Esen Isik – Köpek AKA Koepek (2015)

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Esen Isik, who already won the prestigious “Quartz” in 2012 for Du&Ich, presented her debut feature film, Köpek, a glimpse at an Istanbul held prisoner by its own contradictions, at this year’s Zurich Film Festival. By portraying the everyday lives of three ‘marginal’ characters who fight to find love (or simply a glimmer of humanity) in a city that rejects them, Esen Isik paints us a portrait of an entire society that wants to be modern in spite of the preconceptions that risk choking it. Continue reading

Alejandro Jodorowsky – Poesía sin fin AKA Endless Poetry (2016)

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Through Alejandro Jodorowsky’s autobiographical lens, Endless Poetry narrates the years of the Chilean artist’s youth during which he liberated himself from all of his former limitations, from his family, and was introduced into the foremost bohemian artistic circle of 1940s Chile where he met Enrique Lihn, Stella Díaz Varín, Nicanor Parra… at the time promising young but unknown artists who would later become the titans of twentieth-century Hispanic literature. He grew inspired by the beauty of existence alongside these beings, exploring life together, authentically and freely. A tribute to Chile’s artistic heritage, Endless Poetry is also an ode to the quest for beauty and inner truth, as a universal force capable of changing one’s life forever, written by a man who has dedicated his life and career to creating spiritual and artistic awareness across the globe. Continue reading

Stanley Kubrick & Steven Soderbergh – The Return of W. de Rijk (2014)

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sometimes you have to cross the line to know where the line is. just ask any two-year-old.

maybe this is what happens when you spend too much time with a movie: you start thinking about it when it’s not around, and then you start wanting to touch it. i’ve been watching 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY regularly for four decades, but it wasn’t until a few years ago i started thinking about touching it, and then over the holidays i decided to make my move. why now? I don’t know. maybe i wasn’t old enough to touch it until now. maybe i was too scared to touch it until now, because not only does the film not need my—or anyone else’s—help, but if it’s not THE most impressively imagined and sustained piece of visual art created in the 20th century, then it’s tied for first. meaning IF i was finally going to touch it, i’d better have a bigger idea than just trimming or re-scoring. Continue reading

Sergey Loznitsa – Austerlitz (2016)

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There are places in Europe that have remained as painful memories of the past – factories where humans were turned into ash. These places are now memorial sites that are open to the public and receive thousands of tourists every year. The film’s title refers to the eponymous novel written by W.G. Sebald, dedicated to the memory of Holocaust. This film is an observation of the visitors to a memorial site that has been founded on the territory of a former concentration camp. Why do they go there? What are they looking for? Continue reading

Deborah Stratman – The Illinois Parables (2016)

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An experimental documentary comprised of regional vignettes about faith, force, technology and exodus. Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois. But the state is a structural ruse, and its histories are allegories that ask what belief might teach us about nationhood. In our desire to understand the inscrutable, whom do we end up blaming or endorsing? Continue reading

Anna Biller – The Love Witch (2016)

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Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 1970s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism. Continue reading