golden Boat (1990)

“The Golden Boat, the first American production from internationally acclaimed director Raoul Ruiz, is a dry-humored, surreal tale set in downtown Manhattan. Young writer Israel Williams (Federico Muchnik) encounters a wounded man on the street. Though he has been stabbed several times over, the man seems unaffected by his wounds and refuses to go to a doctor. Instead, he asks Israel to help find his estranged son. Israel reluctantly agrees but is met with disbelief and suspicion from the supposed son, a South American television star. Things become dangerously complicated when the old man proves to be a murderer with shady criminal and political connections. Read More »

Claudine Nougaret – Paul Lacombe (1986)

In 1986 Paul Lacombe live out one’s remaining days in Sainte-Eulalie-de-Cernon, Aveyron. During 3 last years he wrote his memoirs. Claudine Nougaret films the meeting with her grandfather. Read More »

Yilmaz Güney – Duvar (1983)

Synopsis:
Teens in a Turkish prison struggle to survive under hideous conditions. Made by dying Yilmaz Guney in France, after he escaped from a Turkish prison, enabling him to accept his award at Cannes for Yol (The Road). When the Turkish superstar leading man turned human rights activist, Guney was convicted for pro-Kurdish political activity and murder, by the Turkish military regime. Director/writer Guney’s last film, Duvar (The Wall), was banned in Turkey for 17 years. The incarcerated teens organize and fight back, brutalize each other, exult over the smallest triumph, while joking, suffering and learning from the inhumanity they wallow in. The prison also separately houses men and women, many played by other Turkish expatriates. Read More »

Mani Kaul – Before My Eyes (1988)

Quote:
This is the film that left the strongest impression on me. I have been lucky to engage it 3 times on 35mm.

Mani Kaul’s films create a sensory construct around their use of a selection of sounds to create a specific sensorial effect and images to create volume instead of (as in Hollywood) their denotative element of space. His films usually attempt to create an aesthetic where language is used beyond its denotative aspect, into its suggestive and rhythmic tonalities based on Anandvardhan’s 4th century text Dhwanyaloka about haiku like poetry forms and the aesthetic of suggestion they create known as ‘Dhwani’ which means ‘suggestive sound.’ Read More »

Étienne Chatiliez – Tatie Danielle (1990)

Danielle (Tsilla Chelton) is an embittered elderly widow who literally nags and works her equally elderly companion-cum-housekeeper Odile (Neige Dolsky) to death. Danielle finds new targets for her extremely selfish, hurtful and resolutely anti-social behaviour when arrangements are made for her to move in with her great nephew Jean-Pierre (Eric Prat) and his family. When the family take a well earned holiday abroad, a live-in carer called Sandrine (Isabelle Nanty) is employed to look after Danielle. Sandrine is just as cynical, unsympathetic and uncaring as Danielle and their common world-view results in the pair striking up a happy friendship of sorts. However, the two malcontents soon fall out and a furious Danielle effects an extremely petulant act of revenge. Read More »

Monika Treut – Die Jungfrauenmaschine AKA Virgin Machine (1988)

synopsis
Dorothee, a would-be writer and journalist, leaves Germany for the Oz of San Francisco, searching for her long-lost mother and a cure for the malady of love. Installed in the Tenderloin, she peeps in on neighbors’ bizarre sex rituals as well as does sightseeing of the more traditional kind. But encounters with male impersonator Ramona, charming Hungarian bohemian Dominique, and Susie Sexpert, barker for an all-girl strip show, lead to exploratory adventures of self-discovery and fun. When Dorothy surfaces like a dazzled tourist on the wilder shores of the city’s lesbian community, she has discovered her true sexuality. . . . and left some illusions behind. Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Hong gao liang AKA Red Sorghum [91min edit] (1988)

Quote:

Celebrated Mainland filmmaker Zhang Yimou brings his inimitable touch to Red Sorghum, a sumptuous drama set during 1930s China, just prior to the Japanese occupation. Jiu’er (Gong Li) is a young bride arranged to marry the leprous owner of a sorghum winery. But the leper dies, and Jiu’er takes over the winery, along with her lover (Jiang Wen), a burly rogue with a natural, rough charisma. Their rural lives are filled with struggle and even joy, but the invasion of the Japanese brings tragedy and blood to their doorsteps. Told in glorious shades of red, Red Sorghum is quintessential Zhang Yimou, and uses setting, cinematography, and stunning imagery to create characters and mood that are both iconic and recognizable. Gong Li and Jiang Wen both turn in revelatory performances. As both an anti-war film and a portrait of pre-Communist Chinese life, Red Sorghum is a compelling, powerful achievement from a true master of cinema. Read More »