1991-2000

Jan Jakub Kolski – Historia kina w Popielawach AKA History of Cinema in Popielawy (1998)

Jan Jakub Kolski has earned himself a strange reputation. His mystical and folklorish films stand apart from the general flow of Central European cinema. Critics have found him to have more in common with the “magic realism” of South American prose than with his fellow Central European film directors. Read More »

Nobuhiro Suwa – M/Other (1999)

Quote:
The romantic pretensions of Hollywood to the contrary, love is a very messy business. After all, the other person is a completely separate being, whose independent thoughts, feelings, and experiences cannot be accessed immediately through ESP, whose very actions must always be interpreted through the unreliable filter of subjective impressions. One wonders if we ever really do get to know our lovers. Read More »

Michael Almereyda – Another Girl, Another Planet (1992)

Quote:
As Another Girl, Another Planet’s hapless protagonist Bill (Barry Sherman) thinks back on relationships with girlfriends past, the Pixelvision might be read as the haziness of his memory drifting away from romantic love. As the characters break out into poetic litanies about pain and desire (“I wasn’t used to being happy. It was somehow exhausting,”) music becomes the tool to express their feelings. As one relationship crumbles apart, Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s ferocious “The Mercy Seat” drives hard through the scene as Bill fiddles with lit matches. During a tender kiss between boy and girl, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” opines in the background. Read More »

Maroun Bagdadi – La fille de l’air AKA The Girl in the Air (1992)

Synopsis:
Brigitte lives with her boyfriend, Daniel, who is on the run having escaped from prison for a series of armed robbery offences. Brigitte is a few months’ from giving birth when the couple’s home is raided by the police. At the time, Daniel is involved in a violent robbery which goes wrong – a policeman is killed and he is arrested. Both Daniel and Brigitte end up in prison, although Brigitte’s sentence is reduced to a few months. Daniel however must remain in prison for 18 years. Realising that this will destroy her husband, Brigitte resolves to rescue him in a daring prison escape involving a helicopter… Read More »

John Boorman – The General (1998)

The General begins with the death of Martin Cahill–celebrated Dublin gangster who stole millions during the 1980s–then literally reverses the approach and assault of his IRA assassin, flashing back in time,back through Cahill’s colorful, criminal quest for his kind of ideal community. Boorman says his Cahill is a throwback to those Celtic chieftains of old who ruled by thievery and violence; as an anachronism, this charming, brutal bear of a man (perfectly incarnated by Brendan Gleeson) is undeniably reprehensible, but he stands in deliberate contrast to the institutionalized hypocrisy and corruption of church, state, and IRA alike. Read More »

Attila Janisch – Árnyék a havon AKA Shadow on the Snow (1992)

Quote:
Story of a sin that looks like an accident in the beginning but in reality it’s an irrevocable and deadly act. Story of a relationship in which lies and love chains daughter to father, sinner to innocent. Story of a man whose fate suddenly starts to turn another way – and buries everything it finds beneath itself.

“You never think about sin, but then you are standing in front of it and it touches you.” (Attila Janisch) Read More »

Manoel de Oliveira – O Dia do Desespero AKA The Day of Despair (1992)

Quote:
In 1992 Oliveira made O Dia do Desespero, which deals with the last days and suicide of Romantic novelist Camilo Castelo Branco and is based largely on the writer’s letters. Most of it was filmed in the house where Castelo Branco in fact committed suicide. The film opens, midway through the credits, with a 50-second static shot of a pen-and-ink portrait of the writer. Other portraits, always shot with a static camera, punctuate the film’s narrative, lending it a documentary tone from the outset. Read More »