Anne Fontaine – Les innocentes AKA The Innocents (2016)

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Quote:
It was only three years ago that Ida diligently aestheticized the blackness of religious habits against the whiteness of Polish snow, so it’s hard not to expect Anne Fontaine’s The Innocents, also centered around nuns in war-ravaged Poland, to abide by the pathos we associate with Pawel Pawlikowski’s film. While Fontaine does take advantage of the ways that the costuming of nuns lends itself to striking contrasts against landscape vistas, she’s more interested in retrieving a historical account than pleasing the eye or tugging at our heartstrings. Fontaine’s film is all gloom and doom from beginning to end not because of the horrors a single character we identify with suffers, but because of the scale of horror impinged upon an entire community. Continue reading

Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow – De Palma (2015)

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Storyline
In the annals of Hollywood film since the artistic glories of the New Hollywood era, few have a better reputation and body of work in the field of the suspense film exploring the contemporary darkness in American life than Brian De Palma. Here, the great film writer and director takes us through his professional life in his own words of a career that would redefine film horror and suspense. All the while, he also confesses the challenges of working in Hollywood and the price paid even the great artists pay for being a part of it. Continue reading

Aleksey Fedorchenko – Angely revolyutsii AKA Angels of Revolution (2014)

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Five friends – a poet, an actor, a painter, an architect and a primitivist film director – are five red avant-garde artists who try to find the embodiment of their hopes and dreams in the young Soviet state. The Revolution is boiling up like a bottle with apple cider: winged service dogs and heart-shaped potatoes, dead Semashko, the People’s Commissar for Health, and cheerful angels, love for the Tsar and love for the young secretary Annushka, executions and pregnancies – everything is interlaced and inseparable! Continue reading

Ben Rivers – The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (2015)

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Shooting against the staggering beauty of the Moroccan landscape, from the rugged terrain of the Atlas Mountains to the stark and surreal emptiness of the desert, with its encroaching sands and abandoned film sets, a director abandons his own film set and descends into a hallucinatory, perilous adventure of cruelty, madness and malevolence. A Paul Bowles story combined with observational footage forms a multi-layered excavation into the illusion of cinema itself. Continue reading