Arthouse

Ross McElwee – Sherman’s March [+Extras] (1986)

Filmmaker Ross McElwee grew up in the South and always marveled at how the folks there were affected by Union general William Tecumseh Sherman’s legacy. Aiming to delve deeper into the region’s interest, McElwee revisits the path of the general’s march that took down the Confederacy. But the tone of his documentary changes when he learns his girlfriend has left him, causing him to second-guess himself with each woman he meets during the shoot. Read More »

Jean Eustache – La maman et la putain (1973)

A few days of a dandyish French intellectual in his late 20s named Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Leaud), who’s living with and supported by his lover, Marie (Bernadette Lafont); she’s in her mid-30s and runs a small boutique. In the first scene he borrows a neighbor’s car and tracks down a former girlfriend, Gilberte (Isabelle Weingarten), who’s just started a new semester at the Sorbonne, and tries to persuade her to marry him, only to discover that she’s just agreed to marry someone else. (We and Alexandre briefly glimpse Gilberte with her husband, played by Eustache, toward the end of the film, in the liquor section of a department store.) After hanging out with an equally idle friend (Jacques Renard) at the Deux Magots cafe, Alexandre follows a young woman after she leaves a nearby table, asks for her phone number, and scores; the remainder of the film is devoted to his courting of her. Read More »

Denis Héroux – Valérie (1969)

Synopsis
A seminal Quebec erotic film about a curious girl who leaves her convent to explore the Montréal hippy scene, becomes a prostitute and meets her true love who doesn’t know she’s a hooker, that started erotic film genre in Canada. Read More »

Andrew Kotting – This Filthy Earth (2001)

From The Guardian
Filthy is right. This is a film to counter-balance any lingering misapprehension that the countryside is a place of picturesque tranquillity – and, thank heavens, it is not your everyday Britpic. Andrew Kötting’s second feature, adapted from Zola, is a gallery of bucolic grotesques set in a remote rural community in the early 20th century, long before EU subsidies, mad cows and agribusiness (but not before foot and mouth). The screenplay was written by Kötting and comic Sean Lock. Read More »

Michael Almereyda – Another Girl, Another Planet (1992)

Quote:
As Another Girl, Another Planet’s hapless protagonist Bill (Barry Sherman) thinks back on relationships with girlfriends past, the Pixelvision might be read as the haziness of his memory drifting away from romantic love. As the characters break out into poetic litanies about pain and desire (“I wasn’t used to being happy. It was somehow exhausting,”) music becomes the tool to express their feelings. As one relationship crumbles apart, Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s ferocious “The Mercy Seat” drives hard through the scene as Bill fiddles with lit matches. During a tender kiss between boy and girl, “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” opines in the background. Read More »

Claire Simon – Le bois dont les rêves sont faits AKA The Woods Dreams Are Made of (2015)

The Woods is a deep investigation of both people and place. Whether it’s Gay men crossings for sex in the rain, out a hermit who makes his home deep in a remote section of the park, everywhere humans are busily going about their business Read More »

Chantal Akerman – Là-bas aka Down there (2006)

Devastating essay on exile, Là-bas (2006) is a crucial moment of Akerman’s life when she herself was confined to a rental apartment in Tel Aviv unable to bridge the threshold to the outside world, overwhelmed by the flooding of traumatic thoughts, fears and vulnerabilities awakened by her family’s history with the death camps. Impossible not to think of her last work and of the reasons why she left when watching Là-bas today, which was also shot in video and similarly takes the shape of a personal, cloistered chamber piece.
(Based on Andréa Picard’s article) Read More »