Jean-Luc Godard’s documentary Sympathy for the Devil combines footage of the Rolling Stones in a recording studio creating one of their masterpieces (the song gave the film its name) with the sort of documentary footage Godard was intrigued by at that time in his career. Read More »
In the seventeenth century, Father Suryn arrives in Ludyn, a village on what was then the eastern border of Poland, to perform exorcisms on the Ursuline nuns who are allegedly possessed by the devil. While trying to drive evil spirits out of the body of the prioress, Mother Joan, Father Suryn starts experiencing uncomfortably secular and sensual feelings towards her. Read More »
Sounding like some cheap pastiche, The German Chainsaw Massacre comes as a surprisingly independent feature, able to stand on it’s own without the crutch of it’s predecessor. However, Tobe Hooper’s movie is not so much tipped and winked as screamed in the face of in this relentless madness and more specifically in a similarly edited chainsaw chase through a forest. Choosing to loosen Hooper’s tight bolts of ‘humour’, Schlingensief loses dramatic intensity but gains an awesome sense of the egregious: unemployed customs officials form appalling folk groups at the West/East border and a woman with a knife up her butt sits down… Read More »
The Sacrifice, director Andrei Tarkovsky’s final film, begins in Bergmanesque fashion on a small, remote island, where friends and family gather for drama critic Alexander’s (Erland Josephson) birthday celebration.
The revelry is interrupted by a radio announcement: World War III has begun, and Mankind is only hours away from utter annihilation. Each of the guests reacts differently to the news: the most dramatic response is Alexander’s, who promises God that he’ll give up everything he holds dear – including his beloved 6-year-old son – if war is averted. Allan Edwall, a local mailman with purported mystical powers, offers to intervene with the Creator on Josephson’s behalf. Read More »
Rare is the film in movie-history that can announce the entire movement of it’s ‘plot’ with its title alone. But Pialat’s second feature, Nous Ne Viellirons Pas Ensemble does exactly that, encapsulating all the turmoil, and the final end-point, of a couple who among themselves once made a commitment – and living together will come to make another one yet. Jean (Jeane Yanne, of Godard’s Weekend) and Catherine (Marlene Jobert, of Godard’s Masculin Feminin) are the couple whose every move charts an advancement deeper into an emotional warzone. Theirs is the classic and the tragic case of an emotional abuse centered around a perplexing, but powerful, interdependency. Read More »
Newly wed arrives at her husband’s family house, in the country. The heavy atmosphere of the house frightens her, and she takes refuge in her homosexual son-in-law’s room, who is kept locked and hidden from society. A tragedy occurs, causing her departure. She’s only to return seventeen years later, and sick.
Based on the great novel “Crônica da Casa Assassinada” by Lúcio Cardoso Read More »
In Taxandria, a totalitarian regime has forbidden time: time watched have been confiscated, photo cameras are illegal as they freeze a point in time. A typical Servais theme: a power is oppressed by a constraint that denies what is best in the individual, and therefor has to be twisted in various ways, to establish an entirely artificial world, that has rules that may question some of the rules of our world at this side of the mirror. The digital era has begun. “Servaisgraphy” threatens to become obsolete. It was finally only to be used for the fabric of the backgrounds and no longer for the encrustation. Read More »