The deadpan comic buzz you get from Gus Van Sant’s Drugstore Cowboy is practically narcotic. The movie heightens your senses and mildly anaesthetizes them at the same time, like a potent mixture of stimulants and depressants. One of the most invigoratingly original American comedies since Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise, Drugstore Cowboy follows druggie, irregular rhythms all its own. Whether in a heavy-lidded daze or wired with giddy, post-high paranoia, Drugstore Cowboy displays an uncanny alertness to detail and texture — yellow-white bus headlights that barely penetrate the slate-grey, late-afternoon gloom on a rain-drenched north-western road; the surreal surge of blood into a hypodermic syringe as it enters a vein in intensified close-up… But the film’s vibrant aliveness to such minute sensations is submerged beneath a cold, clammy complexion: the blue-grey pallor of a day-old corpse. Continue reading
From an article by Natasha Drucbek-Meyer:
Russian Parallel Cinema is a unique tradition. It appeared in the Soviet Union in the beginning of the 80s and existed as if there were no strong system of official film. It appeared when world experimental film had 50 years history, but never gave a glance at it.
In the end of the 80s, Parallel Cinema came into fashion, as a part of underground culture. The next decade started with strong desire to bury it, as a part of perestroika fashion. Today the third generation of Parallel Cinema is active. <…>
Social identification of the Parallel Cinema group of film and video makers started in underground and close to CINE FANTOM (historically incorrect name) magazine, the first and only Russian independent selfprinted magazine devoted to cinema. It was founded in Moscow in 1986 by Igor Aleinikov and existed until 1991.
In 1987 the first CINE FANTOM festival was held in Moscow. Since 1995 the CINE FANTOM club exists. If you type you”ll find the CINE FANTOM site. If you type in net search “Russian film”, you”ll find the CINE FANTOM site again.
short synopsis (Harvard Film Archive):
Shot over a ten-year period, Diary is not only the political, professional, and personal diary of a man, but is a testimony on the turbulent reality of a war-torn country, Israel. In six chapters, Perlov travels to Tel Aviv, Paris, London, and finally to Brazil, where he was born. The film is also a family diary in which Perlov records the coming of age of his two daughters, Yael and Naomi. He meets with Claude Lanzmann, Isaac Stern, Joris Ivens, Andre Schwartz-Bart, Irving Howe, and Klaus Kinski. An extraordinary mixture of home movies, political documentary, and cinéma-vérité, Diary is a unique work. Ten years of shooting and five more of editing have resulted in a film which has the spontaneity and apparent arbitrariness of a snapshot but which is as carefully composed and graded as a finished masterpiece. Continue reading
Czech surrealist filmmaker Jan Svankmajer, who gained a reputation for his short subjects, makes his feature-film debut with Neco z Alenky, a grotesque look into the darkest, wildest recesses of a child’s mind. A surreal adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic Alice in Wonderland, the film stars Kristyna Kohoutov? as Alice, the only human character in the film. The other roles, which are voiced by Alice, are filled by an odd menagerie of animated clay, puppets, and meat. After falling asleep beside a stream, Alice follows a stuffed rabbit into a magical world where she encounters several grotesque-looking characters, including a caterpillar and The Mad Hatter. Also released under the title Alice, Neco Z Alenky was nominated for the International Fantasy Film Award at the 1989 Fantasporto Film Festival. Continue reading
On a ship en route to the Sado Islands, Tora-san enjoys the company of a beautiful woman (Miyako Harumi), unaware that she’s a famous enka singer traveling incognito. In this variation on Roman Holiday (1953), the enka star enjoys Tora-san’s company when her boyfriend left her. Eventually, she returns to her glamorous life, but not before surprising everyone in Shibamata by showing up to give Tora-san a ticket to her latest concert. Tora-san thought that this could be a good start, but she finally tells him that… her boyfriend is back. Continue reading
Dos caras de una misma moneda. Uno viene de lo salvaje hacia la civilización; la otra, desde la civilización hacia la barbarie. Se realiza un cambio de identidad. El guerrero queda impresionado con la civilización romana, y siente que pertenece a aquella. La abuela de Borges quiere rescatar a la india, pero ella la rechaza. Se espanta, no puede creerlo; pero cuando su marido muere, ella se siente identificada. Cuando la india toma la sangre caliente del caballo que acababa de degollar, es cuando termina de demostrar que nunca dejará de ser india, más allá de su lugar de nacimiento. Continue reading
Review from Strictly Film School
A solitary figure trudges through the inclement weather of a vast, remote Siberian wilderness. An unyielding gust of wind brings the young man (Pyotr Aleksandrov) to his knees as he attempts to avert the caustic, sustained force of the snowstorm, momentarily obscuring him from view, erased from the harsh and desolate landscape. The stark, monochromatic image of the film then cuts to an ironically appropriate impersonal and nondescript official title sequence, as the premature sound of a knock on a door seemingly intrudes on the necessity to present information on the film’s certification. It is a subtle reminder of life’s evolving process: the intrusive nature and unexpected inevitability of death. The film reopens to a jarring, oddly lit image of the gaunt young man standing by the foot of his father’s bed in a cramped and squalid apartment. The dispatched medical technicians dispassionately confirm his father’s death from natural causes, but explain that they cannot issue a death certificate, pragmatically remarking “You should have placed him in a hospital. Everything would have been easier then.” Left alone in the apartment, the son compassionately observes his father’s inanimate countenance before preparing his father’s body for burial: selecting his best suit, bathing him in the snow in the absence of running water in the apartment, transporting his father’s body to the outpatient clinic for a death certificate examination. Continue reading