Hsiao-Hsien Hou – Beiqíng chéngshì AKA A City of Sadness (1989)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
A City Of Sadness opens with a credit sequence-shot of total darkness as the solemn voice of Emperor Hirohito is heard over a radio broadcast announcing the unconditional surrender of Japan on August 15, 1945. The setting is then faintly illuminated by the warm glow of candles to reveal an anxious Taiwanese household that is preparing for the imminent birth of a child in the midst of a power failure. As the electricity is restored, the audible agony of the expectant mother gives way to the sound of a crying infant. The apparent metaphor is then reinforced in the subsequent intertitles that reveal that the concubine of Lin Wen-heung (Chen Sown-yung) had given birth to a son whom they name Kang-ming, meaning ‘light.’ However, as the film chronicles the lives of the Lin family during the turbulent four years between the Japanese withdrawal from Taiwan after 51 years of occupation in 1945, to the secession of Taiwan from mainland China in 1949, the hopeful and optimistic tone of the film’s introductory sequence seemingly proves untenable. Continue reading

Guy Maddin – Careful (1992)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Guy Maddin’s dizzily delirious 1992 film, Careful, has been called a pro-repression fable, a masterpiece of deadpan comic timing, a period piece evoking a time and place that never existed, and a Ricola ad gone horribly, horribly wrong. Utterly unique and yet evocative of myriad influences, Careful is a truly bizarre concoction created from the plundered relics of cinematic history and the dark attics of dreams. Continue reading

Erik Løchen – Jakten AKA The Chasers AKA The Hunt (1959)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
This is a film about the eternal triangle – two men – one woman. Bjørn is married to Guri and Knut is their mutual friend. Knut is the younger, dominated by his strong friend. They leave for a hunting-trip in the autumn and the drama develops between them – they shall fight about Guri. Continue reading

Ulrike Ottinger – Freak Orlando (1981)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

As Orlando (Magdalena Montezuma) enters the world of “freaks,” the movie develops scenes from a mythological netherworld, the Spanish Inquisition, the Middle Ages, and a few other settings to focus on unusual characters with physical or mental oddities. By the time the various vignettes that take place in these separate periods are completed, each with their own points and counterpoints, the “freaks” seem much less odd than their physically normal contemporaries. After Orlando has revealed much about the human condition through glimpses of a P.T. Barnum side-show, Siamese twins, as well as modern sexual morés, her journey with the viewer is completed. The device of Orlando, the time-traveler and liberated bisexual is based on Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando: A Biography.” The same set of actors play different roles in each of the five chronological segments. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi Continue reading

Clément Perron – Taureau (1973)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
The population of a small Beauce town in Quebec dogs a mother and her daughter who are believed to trade on their charms. The film shows the brutal reality of the village inhabitants’ behaviour toward the mother and her daughter. Taureau, the woman’s son who is a little crazy, but as strong as an ox, even takes the liberty of courting the teacher. The Beaucerons feel obliged to avenge their honour. Continue reading