André Delvaux – Belle (1973)

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Mathieu returns home. He tells no one of his encounter with the strange woman. He goes back to his studious but airless life in the archives of a provincial town, cataloging several centuries of births, marriages and deaths. Days later, he goes back to the farmhouse in the woods only to discover the mysterious woman lying in an upstairs room deliriously ill. He recklessly rushes back into town and returns with medicine and food. She recovers. Emboldened by his restorative powers, Mathieu teaches her his name and, realizing she doesn’t comprehend him, he calls her “Belle.” Continue reading

Philip Kaufman & Benjamin Manaster – Goldstein (1964)

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Quote:
An Old Man (Lou Gilbert) rises out of Lake Michigan and interacts briefly with a few creative people as he drifts merrily through Chicago, at one point riding in a truck from the Goldstein Company. A metal sculptor (Tom Erhart) looks for the old man while trying to patch up his relationship with Sally (Ellen Madison). She discovers she’s pregnant and makes arrangements for a bizarre out-of-town Doctor (Severn Darden) to perform an abortion. The sculptor asks his father for help and brings along his friend Jay (Benito Carruthers), who lifts the father’s wallet. Jay uses some of the money to bankroll a night with some fancy ladies, while the sculptor continues to search for the inspirational Old Man. Continue reading

Hynek Bocan – Cest a sláva AKA Honor and Glory (1968)

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This historical film by Hynek Bočan touches upon the indecisiveness of the Czech nation, ready to bend the backbone in face of foreign rule. Situating the story at the close of the Thirty Year War enabled the depiction of the misery of the people that affects even an impoverished aristocratic milieu. Rudolf Hrušínský appears here in the role of an indecisive knight, persuaded for a long time and in vain to join the anti-Habsburg movement. The story does not only captivate through the depiction of manifold human characters, intrigues and sycophancy, but also through the circumstances ruling over the devastated farmstead, sunk in mud and crudeness. One of the best films with an updating tendency has come into being here, rightly being named along the such greats as Kladivo na čarodějnice (Witches’ Hammer). Continue reading

Ki-duk Kim – Arirang (2011)

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Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk bares his tortured, inebriated soul in “Arirang,” and it’s not a pretty sight. An experience that can be likened only to being stuck next to a drunk in a bar who keeps reminding you he used to be famous, all his friends are bastards and he now understands the meaning of life, pic might have proved therapeutic to make, but it’s a grind to watch, even for fans of the maverick writer-director’s work. Kim’s rep will inevitably ensure further fest bookings for what is essentially one long whine, but theatrical distribution anywhere looks highly unlikely. Continue reading

Nathan Schiff – Vermilion Eyes (1991)

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“PAndroid” wrote:
I originally just got this film for it’s rarity as an online friend of mine managed to acquire a copy through a trade. When I put the VHS into the player I was presented with challenging slice of art-house genius that greatly exceeded my pretty much non existent expectations. Like the great works of lynch and jodorowsky it is a completely unstreamed celluloid capture of an artists consciousness,abandoning logic to assault the viewers senses with the directors own unique vision. This isn’t like any of other schiffs other films, which whilst highly enjoyable are ultimately extremely tacky gorefests. This is a stunning observation of a lonely mans descent into being unable to decipher relaity and fantasy. Words cannot do it justice in the slightest. It one of the most different and personal films I have ever seen, layered in gruesome yet poetic psychosexual imagery to portray the main characters(who remains nameless throughout the film)ever slipping mask of sanity. Whilst very open ended I partially see the film as a commentary on perception and how we see things. It simply defies genres and conventions, this is true art film-making. Made from real raw emotion and a daring mind it is perhaps unsurprising it has not seen an official release ever. But for anyone who likes bold underground cinema this is an absolute must see, and possibly the most underrated film of all time. A sublime,macabre masterwork of dream logic cinema. Continue reading

Albert Serra & Lisandro Alonso – Correspondencia: Albert Serra & Lisandro Alonso (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