Martin Donovan – Collaborator (2011)

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The career of dramatist Robert is in steep decline – his last play was canceled after a two-week run. On top of that he is unable to decide what to do about an old love affair that is once again gaining steam. Finally, his neighbor Gus is able to shed some light on many issues when he and Robert spend the evening together in a highly unexpected situation. The picture captures the protagonists at fragile moments in their lives, when long suppressed truths come to light and there is no longer any uncertainty concerning the decisions they have made. The characters’ secrets aren’t revealed immediately: the film works with ambiguity and a contemplative mood heightened by the contrast between the presence of religious figures and the spiritual emptiness we feel around the protagonists. The movie, thematizing the similarity of real life dramas and those on paper, demonstrates that theater always reveals something about those who act in it. And silent contemplation after the drama ends is sometimes better than applauding and simply forgetting Continue reading

Takashi Miike – Ichimei aka Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011)

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Plot / Synopsis

Seeking a noble end, poverty-stricken samurai Hanshiro requests to commit ritual suicide at the House of Ii, run by headstrong Kageyu. Trying to dismiss Hanshiro’s demand, Kageyu recounts the tragic story of a similar recent plea from young ronin Motome. Hanshiro is shocked by the horrifying details of Motome’s fate, but remains true to his decision to die with honor. At the moment of the hara-kiri, Hanshiro makes a last request to be assisted by Kageyu’s samurai, who are coincidentally absent. Suspicious and outraged, Kageyu demands an explanation. Hanshiro confesses his bond to Motome, and tells the bittersweet tale of their lives… Kageyu will soon realize that Hanshiro has set in motion a tense showdown of vengeance against his house. ~ (C) Cannes Continue reading

Sinan Cetin – Kagit AKA Paper (2011)

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“Kağıt” (Paper) stars Öner Erkan as Emrah, a young man with a passion to make movies. As he directs his debut film, he hits bureaucratic roadblocks, first in receiving a certificate of eligibility to film on the grounds that it threatens the unity of the state, and later when he finally tries to release the film, the shooting of which proved so difficult. Bureaucrat Müzeyyen (Asuman Dabak) becomes the symbol of Çetin’s dysfunctional and autocratic state, turning every stage of filmmaking into hell. Emrah takes revenge on the woman by kidnapping her. Continue reading

Michael R. Roskam – Rundskop aka Bullhead (2011)

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From Imdb:
The young Limburg cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille is approached by an unscrupulous veterinarian to make a shady deal with a notorious West-Flemish beef trader. But the assassination of a federal policeman, and an unexpected confrontation with a mysterious secret from Jacky’s past, set in motion a chain of events with farreaching consequences. BULLHEAD is an exciting tragedy about fate, lost innocence and friendship, about crime and punishment, but also about conflicting desires and the irreversibility of a man’s destiny. Written by Anonymous Continue reading

Barbara Hammer – Maya Deren’s Sink (2011)

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This evocative tribute to the mother of American avantgarde film calls forth the spirit of one who was larger than life as recounted by those who knew her. Friends and contemporaries float through her homes, recalling in tiny bits and pieces words of Deren’s architectural and personal interior space. Clips from her films are projected back into the spaces where they were originally filmed. Fluid light projections of intimate space provide an elusive agency for a filmmaker most of us will never know.”
BERLINALE Continue reading

Liz Garbus – Bobby Fischer Against the World (2011)

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‘Bobby Fischer Against the World’ is the first documentary feature to explore the tragic and bizarre life of the late chess master Bobby Fischer. The drama of Bobby Fischer’s career was undeniable, from his troubled childhood, to his rock star status as World Champion and Cold War icon, to his life as a fugitive on the run. This film explores one of the most infamous and mysterious characters of the 20th century. Continue reading

Gérald Hustache-Mathieu – Poupoupidou (2011)

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Synopsis
He is a Parisian and author of a series of best selling crime novels. She is a blonde bombshell, convinced that she is the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. When they meet at Mouthe, the coldest town in France, he is suffering from a bad case of writer’s block and she is dead, believed by the police to have taken an overdose of sleeping tablets. David Rousseau is unconvinced and begins his own investigation into the mysterious past of Candice Lecoeur, certain that this will provide him with the inspiration for his next novel… Continue reading