Michael Haneke – Variation (1983)

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Haneke depicts the emotional story of an adulterous relationship between a journalist and a teacher. The film poignantly explores the difficult dynamics between people who love one another but still can’t keep from hurting one another. Variation has been described by its director as being closer to John Cassavetes than to Hollywood melodrama. Continue reading

Hector Babenco – Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)

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Quote:
Kiss Of The Spider Woman takes place in an un-named, fascist country in South America. It is, essentially, a two-actor drama featuring two men, of vastly different demeanors and ideologies, who share the same cell in a brutal prison. Louis Molina (William Hurt) is a flamboyant homosexual window dresser who is imprisoned for corrupting a minor. His cellmate is Valentin Arregui (Raul Julia), a journalist jailed for his leftist political activities. To alleviate the day-to-day drudgery, Molina entertains Valentin by retelling the stories of his favorite movies. Continue reading

Wojciech Has – Osobisty pamietnik grzesznika przez niego samego spisany AKA Memoirs Of A Sinner (1986)

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Synopsis:
In the 18th century, a recently deceased young man is exhumed by a gravedigger, suddenly revives, and then launches into the story of his highly eventful life. Brought up in a puritanical household, Robert is seduced by a mysterious stranger into killing his wine-, woman- and song-loving brother. What follows is a descent into a hallucinatory hell, where reality and illusion merge, as Robert’s evil doppelganger sins with terrible abandon–and Robert stands accused. Continue reading

Jean-Claude Biette – Loin de Manhattan (1982)

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A journalist tries to find out the mistery of the 8 years silent period of René Dimanche, a fictional painter. The art critic and the city of Paris will create and environment of decadence, but the film is quite funny too. A very important film about the time where french cinema mutated, saying goodbye to the nouvelle vague and jean eustache.
It’s a VHS rip, there’s nothing better. At the end you’ll find some trailers of some films by La Diagonale, that are quite interesting by theirselfs. Continue reading

Manoel de Oliveira – Francisca (1981)

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Quote:
Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira made this amazing film in 1981, at the age of 72; as powerful as it is stark, it suggests a blending of the modernist, minimalist techniques of Jean-Marie Straub with the elusive spiritual subject matter of Max Ophuls. In 19th-century Portugal, a rising young novelist falls in love with the daughter of an English army officer, provoking the obscure envy of an aristocratic friend, who resolves to marry the girl himself and make her suffer for her betrayal. The baroque plot is presented in a series of single-take tableaux, which do not attempt to embody the drama as much as allude to it, leaving the dense and passionate feelings to take shape entirely in the spectator’s mind. Oliveira limits himself to showing only what can truly be shown: not the story but a representation of the story, not the emotions but their material manifestations as they have crossed the decades. A masterpiece of the modern cinema, difficult but extremely rewarding.

Review by Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader: Continue reading

Joan Braderman – Joan Does Dynasty (1986)

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Quote:
“Long before the advent of Slavoj Zizek, U.S. academic Joan Braderman in 1986 offered a bracing exercise in standup theory and comic deconstruction in this half-hour unpacking on video of the most successful nighttime soap opera on television, which is said to be the favorite series of one hundred million people in 78 countries. Utilizing some of the special effects of codirector and coeditor Manuel De Landa to project herself literally into Dynasty and thereby critique its cultural and ideological underpinnings, Braderman manages to mix appreciation with scorn in almost equal quantities.“ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader Continue reading

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