Jeanne Balibar & Pierre Léon – Par exemple, Electre (2013)

5de3c4 Jeanne Balibar & Pierre Léon   Par exemple, Electre (2013)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Jeanne Balibar & Pierre Léon   Par exemple, Electre (2013)

Synopsis:

Balibar, well-known as an actress and singer, left none of her talents unused in her directing debut. In this eclectic homage to Greek tragedy, Balibar and Léon are free of any convention. With a cameo by Barbet Schroeder.

Jeanne Balibar and Pierre Léon roam in tourist outfits through Paris and prepare a play with a producer who keeps changing her clothes. In a parallel world, another layer if you wish, actors rehearse their texts for a Greek tragedy on the beach at Deauville and at prominent Parisian locations. It is the story of Electra, probably a rather inefficient character, one who perseveres and refuses to give up the battle against injustice.
This absurd, slightly surrealist and occasionally humorous film looks like a theatre performance with its solemn dialogues and mise-en-scène issues. The makers, the actress Balibar and filmmaker Léon, however also use the medium by inserting screenshots of business e-mails – reflections on their plans. In addition, Balibar is a singer and she sings the texts as if the e-mails were edifying lieder. Electra, for Instance is, as one of the characters puts it, a true ‘culture souq’.
Continue reading

Bahman Ghobadi – Niwemang aka Half Moon (2006)

51i4GAAOqKL Bahman Ghobadi   Niwemang aka Half Moon (2006)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Bahman Ghobadi   Niwemang aka Half Moon (2006)

Synopsis:
Mamo, an old and legendary Kurdish musician living in Iran, plans to give one final concert in Iraqi Kurdistan. After seven months of trying to get a permit and rounding up his ten sons, he sets out for the long and troublesome journey in a derelict bus, denying a recurring vision of his own death at half moon. Halfway the party halts at a small village to pick up female singer Hesho, which will only add to the difficulty of the undertaking, as it is forbidden for Iranian women to sing in public, let alone in the company of men. But Mamo is determined to carry through, if not for the gullible antics of the bus driver. Continue reading

Andrzej Wajda – Niewinni czarodzieje AKA Innocent Sorcerers (1960)

637171 Andrzej Wajda   Niewinni czarodzieje AKA Innocent Sorcerers (1960)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Andrzej Wajda   Niewinni czarodzieje AKA Innocent Sorcerers (1960)

Quote:
A young doctor is tired of being sought by women. One night he meets a young girl who all but forces herself into his room where they talk of morals and love. But he loses her when he goes out to see some friends and then rushes madly around the city after her.

A neglected masterpiece by Andrzej Wajda, reflective of the best of 1960s Polish cinema. Wry and cynical in tone, the work is important for being “the first film in Eastern Europe to chronicle the disillusionment of the younger generation” (San Francisco Chronicle). A bachelor doctor, who is also a jazz musician, can’t quite commit himself to his superficial girlfriend. He and his aimless friends find any kind of human contact or emotional commitment a troubling and ultimately uninviting prospect. With Tadeusz Lomnicki, Zbigniew Cybulski, and a young Roman Polanski. Continue reading

Andrei Tarkovsky – Andrey Rublyov (1966)

ip80 Andrei Tarkovsky   Andrey Rublyov (1966)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Andrei Tarkovsky   Andrey Rublyov (1966)

Quote:
Widely recognized as a masterpiece, Andrei Tarkovsky’s 205-minute medieval epic, based on the life of the Russian monk and icon painter, was not seen as the director intended it until its re-release over twenty years after its completion. The film was not screened publicly in its own country (and then only in an abridged form) until 1972, three years after winning the International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Calling the film frightening, obscure, and unhistorical, Soviet authorities edited the picture on several occasions, removing as much as an entire hour from the original.

Presented as a tableaux of seven sections in black and white, with a final montage of Rublev’s painted icons in color, the film takes an unflinching gaze at medieval Russia during the first quarter of the 15th century, a period of Mongol-Tartar invasion and growing Christian influence. Commissioned to paint the interior of the Vladimir cathedral, Andrei Rublev (Anatoli Solonitsyn) leaves the Andronnikov monastery with an entourage of monks and assistants, witnessing in his travels the degradations befalling his fellow Russians, including pillage, oppression from tyrants and Mongols, torture, rape, and plague. Faced with the brutalities of the world outside the religious enclave, Rublev’s faith is shaken, prompting him to question the uses or even possibility of art in a degraded world. After Mongols sack the city of Vladimir, burning the very cathedral that he has been commissioned to paint, Rublev takes a vow of silence and withdraws completely, removing himself to the hermetic confines of the monastery.
Continue reading

Xiaolu Guo – UFO in Her Eyes (2011)

pc4bc Xiaolu Guo   UFO in Her Eyes (2011)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Xiaolu Guo   UFO in Her Eyes (2011)

Quote:
Premiered at Toronto Film Festival, UFO In Her Eyes is a cinematic adaptation of her most recent novel of the same title. The film stars Shi Ke and Udo Kier and is a political metaphor recounted through the phantasmagoric transformation that befalls a small Chinese village after an alleged UFO sighting. Inspired by Soviet cinema, Xiaolu Guo dedicated this film to Soy Cuba, a 1964 Soviet-Cuban film directed by Mikhail Kalatozov. The movie’s score is composed by the Somali-Canadian musician Mocky and produced by Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin. It received the Public Award at Milan 3-Continental Film Festival 2013. Continue reading

Bill Morrison – Decasia (2002)

dris Bill Morrison   Decasia (2002)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Bill Morrison   Decasia (2002)

synopsis

Experimental filmmaker Bill Morrison created this non-narrative feature, which derives a large portion of its visual beauty from the physical nature of the film medium itself. Decasia is primarily compiled from a wealth of old and damaged footage, in which the scratches, scraped emulsion, bubbles, streaks, and decaying nitrate add an extra dimension of texture to a patchwork of images both extraordinary and mundane. Originally created as part of a multimedia environmental performance piece, with the film screened in tandem with a performance by a 55-piece ensemble, Decasia has also been screened in a version with recorded score, composed by avant garde percussionist Michael Gordon. Decasia was screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.—-by Mark Deming
Continue reading

pixel Bill Morrison   Decasia (2002)