Gabe Klinger – Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (2013)

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In 1985, filmmaker Richard Linklater began a film screening society in Austin, Texas, that aimed to show classic art-house and experimental films to a budding community of cinephiles and filmmakers. The Austin Film Society raised enough money to fly in their first out-of-town invitee, visionary experimental filmmaker James Benning. Accepting the invitation, Benning met Linklater and immediately the two began to develop a personal and intellectual bond, which has lasted through the present. After the cult success of “Slacker” (1991), Linklater has gone on to make award-winning big budget narrative films including “School of Rock” (2003), “Before Midnight” (2013) and “Boyhood” (2014). Benning, meanwhile, has stayed close to his modest roots and is mainly an unknown figure in mainstream film culture. Combining filmed conversations and archival material, “Double Play” explores the connections between the work and lives of these two American visionaries. Continue reading

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Duncan Campbell – It for Others (2013)

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‘It for Others’, 2013, (16mm film transferred to digital video, 54 minutes)

Duncan Campbell produces films that look at representations of the people and events at the heart of very particular histories – figures such as John Delorean and Bernadette Devlin. Combining archive material with his own footage, his work questions the authority, integrity and intentions of the information presented. For Scotland + Venice 2013, Campbell has taken Chris Marker and Alain Resnais’ 1953 film ‘Les Statues meurent aussi’ (Statues also Die) as both source and artefact, to pursue a meditation on the life, death and value of objects.  In the exhibition, Campbell presents the older film alongside his new work, a social and historical examination of cultural imperialism and commodity that combines filmed footage, animation and archive footage.  ‘It for others’ includes a performance made in collaboration with Michael Clark Company that seeks to illustrate the basic principle of commodities and their exchange. Continue reading

Sergio Caballero – La distancia (2014)

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A heist-movie of such exquisitely bizarre loopiness to make Inception look like Ocean’s Eleven, Sergio Caballero’s The Distance (La distancia) is a likeably giggle-inducing dollop of deadpan surrealist whimsy. Observing a trio of telepathic Russian dwarves tasked with robbing an abandoned Siberian power-station, Caballero’s follow-up to 2010’s even more deliciously outre Finisterrae confirms the Catalan’s status as a puckish jester in the court of current European art-cinema. Adventurous audiences enduring the longueurs and waywardness of his gloriously uncompromised vision are rewarded with a hilariously abrupt finale that should delight many but leave others baffled and bemused. Festivals with late-night slots to fill will clamor for this cultish item, which might even find small distribution niches in eccentricity-embracing territories such as Japan and France. Continue reading

Laurent Witz & Alexandre Espigares – Mr Hublot (2013)

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Mr Hublot
Director: Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares
11 min. – Genre: Animation – Short

Mr. Hublot is a man who lives in a tiny apartment located in a crowded futuristic city. He wears several layers of eye wear and has an odometer-like counter in his forehead which runs forward and backward. Mr. Hublot also displays several OCD symptoms, such as turning the lights on and off several times before leaving the living room and meticulously straightening the pictures on his wall.
Mr. Hublot sees a tiny puppy-like robot shivering in a box. When the box is taken away for garbage disposal, Mr. Hublot takes the robot to his house… Continue reading

Michael Witt – Jean-Luc Godard, Cinema Historian (2013)

Winner of the 2014 Limina Award for Best International Film Studies Book
Originally released as a videographic experiment in film history, Jean-Luc Godard’s Histoire(s) du cinéma has been widely hailed as a landmark in how we think about and narrate cinema history, and in how history is taught through cinema. In this stunningly illustrated volume, Michael Witt explores Godard’s landmark work as both a specimen of an artist’s vision and a philosophical statement on the history of film. Witt contextualizes Godard’s theories and approaches to historiography and provides a guide to the wide-ranging cinematic, aesthetic, and cultural forces that shaped Godard’s groundbreaking ideas on the history of cinema. Continue reading

Adrián Caetano – Crónica de una fuga aka Chronicle of an Escape (2006)

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The goalkeeper of a little-known soccer team is kidnapped by a Argentinean government squad and sent to a detention center. After months of torture, he plots his escape with three other young men.

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If American moviegoers have plenty of reasons to feel icky about government-sponsored kidnappings and hidden prisons, “Chronicle of an Escape” gives them another good one, by viewing a fact-based Argentinean story through the stylized lens of a horror film. Laced with dread that builds to a thoroughly gripping third act, it should do well with art house audiences who like their history lessons to come with a shot of adrenaline. Continue reading

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