Arthouse

David Mackenzie – Young Adam (2003)

The adaptation of a novel by Alexander Trocchi, a figure of the Beat generation, David Mac Kenzie’s Young Adam slowly sails on turbid water, carrying in its wake some characters stuck in lives with hopeless futures.

In 1950’s Scotland, Joe works on a barge owned by Les and Ella. The trio delivers coal bags along the channels between Glasgow and Edinburgh. One day, the two men fish out the corpse of a drowned woman. While Les waits impatiently to make headlines in the press, Joe launches into a secret affair with Ella. Read More »

Alejandro Amenábar – Mar adentro AKA The Sea Inside (2004)

Life story of Spaniard Ramón Sampedro, who fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity. Film explores Ramón’s relationships with two women: Julia, a lawyer who supports his cause, and Rosa, a local woman who wants to convince him that life is worth living. Through the gift of his love, these two women are inspired to accomplish things they never previously thought possible. Despite his wish to die, Ramón taught everyone he encountered the meaning, value and preciousness of life. Though he could not move himself, he had an uncanny ability to move others. Read More »

Agnès Varda – L’une chante, l’autre pas aka One Sings One Doesn’t (1977)

Quote:
The intertwined lives of 2 women in 1970’s France, set against the progress of the women’s movement in which Agnes Varda was involved. Pomme and Suzanne meet when Pomme helps Suzanne obtain an abortion after a third pregnancy which she cannot afford. They lose contact but meet again ten years later. Pomme has become an unconventional singer, Suzanne a serious community worker – despite the contrast they remain friends and share in the various dramas of each others’ lives, in the process affirming their different female identities. Read More »

Shin’ya Tsukamoto – Kotoko (2011)

Quote:
Mother love gets the Shinya Tsukamoto treatment in the Japanese auteur’s latest mindfuck, a boldly abrasive, sometimes overwhelming tour of an unbalanced psyche. Said psyche belongs to a young, single mother (played by J-pop star Cocco) who imagines sinister doppelgangers lurking everywhere, stabs potential suitors with forks, lacerates her skinny arms with razors (“I cut my body to confirm it,” she muses in voiceover) and, above all, turns any activity involving her toddler son into grueling bouts of hysteria. Only singing seems to soothe her, and one of her songs catches the attention of a masochistic novelist (Tsukamoto) who’s willing to let her beat him into a bloody pulp in order to forge a relationship with her. Filmed with a reeling, zooming camera, scratchily edited, and set to a deafening cacophony of enfant shrieks and industrial noise, this virtuoso bit of grisliness may have something to say about violence-saturated societies nurturing Medea fantasies, but any thematic exploration plays second fiddle to Tsukamoto’s insistence on sheer sensory overload. Read More »

Rose Lowder – Bouquet d’Images (1978-1995)

After training as a paintor and sculptor in artist’s studios and art schools in Lima (The Art Center, La Escuela de Bellas Artes) and in London (Regent Street Polytechnic, Chelsea School of Art), Rose LOWDER worked in London as an artist while earning a living in the film industry as an editor. From 1977 onwards she concentrated on studying the visual aspect of the cinematographic process, and was encouraged by Jean Rouch and his staff at the University de Paris X to present some of her work as a thesis under the title The experimental film as an instrument towards visual research (1987).Since 1977 Lowder has been active programming rarely shown films. In order to make this body of work available to a wider public, she constituted a collection of films and paper documents, The Experimental Film Archive of Avignon (1981). Since 1996 Lowder is also associate professor at the University de Paris I. Read More »

Hugo Vieira da Silva – Body Rice (2006)

From Variety:
An Atalanta Filmes release (in Portugal) of a Paolo Branco presentation of a Clap Filmes production. (International sales: Madragoa Filmes, Lisbon.) Produced by Paolo Branco. Directed, written by Hugo Vieira da Silva.

With: Sylta Fee Wegmann, Alice Dwyer, Julika Jenkins, Andre Hennicke, Pedro Hestnes, Luis Guerra, Luis Soveral.
(German, Portuguese dialogue)

Portuguese filmmaker Hugo Vieira da Silva makes a bold transition from doc shorts to “Body Rice,” a debut feature that skirts the edges of narrative and palpably conveys the drift and anomie of young Germans sent to an “alternative” community in southern Portugal. Local January opening spawned a public debate over the pic, and wide fest embrace (including prizes in Locarno and Mexico City) will lead to further notoriety and possible arthouse distrib buys. Read More »

Kô Nakahira – Hensôkyoku AKA Variation (1976)

The man who lives in the past and The woman who abandoned a past. They were lovers 10 years ago, and had met again in Paris. Read More »