Intro from CPH : DOX homepage
The 100 year old film images sparkle and crackle with an expressive fury, which almost looks like a reaction to what they depict. This year, it is 100 year since the First World War – the first ‘modern’ war, and the first to be documented in moving images – forever destroyed any notion of the (Western) world’s continued progress under the banner of reason and industrialisation. 1914 was the modern era’s absolute year zero. A landmark year, which is here marked in a cinematic collaboration between the renowned American filmmaker Bill Morrison and the string quartet Kronos Quartet, who have recorded the original score by the Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov. Continue reading
THE BABADOOK was the breakout horror hit of Sundance 2014, and has been terrorising audiences around the world ever since. This creepy, expertly crafted feature has been a critical and audience scary favourite, winning a slew of awards for best film, best actress, best director etc. Which suits Mister Babadook just fine because he is a conceited asshole and loves people heaping praise on his film. Continue reading
A father and daughter journey from Denmark to an unknown desert that exists in a realm beyond the confines of civilization.
There’s more dialogue in the first reel of Lisandro Alonso’s “Jauja” — his first film made with a professional cast and a screenwriting partner — than in all four of the young Argentinian director’s prior narrative features combined. Yet this hallucinatory head-trip Western remains unmistakably Alonso’s film from first frame to last — a metaphysical road movie in which origin and destination are markedly less important than the journey itself. Continue reading
Natalia and Carlos, both aged 20, are in love and struggling to survive in today’s Spain. Their limited resources prevent them from getting ahead as they’d like to. They have no great ambitions because they have no great hopes. To earn some money, they decide to shoot an amateur porno film. The birth of their daughter Julia is the main catalyst for the changes they make. Continue reading
A subtle undercurrent exists in the visuals, which use cheerful billboard advertising, such as a mattress company with a man happily asleep, or a social responsibility pitch for “planting hope,” as casual background images to reinforce the disconnect between phony optimism and reality. Perhaps the sense of deja vu in the pic’s first half is necessary for the power of the second, in which treacheries are constantly guessed at and possibilities of redemption dissolve in a situation with no exit…
Omar does not offer the promise of a just or satisfying resolution, a fatalism all the more devastating given its realistic methods and humane, understated performances. The film’s final scene feels shocking and abrupt, but also chillingly inevitable, consistent with the logic of a situation that defies all reason. Continue reading
The Second Game (Romanian: Al doilea joc) is a 2014 Romanian documentary film directed by Corneliu Porumboiu. The film integrally depicts the Dinamo — Steaua footbal derby played on December 3, 1988; the game is commented on by Porumboiu and his father, Adrian, the referee of that match.
It was selected for the Forum section at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. Continue reading
“This overlong documentary lacks something in structure and focus – and I wanted to know a little more about the exact provenance of all of its home‑movie footage. But it has an extraordinary true story to tell, with hints of the Happy Valley murders in Kenya, and Paul Theroux’s novel The Mosquito Coast. In the 1930s, the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, famed for Darwin’s expedition, were thought of as the last great pristine territory, unspoiled by human habitation.
In Europe, some hardy souls – disenchanted by what the first world war had revealed about humanity – decided to settle there. A German doctor called Friedrich Ritter, who had a passion for Nietzsche, left his wife and went there with a married woman, Dore Strauch. A visiting American scientific party was fascinated by these modern-day Robinson Crusoes and effectively publicised their lives for the press back home, and Ritter was horrified when other would-be settlers turned up too. A stolid, bourgeois family, the Wittmers, arrived, and then a bizarre fantasist and adventuress who styled herself the “Baroness” Eloise von Wagner Bouquet. Continue reading