Reha Erdem – Koca Dünya AKA Big Big World (2016)

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Ali and Zuhal take their first step out of the orphanage into this big world committing a crime. It becomes impossible for them to live amongst people now, and the forest they take shelter in becomes a desert island for them. A boy and a girl that were thrown out of the civilized world would live the entire human story from scratch.

Special Orizzonti Jury Prize
Venice Film Festival 2016 Continue reading

Iván Osnovikoff & Bettina Perut – Surire (2015)

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Synopsis
While researching locations for their 2009 film Noticias, documentary filmmakers Bettina Perut and Ivan Osnovikoff stumbled upon Salar de Surire, a salt flat in the Chilean Andes at an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). “It was like being on the moon,” they explained in an interview. The vast, barren landscape and the thin mountain air left them feeling intensely alienated, and in Surire they make that sensation palpable. The long observational shots capture a desolate landscape in which human life at first seems to play only a marginal role. But the camera challenges this first impression, focusing on the wealth of flora and fauna in the foreground, while off in the distance a colorful convoy of transporter trucks takes away the salt – which, despite Salar de Surire’s protected status, is mined with the approval of the authorities. Perut and Osnovikoff document this disappearing world using their characteristic and highly articulate visual idiom, particularly recognizable for its grand wide shots and the pin-sharp extreme close-ups. The last original inhabitants of the region look on in resignation from a distance at the exploitation of their habitat. Meanwhile, they tend to their llamas, subject the dog to a risky-looking trim and prepare for a trip into town. Continue reading

Hannes Böck – New Hefei (2008)

Quote:
New Hefei was done in the winter of 2007/2008 during a stay in China for several months through a series of photographs and prepared in the spring of 2008 in the provincial capital Hefei in black and white on 16mm shot. Hefei has an extreme economy growth rate and is one of the fastest-growing mega cities of the new China.
The conglomerates from private and state-dominated industry dominated the economic growth and repeated this in the Chinese provincial city. Currently the process of urban transformation has been completed here, as in other urban centers in China. The presentation of new urban areas is an important issue in contemporary Taiwanese and Chinese films.

Basically the whole thing was inspired by Antonionis “La Notte” and “L’eclisse”. So if you know these films, you’ll find something here. Continue reading

Claire Denis – Les salauds AKA Bastards (2013)

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Quote:
The world of Claire Denis’s Bastards is one of nightmarish inversion, where compassion has no place and connection only breeds despair. Structured around the fracturing of two family units, one irreparably shattered, one holding firm despite intense pressure, it imagines life as a steady succession of denials, duty waging a futile struggle against desire. In this reckoning every image grows twisted, the seductive mirage of a naked woman in high heels soon tarnished by the blood trickling down her legs. Conditioning the audience to find dread in every seemingly innocent gesture, the film turns even the simplest touch between family members into something tinged with menace. Continue reading

Nuri Bilge Ceylan – Uzak AKA Distant (2002) (HD)

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Synopsis wrote:
Uzak/Distant chronicles the numbing loneliness, longing, and isolation in the lives of two men who are consumed by their own problems. Istanbul photographer Mahmut reluctantly receives his relative Yusuf, but the mingling of their lives does little to alleviate their detachment.

Roger Ebert wrote:
How is it that the same movie can seem tedious on first viewing and absorbing on the second? Why doesn’t it grow even more tedious? In the case of “Distant,” which I first saw at Cannes in 2003, perhaps it helped that I knew what the story offered and what it did not offer, and was able to see it again without expecting what would not come. Continue reading

Albert Serra – El Senyor ha fet en mi meravelles AKA The Lord Worked Wonders in Me (2011)

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The original dvdr announce wrote:
This filmic exchange is based on two works that reflect on the way each director films, on the crew and the actors, on the way they see and make cinema. Albert Serra took the characters of Honor de Cavalleria and his regular team of collaborators to follow in the steps of Quixote. Lisandro Alonso returned to La Pampa province to film his work, for which he recalls Misael Saavedra, the lead of his first film, La Libertad. Continue reading

Kleber Mendonça Filho – Aquarius (2016)

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Synopsis wrote:
Clara, a 65 year old widow and retired music critic, was born into a wealthy and traditional family in Recife, Brazil. She is the last resident of the Aquarius, an original two-story building, built in the 1940s, in the upper-class, seaside Boa Viagem Avenue, Recife. All the neighboring apartments have already been acquired by a company which has other plans for that plot. Clara has pledged to only leave her place upon her death, and will engage in a cold war of sorts with the company. This tension both disturbs Clara and gives her that edge on her daily routine. It also gets her thinking about her loved ones, her past and her future. Continue reading