Abbas Kiarostami – Nema-ye Nazdik AKA Close-Up (1990)

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Quote:
In 1989 in Tehran, a movie mad unemployed printer named Ali Sabzian was arrested for impersonating the famous film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf. The family he had fooled was deep in rehearsals for his next “film” when they alerted authorities of their suspicions. “I loved playing that part,” confesses Sabzian in his trial. When the judge asks the Ahankah family if they will drop the charges in light of Sabzian’s apologies and explanations, one of the sons replies “I get the impression he’s still playing a role.” Continue reading

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Paul Cézanne im Gespräch mit Joachim Gasquet AKA Cézanne: Conversation with Joachim Gasquet (1989)

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Description: In 1989 Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet realized a film project that was commissioned by Virginie Herbin, director of the audiovisual department of the Musée d’Orsay. The film is based on Joachim Gasquet’s recollected and imagined dialogs with Cézanne, Ce qui m’a dit…(1921).

A montage comprising paintings by the artist, footage shot at the foot of Mont Sainte-Victoire and film scenes from both Jean Renoir’s Madame Bovary and the Straub’s The Death of Empedocles. The film is an homage to light, color, painting, nature, cinema and the terrible and glorious world of reality. Continue reading

Frantisek Vlácil – Mág (1987)

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IMDB Review
This movie is the very last opus of a great Czech director Frantisek Vlácil(1924-1999; Markéta Lazarová, Valley of the Bees, Concert at the End of Summer) and it’s truly his masterpiece.

In a breathtaking way it narrates some episodes from the life of possibly the most famous Czech poet Karel Hynek Mácha (1810-1836). Actually the title of the film “Mág” may have two meanings, the first one (a mage) refers to the talent of the deeply romantic Mácha (played by outstanding Jirí Schwarz), the second one is the contemporary transcription of Mácha’s most famous poem Máj (May). Continue reading

Agnès Varda – Documenteur (1981)

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Documenteur, Agnès Varda’s companion piece and follow-up to her documentary Mur murs, shares with it a filming location and a similarly punning title (a menteur is a liar, in French). But the similarities end there: while Mur murs is a more or less straightforward film that purports to document the murals, the artists who created them, and the effect the pictures have on the neighborhoods surrounding them, Documenteur, which includes shots of some of those same murals and has scenes set in those same neighborhoods, is, by its own admission, “an emotion picture.” Neither pure fictional feature film nor documentary, it’s perhaps best described as a documentary with a fictionalized main character. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – Deaf (1986)

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Synopsis
“Zipporah” wrote:
The School for the Deaf at the Alabama Institute is organized around a theory of total communication i.e. the use of signs and finger spelling in conjunction with speech, hearing aids, lip reading, gestures and the written word. The film shows sequences dealing with various aspects of this comprehensive training such as teaching students and parents to sign; speech therapy; psychological counseling; regular academic courses; vocational training; disciplinary problems; parents visits; sports and recreational activity; training in living and working independently; and developing skills in home and money management. Continue reading