1991-2000

Ki-duk Kim – Paran daemun AKA Birdcage Inn (1998)

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With a red-light district in Seoul being demolished, the residents there find they have to relocate. Jin-a opts to leave Seoul and heads to the eastern city of Pohang. There she takes up residence in a boarding house run by a small family. Besides the parents, there is a daughter attending university and a son in high school. At first Jin-a is very happy there, however she continues to sell her body driving her into confrontation with the repressed daughter, Hye-mi. Things go from bad to worse when Jin-a meets Hye-mi’s boyfriend…

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Noémie Lvovsky – La vie ne me fait pas peur (1999)


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Life Doesn’t Scare Me, follows four friends – Emilie (Woch), Ines (Molinier), Stella (Parmentier) and Marion (Rousselet) – as they progress through their school years discovering romance and heartbreak together.

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Philippe Garrel – La naissance de l’amour AKA The birth of love (1993)


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A dispassionate and bedraggled middle-aged actor named Paul (Lou Castel) bids a polite farewell to the lady of the house, Hélène (Dominique Reymond) before setting out into the street, accompanied by his solemn and equally impassive host Markus (Jean-Pierre Léaud) to the local convenience store to purchase a pack of cigarettes before saying goodbye to his old friend for the evening. Seeking to break the pensive silence of their evening walk, Paul steers their idle conversation into a conduit for personal reflection on Markus’ seemingly life-altering moment when he first met Hélène, a question that Markus – perhaps betraying an insecurity over the tenuous state of his relationship with her – responds to the question with initial, guarded skepticism, before proceeding to tell the genial anecdote of Hélène’s forwardness in her suggestive, inviting remark that had serve to validate their coy, thinly veiled pursuit of mutual seduction during their second encounter. However, a succeeding conversation between the couple reveals Hélène’s increasing apathy towards the cultivation of their relationship as Markus attempts to elicit a validation of her love for him to no avail, disguising their failed, awkward intimacy through the mundane rituals of the kitchen and random comments about the war. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – Hélas pour moi AKA Oh, Woe Is Me (1993)



By 1993, cinema had become a language unto itself; it was a language that was made up of not only words, but also sounds and images. As cinema history continues, the language has expanded time after time due to the talents and experiments of master filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Godard. All throughout his vast, decade spanning career, Godard has made film upon film, and with each decade of Godard that passes by, the more radical his style becomes. If ever there was a filmmaker that I could say took the cinematic language to Joycean heights, that filmmaker is, without question, Godard. With “Oh, Woe Is Me”, Godard practically makes the cinematic equivalent of James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake” by crafting a masterpiece that works as a perplexing jigsaw puzzle, one injected with all kinds of clever jokes as well as sections of poetic beauty. (From IMDb) Read More »

Jan Svankmajer – Spiklenci slasti AKA Conspirators of Pleasure (1996)



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Any film that cites Sigmund Freud, Max Ernst, Luis Bunuel, and the Marquis de Sade as cardinal influences clearly is not standard mall movie fare. In Conspirators of Pleasure, Jan Svankmajer has created a film that is thoroughly surreal in the truest sense of the term. Like Un Chien Andalou, this film brilliantly takes a basic human instinct — sexuality — and renders it not only very strange but also very funny. Scenes of a newswoman responding sexually to toe-sucking carp or of a policeman luxuriating in a tactile smorgasbord of nails, rubber, and fur are not easily forgotten. Yet this film is not simply an exploration in Freudian repression and sublimation; Svankmajer’s characters regard each other with knowing glances, as if recognizing the others as members of some bizarre cabal. Set in a former Eastern Bloc nation with repressive laws and prudish views on sex, their activities are given a political charge, lending their obsessions an additional subversive weight. Though definitely not a film for everyone, Conspirators of Pleasure is a masterful romp through the human subconscious and a brilliant satire on human nature. Read More »

Marc Singer – Dark Days (2000)


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In the pitch black of the tunnel, rats swarm through piles of garbage as high-speed trains leaving Penn Station tear through the darkness. For some of those who have gone underground, it has been home for as long as twenty five years.
Deeply moving and surprisingly entertaining, Dark Days is an eye-opening experience that shatters the myths of homelessness by revealing a thriving community living in tunnels beneath New York City and honestly capturing their resilience and strength in their struggle to survive. Read More »

Djibril Diop Mambéty – La Petite vendeuse de soleil AKA The little girl who sold the Sun (1999)

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La Petite Vendeuse du Soleil (the Girl who sold the Sun) follows the life of a young girl who moves from her village to Dakar – having permanently lost the use of one of her legs, the only job she can do, is beg on the streets. One day however she sees boys selling Le Soleil, a national newspaper. Although no girls do that job, she manages to convince those in charge to give her a try… But can she survive in a cut-throat world where only aggression pays off? Offering a loving vision of modern day Dakar, Diop-Mambety takes us through all of the highs and lows of the sprawling city. His gentle, tender touch is evident but the tone doesn’t become sickly sweet with the film ending as realistically as it honestly could. Read More »