Albert Brooks – Lost in America (1985)


In this hysterical satire of Reagan-era values, written and directed by Albert Brooks, a successful Los Angeles advertising executive (Brooks) and his wife (Julie Hagerty) decide to quit their jobs, buy a Winnebago, and follow their Easy Rider fantasies of freedom and the open road. When a stop in Las Vegas nearly derails their plans, they’re forced to come to terms with their own limitations and those of the American dream. Brooks’s barbed wit and confident direction drive Lost in America, an iconic example of his restless comedies about insecure characters searching for satisfaction in the modern world that established his unique comic voice and transformed the art of observational humor. Continue reading

Abel Ferrara – The Gladiator (1986)



A homicidal maniac is on the loose, killing motorists at random in his “death car” – after losing his brother to the twisted assassin “Skull”, Rick Benten becomes a vigilante, and takes it upon himself to hunt down the reckless drivers that fill the streets at night. Being a master mechanic, Rick spends his time converting his pickup truck into an armed and dangerous vehicle – with speed to take on the fastest car, and strength to make sure in a one-on-one situation, he will be the only survivor. The cops soon find out about the vigilante known only as the “Gladiator” and do all they can to catch him before his citizen’s arrests go one step too far – but will they find the Gladiator before the Gladiator finds Skull? When the two finally meet, it’s a duel to the death and maybe an end to Rick’s career as the vigilante. Continue reading

Sheldon Renan – The Killing of America (1981)


Severin Films wrote:
“AUSTERE AND REMARKABLE…A battering-ram cavalcade of race riots, genuine assassination footage and interviews with killers that strikes a powerful chord.”
– The Guardian

“A RIVETING FILM…Its traumatic imagery forces uncomfortable but critical questions about American policy at home and abroad.”
– Spectacular Optical

The First Ever U.S. Release Of Perhaps The Most Controversial Documentary In History

“All of the film you are about to see is real,” it begins. “Nothing has been staged.”
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Mitl Valdez – Los confines (1987)


Mitl Valdez’s film Los confines (1987) is an adaptation of several works of fiction by the Mexican author Juan Rulfo. The director chose to adapt two short stories (“Talpa” and “¡Diles que no me maten!”) and an episode from the author’s first novel, Pedro Páramo. Valdez’s intent was to “capturar el sentido” of the Jaliscan author or, in other words, to remain faithful to certain elements of his writing while adjusting them to the filmic medium. Continue reading

Semyon Aranovich & Aleksandr Sokurov – Altovaya Sonata. Dmitriy Shostakovich AKA Viola Sonata. Dmitriy Shostakovich (1981)

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The life and work of the great Russian composer Dmitriy Shostakovich is presented in this documentary through rare images and audios from many archives, at one time censored by the Soviet government. A brief take on his life, from his transition as an early prodigy to a first rate artist, his celebrated compositions and the final years with a declining health. Continue reading

Andrei Tarkovsky – Boris Godunov (1990)


This is the Andrei Tarkovsky production of the famous Pushkin/Mussorgsky opera, performed in 1990 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, conducted by Valery Gergiev.

[To avoid some confusion: Tarkovsky, who died in 1986, was the director of the opera production, not the man behind the camera for this performance. The original production was staged 1983 in London. Amazon lists both Tarkovsky and Gergiev as directors, IMDB lists Humphrey Burton.] Continue reading

Kostas Sfikas – Alligoria AKA Allegory (1986)


The film recalls various periods of Greece’s history. Sfikas studies and interprets the artistic movements of his time, influenced by eighties Post-Modernism. Starting in antiquity, he passes through the Byzantine and feudal eras and ends up in capitalism, without proposing this as a final end. Following the spire of this development, Sfikas resorts to poetic allegory. His cinematic oratorio, where angels are crushed in the abyss of civilizations, is something more than the transformation of a philosophical idea into a film; it becomes the very soul of the poet who wonders about its perpetual evolution. Continue reading