1981-1990

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Dekalog 1-10 (1989)

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Dekalog was made for Polish TV as a series of ten films, each just under an hour in length, inspired by one of the Ten Commandments (the Decalogue), set in contemporary Warsaw in and around the same apartment block. Dekalog V and VI also exist in re-edited versions just under an hour and a half each for cinema release, under the titles A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love respectively.
As well as being set in and around the same apartment block, the films are linked in other ways. Major characters in one part make walk-ons in another. An ethical dilemma mentioned by one of Zofia’s students in VIII is the very one that drives the plot of II. And in all but two of the films there appears a mysterious young man (Artur Barcis), who appears, looking on, at important moments. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Krótki film o zabijaniu AKA A Short Film About Killing [+Extras] (1988)

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(Noel Megahey, DVD Times)

A Short Film About Killing started out as the fifth episode of Dekalog (Decalogue/The Ten Commandments), a series of ten short films co-written and directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski for Polish television in 1988. Dekalog 5: Thou Shalt Not Kill when expanded to a feature length film as A Short Film About Killing, loses none of its power and remains one of the most important and intensely powerful episodes from a cycle of films that dealt with many complex issues affecting our daily lives. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Krótki film o milosci aka A Short Film About Love (1988)

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Krzysztof Kieslowski’s A Short Film About Love is a companion piece not only to the landmark 1988 Dekalog miniseries, from which this expanded version originally came, but also the likewise enriched and deepened A Short Film About Killing. (It’s worth noting here that even if you’ve already seen the segment this film is based on in its original form, side-by-side with the other nine parts, the radically different and far more redemptive ending makes Love worth seeing separately.) Like all the episodes of the Dekalog, it purports to take its inspiration from one of the Ten Commandments, but in practice the segments only deal with a rigid moral law in the most obtuse and poetic way. Love dealt with the sixth commandment (against fornication), but the story of Tomek, a late-teen voyeur obsessed with Magda, a voluptuous and sexually mature woman living in an apartment across the courtyard from him, is far less brusque than its textual antecedent would indicate (though Kieslowski’s viewpoint certainly stresses a strain of auteurist omniscience and acumen). Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Krótki dzien pracy aka Short Working Day (1981)

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“The film was shelved by the censors in 1981. It was entirely out of the question to show something like that, even on television” Read More »

Jean-Jacques Beineix – Diva (1981)

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Modern noir meets high opera in the French suspense flick Diva. Delivery boy Jules has an opera obsession. He spends his small disposable income on sophisticated sound equipment and manages to bootleg a live performance of his favorite diva, Cynthia Hawkins (played by real-life opera singer Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez). But Jules is spotted making the recording by shady investors who want the tape. As if that weren’t enough, a second cassette, filled with enough evidence to topple an international drug and prostitution ring, makes its way into Jules’s mailbag. Writer-director Jean-Jacques Beineix does a terrific job of adapting Delacorta’s pulpy novel for the screen, keeping all the excitement while adding a layer of depth. A movie to make even a dedicated opera hater appreciate a perfectly sung aria, Diva has enormous loft apartments, thugs galore, gorgeous visuals, and a corker of a chase scene. Watch it–and watch your back. —Ali Davis Read More »

Chris Marker – L’héritage de la chouette (1989)

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Made as a series of 13 programmes about the influence of Greek culture in our society.

The Owl’s Heritage: Sequence

1. Symposium, or Accepted Ideas
2. Olympics, or Imaginary Greece
3. Democracy, or the City of Dreams
4. Nostalgia, or the Impossible Return
5. Amnesia, or History on the March
6. Mathematics, or the Empire Counts Back
7. Logomachy, or the Dialect of the Tribe
8. Music, or Inner Space
9. Cosmogony, or the Ways of the World
10. Mytholody, or Lies like Truth
11. Mysogyny, or the Snares of Desire
12. Tragedy, or the Illusion of Death
13. Philosophy, or the Triumph of the Owl
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David Lynch – Wild at Heart (1990)

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After breaking parole for self defensive manslaughter, Sailor Ripley and his girlfriend Lula Fortune head down the highway for sunny California. Lula’s mother sends out a private detective and a hitman after them. Sailor and Lula encounter an assortment of extremely bizarre “people” while discovering hidden secrets about one another. Full of lurid imagery and references to The Wizard of Oz. (Written by Jennifer Harrison)
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