Marilyn Jordan (Susan Anspach) is a bored, depressed American housewife, married to a rich Swedish businessman with two seemingly perfect children. She tries to “spice up” her existence by surprising the family when she eats their entire dinner, setting the bedclothes on fire and poisoning the pet dog’s milk and then advising it not to drink (the dog does not drink). Eventually Martin, Marilyn’s husband, decides to show her to a psychiatrist, but that only serves to further her frustration. Read More »
For his career-long excavation of the American national character, James Benning found two of his most striking case studies in a pair of murderers whose crimes took place 30 years and more than half the country apart. Landscape Suicide, like many of Benning’s films, consists largely of footage of places, landscapes, and roads accompanied by—or paired with—speech. The speech, in this case, comes from the court testimonies of Bernadette Protti, who stabbed one of her California high-school classmates to death in 1984 over an insult, and Ed Gein, the infamous Plainfield, Wisconsin, killer who made trophies out of his victim’s bodies, read aloud by actors directly to the camera. Benning’s America is a country terrified equally by the wilderness to which it’s in thrall and the civilization it’s set up to keep that wilderness at bay—and nowhere in his work does that tension become more chillingly clear. Read More »
A surrealistic film in which a strangely assorted group of people come together in the Russian Arctic at the height of the revolution and World War One.
“At once perplexing and joyous, Maddin has crafted a film that, for all the confusion inherent in the tale, unfolds on its own unique terms.” [Austin Chronicle] Read More »
“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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »