Woo-jin Jang – Gyeo-wul-ba-me AKA Winter’s Night (2018)

A middle-aged couple visit a temple, where they had spent their first night together thirty years previously. On their way back, the woman realises she has likely left her phone there and insists on recovering it. This begins the winter’s night, one plunged in the shared, or separate, past of what forms the heart of a couple. At the beginning of the film, the subject’s triviality is conveyed by a rather naturalistic treatment, but this only serves to subsequently produce a stronger twist and gently shift the film towards a starker viewpoint that reveals the underpinnings of love’s discourse, and its memory. The subtle undramatic acting intentionally clouds the rules of the sentimental game, never far from breaking the ice. Bodies, emotions and memories, outside the traditional patterns of attraction and repulsion, are now on an equal footing on the threshold of this winter temple-turned-stage. Read More »

James Benning – On Paradise Road (2020)

Filmed at Benning’s home in Val Verde during the first month of the pandemic, the film is a portrait of that time. Read More »

Pierre Creton – Va, Toto! (2017)

Toto est un marcassin accueilli par Madeleine. La bête va grandir, dans les cœurs, mais sur ses pattes aussi. Vincent affectionne les singes, dont il part retrouver les facéties en Inde. Et le pauvre Joseph souffre de cauchemars causés par la machine artificielle à respirer qu’il est contraint d’utiliser. C’est Pierre qui se trouve à nouer toutes ces aventures. Pierre Creton, ouvrier agricole et cinéaste, qui vit à Vattetot, et qui retrouve ici la veine de L’Heure du Berger (Grand Prix FIDMarseille 2008). Autrement dit avec l’autobiographique teinté de fantastique, avec l’extraordinaire pêché dans l’ordinaire, avec l’affection et l’amour portés aux êtres, humains et animaux confondus, avec l’humour saupoudrant chaque amorce de drame. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – The Projectionist (2019)

This documentary portrait of theater operator Nicolas “Nick” Nicolaou moves from 1970s Times Square adult film houses through decades of city regulation, chain takeovers, and cultural shifts, charting a charming odyssey through the history of film exhibition and New York City. Abel Ferrara traces the life and work of friend and fellow cinephile Nicolas “Nick” Nicolaou, a Cypriot immigrant who began working as a teenager in small neighborhood movie theaters around Manhattan, defying gentrification, changing viewing habits and corporate dominance in the 1980s, only to emerge decades later as one of New York City’s last independent theater owners. A moving tribute to friendship, tenacity and the love of cinema, THE PROJECTIONIST is also a timely paean to what going to the movies is all about. Read More »

Lois Patiño – Costa da morte (2013)

Costa da Morte is a region in Galicia (Spain), which was considered as the end of the world during the Roman period. Its dramatic name comes from the numerous shipwrecks that happened along history in this area made of rocks, mist and storms. We cross this land observing the people who inhabit it, fishermen, gatherers of shellfish, loggers… We witness traditional craftsmen who maintain both an intimate relationship and an antagonistic battle with the vastness of this territory. The wind, the stones, the sea, the fire, are characters in this film, and through them we approach the mystery of the landscape, understanding it as a unified ensemble with man, his history and legends. Read More »

Nicholas Ashe Bateman – The Wanting Mare (2020)

In Shane Carruth’s 2004 debut feature Primer, two colleagues go down a physics rabbit hole to build a time machine. In the early stages of masterminding this scientifically-driven and disorienting experience, one character suggests to the other that the best mathematician is the lazy one—that those who excel usually find ways to solve problems quickly, easily and efficiently. The theory might also apply to watching Carruth’s own movies (his other, 2013’s Upstream Color, tackles the intersection of ecology and trauma), which don’t tether themselves to linear, coherent narratives. It’s tempting to get bogged down in the details and timelines of his feverish approach, but far more enjoyable—and yes, easier—to let his imagery and ideas overwhelm you, to process them later in reflection or on repeat viewings. Read More »

Stefano Sollima – Suburra (2015)

The Suburra quarter in ancient Rome was the quarter populated by taverns and brothels, where noble senators met with criminals in secret to do business and make money. Two thousand years later, not much seems to have changed in the Italian capital, politics and criminality continue to do business and the real world is governed by laws drawn up by corrupt politicians, through brokers without scruples in the shadow of an ambivalent Vatican. These were the findings of a recent judicial inquiry by the name of Mafia Capitale, which has now been brought to the big screen by Stefano Sollima’s new film, Suburra, at a time when Rome has just seen the resignation of its mayor, and is being plagued by ungovernability and the chaos of the upcoming Jubilee. Read More »