Rupert and Ulrike Pöschl – Vimbuza Chilopa (1991)

“Shows different healing ceremonies among the Tumbuka of Malawi, who attribute illness (vimbuza) to spirit possession. Documents nightlong exorcism rituals of singing, clapping, and drumming during a full moon, culminating in an animal sacrifice (chilopa) at dawn. Portrays the interaction of patients, healers, and village community, and includes an interview with a patient” Continue reading

Gianni Celati – Strada Provinciale delle Anime (1991)

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“First, some back­ground information on the making of the film. Celati had spoken for some time about his wish to make what he called a “pseudo-documentary.” That is, the “realism” of the documentary would be maintained in terms of overall structure and style, but the film would be constructed according to a highly self-conscious artistic vision. In a recent interview, Celati was asked what aspects of the documentary interest him the most, and he responded: “Non credo molto ai documentari, perché l’idea che le immagini ti mostrino davvero come è fatta la realtà appar­tiene a un modo di pensare che non è il mio. A me sembra che i documentari siano racconti come tutti gli altri. Però mi piace poco anche l’idea di ‘fiction’ in cui il cinema è irrimediabilmente incastrato” (“Il sentimento dello spazio” 25-26). Clearly, the mixing of “real” documentary and “fictional” art film forms acts on both, blurring the boundaries between life and art, internal and external. Continue reading

Miguel Bardem – La mujer más fea del mundo AKA The Ugliest Woman in the World (1999)

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In a futuristic Spain, someone is murdering beauty queens.

If you’ve never heard of this wildly original and adventurous flick from 1999 Spain, then this is further proof of one of the best things about being in love with movies: you will never hear of, let alone see so many great films being made around the world. There are just too many. But you can certainly try, and this is an excellent place to continue your journey. Continue reading

Tony Guzman – Philosophy in the Bedroom (1995)

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This comedy chronicles the experiences of Juliette, a young woman who undergoes a deep exploration of her sexuality as she is given a series of special lessons in sex and philosophy by the extremely decadent Dolman. During the course of an evening Dolman helps demolish Juliette’s conservative ideology and replaces it with his own libertine perspectives. Juliette becomes an enthusiastic convert in this bicentennial production of the Marquis de Sade’s classic book. ~ WorldCat
This orally erotic drama is inspired by the writings of the Marquis de Sade. It is oral in the sense that all of the sexual action is explicitly discussed, but never seen on screen. At one point Mr. Dolman begins reading chapters from his sexual journal. At another juncture, the uptight mother of a recently deflowered virgin shows up. To show her mother all she’s missed, the daughter involves her in an orgy that has her mother committing sodomy, incest, lesbianism, and adultery simultaneously. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi Continue reading

John Shepphird – Teenage Bonnie and Klepto Clyde (1993)

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The Bonnie & Clyde story is re-told from a contemporary viewpoint. Clyde in this movie is a high school nerd working in the local burger joint. Urges to steal things are inflamed when he runs into Bonnie, the bored daughter of the local police commissioner, who is running with a street gang led by Kirk. Clyde immediately senses a kindred spirit in Bonnie. Initially she ignores him, but he rescues her from a shop-lifting charge and offers her a ride in a stolen van. Soon the two have taken guns from her father’s home and go off on a bloody crime spree… Written by John S. Continue reading

Lynn Fernie & Aerlyn Weissman – Forbidden Love: The unashamed stories of lesbian lives (1992)

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From IMDB:
Ten women, most of them in Vancouver or Toronto, talk about being lesbian in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s: discovering the pulp fiction of the day about women in love, their own first affairs, the pain of breaking up, frequenting gay bars, facing police raids, men’s responses, and the etiquette of butch and femme roles. Interspersed among the interviews and archival footage are four dramatized chapters from a pulp novel, “Forbidden Love”: Laura leaves her hick town and heads for the city, where she meets Mitch in a bar. Sparks fly, and so do laughter and joy. Ann Bannon, one of the writers of those paperback novels about forbidden love, talks about the genre.

***Not erotica or porno – this is a documentary.*** Continue reading

Raoul Ruiz – Poetics of Cinema 1 (1996)

From the article linked to above:

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Ruiz’s Poetics of Cinema must be one of the strangest and most interesting works on the cinema ever to be written. While addressing many contemporary issues around the politics of the entertainment industry, globalisation and the powers of audiovisual images, this work also draws on discourses as untimely as ancient treatises on Chinese painting and the 16th century occult theories of Ramon Lull. But perhaps what is most striking about Poetics of Cinema is its composition in which not only diverse theories and reflections are combined but that they are done so frequently in the form of theoretical fictions as delirious as Ruiz’s cinema itself, that completely blur the boundaries between the real and the imaginary, the true and the false. This has led several critics, notably, Christine Buci-Glucksman to make direct links between Ruiz’s aesthetics and the Baroque, rather than more contemporary aesthetic movements such as Surrealism (Buci-Glucksmann, 9-41). As Laleen Jayamanne has pointed out, Ruiz may use the “decorative and stereotypical aspects of Surrealism” but he rejects its underlying metaphysics in favour of a Baroque “allegorical system” (224). The crucial difference between the Baroque, as Ruiz understands and employs it and the ethos of cinematic Surrealism, is the replacement of the motto “everything is fundamentally simple” with its opposite “everything is fundamentally complex”. Jayamanne emphasises that cinema, for Ruiz, is an allegorical system inhabited by ghosts, zombies and the dead, which operates by a “perverse logic” (224) or a “baroque […] multiplication of points of view, of an object, of a space, [of] a body” (225). Already this affinity between the complexity of the Baroque and perversion is apparent: for Ruiz, Surrealism is inferior to the Baroque because it remains too French, or in other words, fails to be complex or perverse enough. Continue reading