Arthouse

Shelly Silver – A Tiny Place That is Hard to Touch (2019)

In a faceless apartment in Tatekawa, Tokyo, an American woman hires a Japanese woman to translate interviews about Japan’s declining birthrate. The two women grate, fight, and then crash together in love or lust, at which point their story gets hijacked into science fiction territory, as the translator interrupts their work sessions with stories from a world infected with the knowledge of its own demise. Read More »

Groupe Dziga Vertov & Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin – Vladimir et Rosa (1971)

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Vladimir and Rosa was in many ways the last true product of the experimental revolutionary filmmaking cooperative the Dziga Vertov Group: the final film produced under the group’s banner before Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin went on to make the feature Tout va bien and the short Letter To Jane under their own names, before parting ways for good. Taking its title from Vladimir Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, this film is typical of Godard and Gorin’s late 60s/early 70s collaborations. That is to say, it’s shrill, antagonistic, messy and often intentionally grating, as dense and complex as it is difficult and polemical. Read More »

Edgar Reitz & Ula Stöckl – Geschichten vom Kübelkind AKA Tales Of The Dumpster Kid (1971)

A woman screams, a newborn baby cries. A nurse leaves the hospital and dumps a bucketfull of slimy afterbirth into a bin.Moments later, Kubelkind (“Dumpster-kid”, an Austrian insult) emerges fully grown from the slime. “Frau Dr. Welfare”, a cold, upper middle-class do-gooder discovers Kubelkind in the dustbin and plans to “save” her. But such “polymorphous-perverse, infantile monsters” have no place in normal society…. Read More »

Jean-Marie Straub – Nicht versöhnt oder Es hilft nur Gewalt wo Gewalt herrscht AKA Not Reconciled (1965)

JONATHAN ROSENBAUM:
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“Far from being a puzzle film (like Citizen Kane or Muriel), Not Reconciled is better described as a ‘lacunary film’, in the same sense that Littré defines a lacunary body: a whole composed of agglomerated crystals with intervals among them, like the interstitial spaces between the cells of an organism”. Jean-Marie Straub’s description of his second film and second Heinrich Böll adaptation (after Machorka-Muff) helps to explain why, although it has more plot than any of his other works — containing even more characters and intrigues than Othon — it is virtually impossible to paraphrase in the form of a synopsis. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – Sauve qui peut (la vie) AKA Every Man For Himself (1980)

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During the 1970’s Jean Luc Godard abandoned the notion of making normal commercial films for cinematic distribution in favour of his Marxist-Leninist ‘Dziga Vertov’ propaganda films. The director returned to regular filmmaking in 1980 with Sauve Qui Peut (La Vie), his first theatrical release since his furious outburst against modern bourgeois society in 1967 with Weekend. Delivering another hate-filled attack on almost every aspect of modern society, it’s like he had never been away. Read More »

Thunska Pansittivorakul – Jutti AKA Reincarnate (2010)

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In separate sketches, Thunska Pansittivorakul shows the homosexual love between a teacher and pupil more explicitly than ever. Several cryptic scenes refer to the oppressive Thai political situation. A clear reaction to the new law that subjected his previous film, This Area Is Under Quarantine (2009), to censorship. Read More »

Armando Robles Godoy – Sonata soledad (1987)

“Sonata Soledad” is a film done to three musical times (Time, Counterpoints and Variations). In this movie, Robles Godoy radicalizes its position of author. Read More »