1981-1990

Raoul Ruiz – Het dak van de Walvis AKA On Top of the Whale (1982)

Quote:
This film is one of Ruiz’s greatest. Once, I read, with his film Ruiz pay tribute to Jean Luc Godard’s Le Mepris. So then, I asked Ruiz (Santiago, 2005)… You were influenced by this Godard’s film… ? – which film ? – … This film Le Mepris with Jack Palance and… your film features same kind of music (Georges Delerue’s music is an actor in Le Mepris, and as far as I can feel Jorge Arriagada composed great music for Ruiz’s film, but does not top Delerue’s), (…) close atmosphere, and two languages… – more than two languages ! – (answered Ruiz). Yes, you are right (…), and then Ruiz goes : “Probably I took it from there”. So, as far as art form and influence is concerned we are aware where inspiration is coming from. Read More »

Mika Kaurismäki – Valehtelija AKA the Liar (1981)

Talkative, hyperactive young drifter Ville Alfa goes around Helsinki, basically trying to borrow money from friends and strangers by means of an incessant delivery of quirky and snappy quasi-intellectual lines and fabricated excuses. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – L’Île aux merveilles de Manoël AKA Manuel on the Island of Wonders (1984)

Quote:
This three part French TV serial for children (alternate versions exist as a feature, Manoel’s Destinies, and a 4 part Portuguese TV serial, Adventure in Madeira) is the favourite of many devotees of Raúl Ruiz. This is because it ties the enchantment and mystery of Lewis Carroll, Carlo Collodi and the Brothers Grimm to the filmmaker’s experiments with narrative strategies and what he calls the pentaludic model of storytelling (where characters are thrown dice-like into combinations and situations governed by the play of Chance and Destiny). Read More »

Yoshishige Yoshida – Arashi ga oka aka Wuthering Heights (1988)

This erotic and violent story taken from Emily Bronte’s classic novel, and Georges Bataille’s analyzes, takes place in medieval Japan instead of 19th-century Yorkshire. Onimaru (Yasaku Matsuda) is an orphan boy taken in by a group of priests who worship the Mountain Of Fire and try to appease the gods of anger. He loves Kinu (Yuko Tanaka), the beautiful daughter of a local family. When she marries an heir to a rival family, his heart is broken. When she dies in childbirth, Onimaru loses what is left of his mind. Read More »

Michel Lemoine – L’amour aux sports d’hiver (1981)

Imdb:
Alice, a shy girl joins Gabrielle Pontrello and some horny friends for hot fun on a chatelet in the French alps. Hot sex scenes and nice other girls. Read More »

Ababacar Samb-Makharam – Jom (1982)

Quote:
The merger between cinematic language and traditional African narrative forms is taken even further in Jom, the Story of a People (Senegal 1982) by Ababacar Samb Makharam. The film presents an epic overview of the history of Senegal within the structure of a tale told by a griot. Griots are the itinerant poets and musicians of Senegal who has the responsibility of recounting and maintaining the history of a tribe or people and, because of their duty in preserving the memories of their people, the griots hold an especially important place within the West African cultural community. The role of the griot was, perhaps, best stated by Sembene: “His work reflects and synthesizes the problems, the struggles, and the hopes of his people,” In Jom, the Story of a People, Makharam’s creates the film equivalent of a griot’s tale with all of its musical and moral strengths intact. Read More »

James Foley – At Close Range (1986)

Synopsis
One of the overlooked films of the 1980s, perhaps because it is such a downbeat tale of an amoral family. Sean Penn plays a kid whose small-time criminal impulses are stoked to a new level when he falls in with his father (Christopher Walken), a vicious career criminal for whom no problem is so large that it can’t be solved by a murder. At first exhilarated by the attention from his father (and the jobs he gives him to do), he gradually catches on to just what a bad guy Dad really is. But when he tries to extricate himself, he discovers that Dad now has him squarely in his sights. Penn is terrific in a role of emotional complexity, while Walken, king of the creeps, is positively frightening as this soft-spoken but highly lethal patriarch. Read More »