Arthouse

Stephen Quay & Timothy Quay – Institute Benjamente (1995)

Synopsis:
Jakob arrives at the Institute Benjamenta (run by brother and sister Johannes and Lisa Benjamenta) to learn to become a servant. With seven other men, he studies under Lisa: absurd lessons of movement, drawing circles, and servility. He asks for a better room. No other students arrive and none leave for employment. Johannes is unhappy, imperious, and detached from the school’s operation. Lisa is beautiful, at first tightly controlled, then on the verge of breakdown. There’s a whiff of incest. Jakob is drawn to Lisa, and perhaps she to him. As winter sets in, she becomes catatonic. Things get worse; Johannes notes that all this has happened since Jakob came. Is there any cause and effect? Read More »

Julie Dash – Daughters of the Dust (1991)

Quote:
A film of spellbinding visual beauty and brilliant resonant performances, Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust has become a landmark of independent film. With great lyricism, Daughters tells the story of a large African-American family as they prepare to move North at the dawn of the 20th Century. Using this simple tale, the film brings to life the changing values, conflicts and struggles that confront every family as they leave their homeland for the promise of a new and better future. Read More »

Aki Kaurismäki – Hamlet liikemaailmassa AKA Hamlet Goes Business (1987)

Quote:
A bizarre black-and-white film noir reworking of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. After the death of his father, young Hamlet inherits a seat on the board of a company controlled by his uncle that decides to move into the rubber duck market. But Hamlet is suspicious of the circumstances surrounding his father’s death… Read More »

Rustam Khamdamov – Meshok bez dna AKA The Bottomless Bag AKA Yakhonty. Ubiystvo (2017)

The film is based on Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s story “In a Grove” which takes place during the times of Tsar Alexander II. A lady-in-waiting tells the Emperor in his bedroom a metaphysical story about a 13th century prince who is killed in the woods under mysterious circumstances. Fairy tale characters who have witnessed the terrible death, all share their version of the events, gradually shedding light on what really happened. Read More »

Romano Scavolini – Lo stato d’assedio AKA L’amore breve AKA Besieged (1969)

Synopsis
‘A wealthy shipbuilding family falls apart in the wake of labor unrest and economic crisis. Lorenzo is the son who returns home from college and falls in love with his mother, hates his father even more, and makes love to an older family friend Roberta. […] The family sinks into further disarray as the labor strike continues and the family fortune is depleted.’
– Dan Pavlides Read More »

Claude Chabrol – L’oeil du malin AKA The Third Lover (1962)

Quote:
André Mercier, is a failed, embittered writer, working under the pen name Albin Mercier. On a journalism gig in Germany, his path crosses with that of Andreas Hartmann, another writer, who’s managed to make a living for himself. The successful Andreas is married to Hélène, a beautiful Frenchwoman, who quickly becomes the apple of Mercier’s eye. While Andreas is off on a business trip, Mercier tries to seduce Hélène to make her his lover and, eventually, take over Andreas’ life. Read More »

Harun Farocki – Einschlafgeschichten (Brücken) AKA Bedtime stories (Bridges) (1977)


One of the five episodes of Bedtime stories for children by Harun Farocki
Quote:
The five Einschlafgeschichten are bed-time stories for children, made 1976/77, in which Farocki uses simple objects to elucidate cinematographic method. […]

The stories deal with bridges, cable cars and ships crossing roads. What is worth saying? What is worth remembering? The two girls in the film imagine what is shown. Bridges that move. Something quite different to ‘bridges’. […] Read More »