1981-1990

Pat O’Neill – Water and Power (1989)

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Quote:
Pat O’Neill’s first 35mm feature, Water and Power, is widely regarded as a masterpiece. By using a series of visually and aurally dense tableaux created with advanced motion control, optical printing and animation techniques, the film explores the complex battle for natural resources waged between Los Angeles and the Owens Valley. Read More »

Edward Yang – Kong bu fen zi aka The Terrorizers (1986)

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Quote:
It’s been a couple of decades since it was released, and more than 10 years since I saw it at the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s landmark retrospective of Taiwanese cinema, but Edward Yang’s The Terrorizers has an urgent pull that makes me eagerly anticipate seeing it again. This 1986 film took the form of paranoid, pessimistic modernist thriller, with unreliable narration and uncertain relationships between characters and causality of events. Three seemingly unrelated groups of people become more tightly entwined as the film links them together in surprising—and sinister—ways. It will be interesting to see if this narrative tactic, which has been heavily copied from Tarantino onward, seems as fresh now as it did then. Yang, who was one of a trio of great Taiwanese filmmakers that constituted a “new wave” in the 1980s and ’90s, had his real breakout with his next film, A Brighter Summer Day (1991), but his biggest international success was with Yi Yi in 2000. Unfortunately, that would be his last film; he died in 2007 at the age 59. Read More »

Jean Rollin – La morte vivante aka The Living Dead Girl [Uncut] (1982)

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Quote:
Thought of by some as the last truly great film of Jean Rollin’s career, the 1982 feature La Morte Vivante (The Living Dead Girl) is a fascinating but flawed feature graced with two of the most unforgettable performances in all of Rollin’s canon. A frustrating work brought to life by some of the most iconic imagery seen in a Rollin film, The Living Dead Girl is a simultaneously ferocious and poetic work deserving of its reputation as one of Rollin’s most important films… Read More »

David Perlov – Yoman AKA Diary (1983)

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Quote:
Shot over a ten-year period, Diary is not only the political, professional, and personal diary of a man, but is a testimony on the turbulent reality of a war-torn country, Israel. In six chapters, Perlov travels to Tel Aviv, Paris, London, and finally to Brazil, where he was born. The film is also a family diary in which Perlov records the coming of age of his two daughters, Yael and Naomi. He meets with Claude Lanzmann, Isaac Stern, Joris Ivens, Andre Schwartz-Bart, Irving Howe, and Klaus Kinski. An extraordinary mixture of home movies, political documentary, and cinéma-vérité, Diary is a unique work. Ten years of shooting and five more of editing have resulted in a film which has the spontaneity and apparent arbitrariness of a snapshot but which is as carefully composed and graded as a finished masterpiece. Read More »

Walerian Borowczyk – Docteur Jekyll et les femmes AKA The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne (1981)

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The film takes place before, during and immediately after the engagement party of Dr.Henry Jekyll and Miss Fanny Osborne, attended by numerous highly respectable guests (a general, a doctor, a priest, a lawyer), the last of which informs the company that a child has been murdered in the street outside. While the others watch a young dancer perform, Dr.Jekyll instructs the lawyer to alter his will, leaving everything to a certain Mr.Hyde. Shortly afterwards, the dancer is found murdered, and the guests realise that one of their number must be a maniac with a prodigious sexual appetite… Read More »

Otto Jongerius – Twee vorstinnen en een vorst AKA Two Queens and One Consort (1981)

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Synopsis:
At the deathbed of his used-to-be militant mother an older man looks back at his childhood, when he was in love with his sensual aunt Coleta. Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Fanny och Alexander [Theatrical Version] (1982)

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Plot Synopsis from ALLMOViE:

Though he made allusions to his own life in all of his films, Fanny and Alexander was the first overtly autobiographical film by Ingmar Bergman. Taking his time throughout (188 minutes to be exact), Bergman recreates several episodes from his youth, using as conduits the fictional Ekdahl family. Alexander, the director’s alter ego, is first seen at age 10 at a joyous and informal Christmas gathering of relatives and servants. Fanny is Alexander’s sister; both suffer an emotional shakedown when their recently-widowed mother (Ewa Froling) marries a cold and distant minister. Stripped of their creature comforts and relaxed family atmosphere, Fanny and Alexander suddenly find their childhood unendurable. The kids’ grandmother (Gunn Wallgren) “kidnaps” Fanny and Alexander for the purpose of showering them with the first kindness and affection that they’ve had since their father’s death. This “purge” of the darker elements of Fanny and Alexander’s existence is accomplished at the unintentional (but applaudable) cost of the hated stepfather’s life. Ingmar Bergman insisted that Fanny and Alexander, originally a multipart television series pared down to feature-film length, represented his final film, though within a year after its release he was busy with several additional Swedish TV projects, and he returned to make one more theatrical release movie before his death – the 2003 Saraband. Oscars went to Fanny and Alexander for Best Foreign Film, Best Cinematography (Sven Nykvist), Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration. Read More »