Ken Jacobs – Canopy (2014)

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Ken Jacobs’ most recent stroboscopic work transforms a typical New York street scaffolding scene into a mesmeric, Christo-esque merry-go-round.

In his most recent stroboscopic work, Canopy, Ken Jacobs sets a typical New York street scaffolding scene into mesmeric, gravity-defying motion. An elegant, immersive miniature with a strange faux stereoscopic effect, it takes off like a Christo-wrapped gravitron. Continue reading

Gia Coppola – Palo Alto (2013)

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Palo Alto is a 2013 American drama film based on James Franco’s short story collection Palo Alto (2010). Francis Ford Coppola’s granddaughter Gia Coppola directed the film and wrote the screenplay, while Franco stars with Emma Roberts and newcomer Jack Kilmer.

In April’s bedroom wall, there’s a poster for the movie, The Virgin Suicides, directed by Gia Coppola’s aunt, Sofia Coppola.

Synopsis: Shy, sensitive April is the class virgin, torn between an illicit flirtation with her soccer coach Mr. B and an unrequited crush on sweet stoner Teddy. Emily, meanwhile, offers sexual favors to every boy to cross her path – including both Teddy and his best friend Fred, a live wire without filters or boundaries. As one high school party bleeds into the next – and April and Teddy struggle to admit their mutual affection – Fred’s escalating recklessness starts to spiral into chaos. Continue reading

Mark Rappaport – Our Stars (2015)

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Stars of the 1940s and 1950s, were they cast for their mutual affinities or for their commercial appeal? If and when they were re-starred years later, did the magic still work? Did sparks still fly? The movie business, a machine that manufactured romance and desire at the same time that it documented the process of aging. A meditation on youth and beauty, aging and box office. Continue reading

Ulrich Seidl – Im Keller AKA In the Basement (2014)

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In the Basement (Im Keller) is a 2014 Austrian documentary film directed by Ulrich Seidl about people and their obsessions, and what they do in their basements in their free time. It was part of the Out of Competition section at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

Corpulent sex slaves, tuba-playing Nazi obsessives, reborn doll fantasists — just a regular stroll through the neighborhood, then, for patented guru of the grotesque Ulrich Seidl, who makes an intriguing return to documentary filmmaking with “In the Basement.” Grabby and grubby in equal measure, this meticulously composed trawl through the contents of several middle-class Austrians’ cellars (a space, according to Seidl, that his countrymen traditionally give over to their most personal hobbies) yields more than a few startling discoveries. Continue reading

Roy Andersson – En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron AKA A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014)

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Like modern times’ Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Sam and Jonathan, two travelling salesmen peddling novelty items, take us on a kaleidoscopic wandering through human destinies. A trip that shows us the beauty of single moments, the pettiness of others, the humour and tragedy that is in us, life’s grandeur as well as frailty of humanity. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence was Awarded Golden Lion for Best Film at the 2014 Venice International Film Festival. Continue reading

Prasanna Vithanage – Ira Madiyama (2003)

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Based on true incidents, this film revolves around three sories that unfold simultaneously. During two scorching August days, three different groups of people – thrown into the heat of the war – face different exoeriences due to circumstances beyond their control. They have to continue to exist in a society that is traumatized by nearly twenty years of war between the Sinhalese government forces, and the rebel movement from the Tamil community who are fighting for self-determination.

An eleven year old Muslim boy is struggling to keep his dog, while the family is uprooted by the rebels; a young woman, Chamari, is looking for her soldier husband who is missing in action, and a young soldier, Duminda, finds his sister among the working girls in a brothel. This film is about their quest for life…

“Ira Madiyama” or “August Sun” screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2004. Continue reading