Jorge Coira – 18 comidas (2010)

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A street musician meets the love of his life again; two drunk men have long drinks and seafood for breakfast; a man cooks, cooks and cooks for a woman that never shows up; two men love each other but they hide; a cooker dreams of being a singer; a young woman wants what a man does not give her while a waiter is dying for her; a Macedonian is lost in Santiago suffering the lack of love; an elderly couple who have already said everything to each other have breakfast, lunch and dinner in silence. All these stories meet in “18 meals” during a single day of fiction, a film of emotions served around a table, a journey along the feelings of the most universal of all fights: the search for happiness. Continue reading

Byambasuren Davaa – Das Lied von den zwei Pferden AKA The Two Horses of Genghis Khan (2009)

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Summary
A promise, an old, destroyed horse head violin and a song believed lost lead the singer Urna back to Outer Mongolia. Her grandmother was forced to destroy her once loved violin in the tumult of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. The ancient song of the Mongols, “The Two Horses of Genghis Khan”, was engraved on the violin’s neck. Only the violin’s neck and head survived the cultural storm. Now it is time to fulfill the promise that Urna made to her grandmother. Arrived in Ulan Bator, Urna brings the still intact parts of the violin – head and neck – to Hicheengui, a renowned maker of horse head violins, who will build a new body for the old instrument in the coming weeks. Then, Urna leaves for the interior to look there for the song’s missing verses. But she will be disappointed. None of the people whom she meets on the way appears to still know the old melody of the Mongols. Written by silke Continue reading

Colin K. Gray – Freedom’s Fury (2006)

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Freedom’s Fury is a documentary about the Hungarian water polo team of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and the the effects of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution on the lives of the team members, with their infamous match with the Soviet team in the main focus.
The film is made up of a series of archive and recreated footage and short snippets of interviews with people directly or indirectly involved with the revolution or water polo. The material discussed is perhaps a little too extensive to fit into a ninety-minute-long documentary, but the interviews with the surviving members of both Hungarian and Soviet teams make Freedom’s Fury a memorable viewing experience. Continue reading

Isabelle Stever – Glückliche Fügung (2010)

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37-year-old Simone decides to go out alone on New Year’s Eve. The next morning, she wakes up next to a stranger in his car, and a few weeks later she discovers that she’s pregnant. By coincidence, she runs into the stranger again – the handsome Hannes – and is surprised to find that contrary to her expectations, he’s actually happy about the pregnancy and wants to live with her. Could this be the face of happiness? While Hannes works in a hospital as a nurse in palliative care, tending to the dying with extraordinary tenderness, Simone renovates their shared, little home. An attractive neighbor fuels Simone’s jealousy. The larger Simone’s belly grows, the more extensively Hannes’ integrity warms the nest, the more oppressive their little, homemade prison appears. Continue reading

Shinya Tsukamoto – Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (2009)

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– from Variety-

“POWERED BY
A Tetsuo Group presentation of a Kaijyu Theater, Asmik Ace Entertainment production. (International sales: the Coproduction Office, Paris.) Produced by Shinichi Kawahara, Masayuki Tanishima.
Directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. Screenplay, Tsukamoto, Hisakatsu Kuroki.

With: Erik Bossick, Akiko Monou, Shinya Tsukamoto, Stephen Sarrazin, Yuko Nakamura, Tiger Charlie Gerhardt.
(English dialogue)

Twenty years after making his breakout cult hit, “Tetsuo,” and 17 years after its sequel, “Tetsuo II: Body Hammer,” multihyphenate filmmaker Shinya Tsukamoto busts out the big guns again with “Tetsuo the Bullet Man.” Contempo-set pic doesn’t bring much new to the half-man-half-machine concept, but with its delirious editing and eardrum-crunching soundtrack, it punches above its weight and musters a certain retro charm with its old-school effects, all done on about one-hundredth of the budget of a “Transformers” movie. Fans of the franchise will have this in their sights and show support, but crossover potential looks iffy. Continue reading

Shinya Tsukamoto – Akumu Tantei 2 aka Nightmare Detective 2 (2008)

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Yukie and two of her girlfriends are being haunted by the ghost of a classmate, they once heavily bullied. When the other two die under mysterious circumstances, Yukie sees only one chance for herself. With the help of the Nightmare Detective (Ryuhei Matsuda) she hopes to escape her hopeless situation.

From IMDB:
NIGHTMARE DETECTIVE 2 surpasses it’s predecessor on almost all levels. For one thing, though the film has a slightly more poetic feel to it (as opposed to the dark and chaotic nature of the original), it’s laden with depression and grief, adding a foreboding atmosphere that grows stronger as the film progresses. While the first film had a more straightforward plot (albeit still following Tsukamoto’s puzzling logic at times), now the story features a well-balanced duality. When Kyoichi starts to learn more about the origin of Yukie’s nightmares, he discovers parallels with his own past which will eventually lead to more discoveries concerning the mystery of his own, cursed persona. Continue reading

Paul Schrader – Adam Resurrected (2008)

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Quote:
While the Holocaust is certainly a legitimate topic of inquiry for the committed filmmaker, most contemporary treatments of the Nazi camps betray their mission by allowing the viewer to feel altogether too comfortable as they take in the on-screen atrocities. Whether through the establishment of a mitigating historical distance, the adoption of standard genre tropes or the repetition of an established catalog of horrors, films like The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and A Secret tend to overly familiarize the events of World War II, allowing the viewer to safely assimilate that conflict’s genocidal horrors. But whatever the flaws of Adam Resurrected, and despite the fact that no physical violence is perpetrated on screen, Paul Schrader never allows the viewer to get comfortably situated, relying on an absurdist central conceit and a rapidly shifting array of intellectual and moral concerns—whose superficial treatment unfortunately leads to a certain diffuseness in the work—to continually de-familiarize his subject. Continue reading