Julie Taymor – Frida (2002)

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Frida chronicles the life of artist Frida Kahlo (beautiful Salma Hayek) with her mentor and husband Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), as they took the art world by storm. From their own complex and enduring relationship to her illicit and controversial affair with Leon Trotsky, to her provocative and romantic entanglements with women, Frida Kahlo lived a bold and uncompromising life as a political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary. Also starring Ashley Judd and Antonio Banderas. Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard – Pravda (1969)

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Quote:
English dubbed – Jean-Luc Godard (Dziga Vertov Group) film

Pravda was filmed clandestinely in Czechoslovakia on 16mm. It’s one of those films Godard made with the Groupe Dziga Vertov – a Marxist film about the political situation after the ’68 revolution. I’d call it a kind of essay. Basically, we get an hour’s worth of montage of very interesting documentary images with voice-over.

It’s been compared to ‘Letter to Jane’ and that’s probably a good comparison.

Godard apparently described Pravda in retrospect as ‘a marxist-leninist garbage movie’. Continue reading

Alain Cavalier – Le paradis (2014)

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The experience of living through two periods of depression and the quiet expectation of a third has endowed a filmmaker with the capacity to perceive the true beauty of life and to capture it on film. He films everything he sees, without favour and without preference, providing it awakens within him a feeling of love. His only worry is that he feels he may have lost some part of that essential quality of his art: innocence… Continue reading

Georges Franju – Judex [+Extras] (1963)

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There’s a world of difference between the natural, “found” surrealism of Louis Feuillade’s lighthearted French serial (1914) and the darker, studied surrealism and campy piety of this 1964 remake by Georges Franju. Yet in Franju’s hands the material has its own magic (and deadpan humor), which makes this one of the better features of his middle period. Judex (Channing Pollack) is a cloaked hero who abducts a villainous banker to prevent the evil Diana (Francine Bergé in black tights) from stealing a fortune from the banker’s virtuous daughter. Some of what Franju finds here is worthy of Cocteau, and as he discovered when he attempted another pastiche of Feuillade’s work in color, black and white is essential to the poetic ambience. (Jonathan Rosenbaum) Continue reading

Georg Lhotzky – Moos auf den Steinen aka Moss on the Stones (1968)

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Description

Engaged to the daughter of an aging baron, an ambitious advertising executive wishes to renovate the baron’s crumbling castle into a holiday getaway for the social elite. In his zeal to seal the deal, he manages to alienate his friends, lose his fiancee, and end up with nothing.

Based on Gerhard Fritsch novel, nominated for the Academy Awards. With avantgarde jazz music by Friedrich Gulda. Considered the first film of New Austrian Cinema in 1968. Continue reading

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

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Quote:
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. Continue reading