Love is a universe of two in Philippe Garrel’s fatalistic romance “Frontier of Dawn.” Shot in richly textured and contrasting black-and-white celluloid, it centers on a young photographer, François (Louis Garrel, the filmmaker’s son), and the two women with whom he finds and loses love. After his affair ends with Carole (Laura Smet), a famous actress given to flare-ups and meltdowns, he immerses himself in a new life with Eve (Clémentine Poidatz), who promises him a child and perhaps a chance at real happiness. There’s more, including madness, electroshock treatment, a discussion about the cost of baby diapers, and the sudden emergence of a ghost in a mirror, all of which Mr. Garrel connects so loosely that they feel more like moments out of time than narrative fragments. — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times Continue reading
“A thoroughly devastating documentary on 82 year old Maori woman’s struggle for survival.”
Los Angeles Times
This is the story of Puhi, an aged Maori woman and Niki, her fully grown but wholly dependent son. The world they occupy is not a world of large events but the rituals of everyday life, traditions and interdependence. “In Spring One Plants Alone” documents the minutiae of their very enclosed existence. Filmed over a period of one and a half years, it emerges as a rare, haunting and powerful portrayal of their life together. This is the story of their rituals and of their survival. The small and disconnected instances that we encounter form a lone vision of the rifts and the bond between an old woman and her disturbed son. Continue reading
How can state-sponsored bigotry destroy the life of an “ordinary” citizen, one whose heritage should exempt him from such policies? The eponymous Mr. Klein (Alain Delon), a suave, single, wealthy Parisian art dealer, finds out. It’s 1942, the Nazis have occupied Paris, and Jews are being arrested and shipped to Germany. The lucky ones obtain false passports and flee the country. Robert Klein, whose family has been “French and Catholic since Louis XIV,” is taking advantage of the situation by buying up Jewish family heirlooms at rock-bottom prices. Then one morning a Jewish newspaper appears on his doorstep, addressed to Robert Klein. The fact that he received mail intended for another Parisian Robert Klein–this one a Jew–must be a simple mistake. But is it?
Mr. Klein becomes obsessed with finding his Jewish alter ego, finally falling into a trap from which it is impossible to escape. Directed by Joseph Losey, who confronted prejudice in The Boy with Green Hair, and written by Franco Solinas, coauthor with Costa-Gavras of such classics of political intrigue as State of Siege, Mr. Klein is haunting and suspenseful: an exciting thriller with real substance. (-Laura Mirsky – Editorial Reviews – Amazon.com) Continue reading
- “What would you do if you had only ten days to live”?
- “Just get very stoned.”
DANDY (1988 )- a Voltaire-inspired anti-fairytale by Peter Sempel – Featuring Blixa Bargeld, Nick Cave, Kazuo Ohno & Nina Hagen.
The Hawks and the Sparrows (Italian: Uccellacci e uccellini, literally Bad Birds and Little Birds) is a 1966 Italian film directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini. It was entered into the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.
The movie is a post-neorealist story about Totò, the beloved stone-faced clown of Italian folk-stories.
Originally Uccellacci e Uccellini, The Hawks and the Sparrows was adapted by director Pier Paolo Pasolini from his own novel. Italian comedian Toto plays a dual role, as “himself” and 12th century monk Brother Ciccillo. In modern times, Toto and his son Ninetto Davoli come across a talking crow who insists upon asking them where they’re going. The answer, it turns out, is eight centuries into the past, where Toto and Davoli become monks, employed by Francis of Assisi to convert the birds of the world to Christianity. Unfortunately, every sparrow that they win over to God is devoured by a hawk. Back in the present, Toto and Davoli face a similar situation when their landlord threatens them with eviction. After various and sundry misadventures, the two human protagonists, growing weary of the philosophical crow’s loquaciousness, eat the bird and move on, prepared to face whatever life brings them without the “help” of their feathered friend. The symbolism in The Hawks and the Sparrows is so obvious as to be funny, which was Pasolini’s intention all along.
Hal Erickson Continue reading
Set over the course of a weekend tournament for chess software programmers thirty-some years ago, Computer Chess transports viewers to a nostalgic moment when the contest between technology and the human spirit seemed a little more up for grabs. We get to know the eccentric geniuses possessed of the vision to teach a metal box to defeat man, literally, at his own game, laying the groundwork for artificial intelligence as we know it and will come to know it in the future. Continue reading
From History of Narrative Film by David A. Cook (p712):
“Schorm’s third film of contemporary social criticism, Saddled with Five Girls, forms a kind of trilogy with Everyday Courage and The Return of the Prodigal Son. Less pessimistic than his earlier work, Saddled with Five Girls is a film of youthful love and alienation which juxtaposes its narrative with scenes from Weber’s Die Freischütz.
From 50 Major Filmmakers edited by Peter Cowie (p231):
“Five Girls to Cope With, in 1967, set out to explore that critical age of adolescence when a person’s character is formed for good or evil. Schorm examined a girl’s problems of being giving too much. She tries to buy the goodwill of her less fortunate friends; her intentions are pure, but in the difficulty of communicating she learns envy and deceit, and must decide if she will submit to double dealing or steel her life against self-deception and mediocrity. In addition to the relationship between the girl and her friends, Schorm introduces a teenage romance and the broader relationship between the girl’s parents – neatly tied together with segments of Weber’s opera, Die Freischütz. He reveals himself as a skilled psychological director with a wide range of knowledge about people. Continue reading