A sad tale about a worker paired up with a man’s head in a bag. Like THE GRAPES OF WRATH, but dirtier.
“The transgression and confrontation is re-enacted in this brilliant fuguelike film by Dana Plays constructed of found footage, and concerning both American involvement in oversees conflict and the resultant unseen plight of the child refugee. Subverting state-sponsored informational films on such issues as war bonds and highway safety, Plays transforms these agit-prop rhetorics into a celluloid mirror of transgression as a larger cultural pathology. In Zero Hour, the results – the products of war return to the initial cite of production: an assumed audience of Americans, middle–class citizens of an ideal suburban dream who have somehow foregone the immediate experiences and repercussion of mass destruction and displacement. The gaze rests on us. We are the sugar-stated, hyper and unaware violator, an audience whose relationship to world events is nowhere more homogenous than in or communal incubation and guilt.” – William Tester
IMDB user comment:
Excellent, well-produced documentary
This is one of the better historical documentaries that I have seen in awhile covering any subject. Producing a documentary on Nelson Mandela is a rather formidable undertaking, and I believe that the filmmakers prove to be up to the task. The film portrays Mandela not as a saint, but as a human being — yes sometimes egotistical, but steadfast throughout his struggle. One of the most memorable parts of the film (edited marvelously) for me was the section describing the Sharpeville massacre (including actual footage) and how this event was key in turning Mandela from non-violence to armed struggle. Also powerful is the coverage of Mandela’s first trial on treason. Not only is footage woven in with interviews of key colleagues of Mandela, but one can see from the interview subjects that the fight against apartheid in South Africa was not merely a black versus white struggle. The struggle, in fact, encompassed a number of different ethnicities — even Afrikkaners.
Here’s the final film of Uwe Schrader’s proletarian trilogy, following White Trash AKA Kanakerbraut [Germany] and Sierra Leone [Germany] . Without a straight narrative, a couple of stories revolve around the last days of a stripclub called ‘Mau Mau’.
MAU MAU is located right in the middle of the red light district. When night falls on the city, the joint starts jumping in MAU MAU. Stripping, pimping, ripping off and grifting are the order of the day. Sometimes it’s all very agreeable and sometimes all hell breaks loose. Celebrations and snivelling go hand in hand here. In this world of the marooned, the stumbling and those who have gotten back on their feet, the film traces the lifelines of Inge and Heinz, of Rosa and Doris and of Ferdi and Ali on their search for love, happiness and life. “If I had the choice of filming in heaven or hell,” says Uwe Schrader, “then I’d choose hell”. Continue reading
Mr. K is a do-it-yourselfer and he works very seriously. One day he has a problem with one of his screws. Furious, he decides to complain at the administration office of the Department Store of Non Ferrous Metals!… Continue reading
“Ruth Stoops is a poor indigent drug-user (a huffer – inhaling glue and paint for a high) whose down and out existence is complicated once more by becoming pregnant (she has had and lost four children already). When a judge orders that she gets an abortion or face a felony charge, she is befriended by Gail Stoney, a pro-lifer whose husband is president of the local ‘Babysavers’ group. Suddenly Ruth is thrust into the middle of the pro-choice/pro-life struggle, with each side wanting her to take their side as a ‘message’ to others – and the situation escalates…” Continue reading
The Blade is a whirlwind of blood, color and stunning imagery. Rarely does one find an action movie so uncompromising and technically evolved as this offering from Hong Kong’s prolific director/producer giant Tsui Hark. Based on the “classic” kung-fu film The One-Armed Swordsman, The Blade tells the story of a young man adopted by the owner of a renowned sword smithy, who discovers that his true father was killed by an almost superstitiously powerful bandit, Lung “who it is said can fly!”. When he goes out seeking revenge with his father’s broken blade, he runs afoul of a group of vicious desert scum, and loses his right arm in the encounter. After being nursed back to health by an orphaned farmboy, he eventually learns to compensate for his loss, and with half a weapon, half a swordfighting manual, and one arm short of a pair, returns to confront the man who murdered his father. Continue reading