Arthouse

Fernando Pérez – José Martí: el ojo del canario AKA Martí, the Eye of the Canary (2010)

This historical drama, depicting different phases in the late childhood and youth of the so-called “Apostle of Cuba” José Martí, is most of the time a biopic full of commonplaces often found in this genre, directed by Fernando Pérez, one of the most respected names in Cuban cinema.

Narrated in four movements, in the first two (“Bees” and “Arias”), the 9 year old Martí (endearingly played by Damián Rodríguez) is bullied in school by schoolmates and abused by his schoolmaster, while he learns notions of justice and oppression from his father. He discovers the beauties of Mother Nature with an old slave, explores his sexuality and enters into the world of high art in a Havanan theater. The boy also becomes aware of the high price a poor child has to pay for education. Read More »

Liliana Cavani – Il portiere di notte AKA The Night Porter (1974) (HD)

New 2K digital restoration
In this unsettling drama from Italian filmmaker Liliana Cavani, a concentration camp survivor (Charlotte Rampling) discovers her former torturer and lover (Dirk Bogarde) working as a porter at a hotel in postwar Vienna. When the couple attempt to re-create their sadomasochistic relationship, his former SS comrades begin to stalk them. Operatic and disturbing, The Night Porter deftly examines the lasting social and psychological effects of the Nazi regime. Read More »

Juraj Herz – Spalovac mrtvol AKA The Cremator (1969) (HD)

Czechoslovak New Wave iconoclast Juraj Herz’s terrifying, darkly comic vision of the horrors of totalitarian ideologies stars a supremely chilling Rudolf Hrušínský as the pathologically morbid Karel Kopfrkingl, a crematorium manager in 1930s Prague who believes fervently that death offers the only true relief from human suffering. When he is recruited by the Nazis, Kopfrkingl’s increasingly deranged worldview drives him to formulate his own shocking final solution. Blending the blackest of gallows humor with disorienting expressionistic flourishes—queasy point-of-view shots, distorting lenses, jarring quick cuts—the controversial, long-banned masterpiece The Cremator is one of cinema’s most trenchant and disturbing portraits of the banality of evil. Read More »

Akio Jissôji – Uta AKA Poem [Theatrical Cut] (1972)

Quote:
Poem is the last film in Jissoji’s Art Theatre Guild trilogy and deals with the traditional stem-family system on the verge of collapse allegorically. Not very satisfied with the optimistic last scene of Mujo, Jissoji approaches a similar subject matter from a different perspective. And the film is more in line with his concern about the radical change in the society which prompted him to make the trilogy. It appears that the script was written through intense discussions between Jissoji and Ishido, this time too. Read More »

Paulo César Saraceni – O Desafio AKA The Dare (1966)

Passively facing the repression imposed by military dictatorship in Brazil in the 60s, a journalist gets into a personal crisis, aggravated by his love affair with an industrialist’s wife, who doesn’t want to leave her home because of her son. Read More »

Louis Malle – Pretty Baby (1978)

In 1917, in the red light district Storyville, New Orleans, the prostitute Hattie lives with her twelve year-old daughter Violet in the fancy brothel of Madame Nell, where she works. Photographer Ernest J. Bellocq has an attraction to Hallie and Violet and he is an habitué of the whorehouse. One day, Madame Nell auctions Violet’s virginity and the winner pays the fortune of US$ 400 to spend the night with the girl. Then Hattie marries a wealthy client and moves to Saint Louis, leaving Violet in the brothel alone. Violet decides to marry Bellocq and she moves to his house. Until the day that Hattie, who has overcome her past, comes to Bellocq’s house with the intention to take Violet with her. Read More »

Adoor Gopalakrishnan – Kodiyettam (1977)

Adoor’s second feature film made five years after Swayamvaram achieved commercial success in Kerala, while reaching an artistic height.

Its structure is that of a festival in a village temple. I wanted to create an intimate experience of everyday rural life. It is structured in such a way as to look natural, as if there are no outside interventions. During the course of the film, the festival comes full circle, parallel to it is the inner development of the character as well. Read More »