Arthouse

Nina Kusturica & Eva Testor – 24 Realities per Second: A Film About Michael Haneke (2005)

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“24 Realities per Second” portrays Michael Haneke’s work and his view of cinema.

Nina Kusturica and Eva Testor accompanied and observed Michael Haneke over a period of two and a half years during his work. Location scouts, film premieres, public appearances, discussions with audiences, radio interviews, on set, editing rooms. The rare conversations occur almost incidentally in cars, trains and planes. The objective of the film is the precise observation in different situations, out of which emerges an obsessed filmmaker. The thoughts of a man become apparent through his actions and the nature of his activity.

“24 Realities per Second” sketches with many little episodes and a few conversations the working universe of Michael Haneke. In contrast to the numerous interviews that Haneke gave in the course of his career, the film does not focus on his eloquence but concentrates on his craftsmanship. Read More »

Mani Haghighi – Kargaran mashghoole karand AKA Men at Work (2006)

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A bare bones synopsis of this film might lead you to expect that it is lethally boring. Four middle aged buddies are returning to Tehran from a trip to the mountains, trying to get back in time to watch an important soccer match on TV. Their homeward journey grinds to a halt when they round a curve in the highway and are confronted by a natural monolith, a 10 foot high, narrow rock formation, projecting straight up out of the ground, overlooking the canyon below. They spend the rest of the movie trying to topple it. Hmmmmm. Not a narrative arc that causes gooseflesh exactly, am I right? What makes this short movie almost spellbinding instead has nothing to do with the rock, but everything to do with the etchings of character that unfold as each man reacts to the circumstances, and they all kill a lot of time just doing guyspeak, largely about their women, past and present. Fleshing out that theme, one might say, are appearances by two of the women in their lives who – either inadvertently or by design – show up at the rock project. They too prove to be intriguing and contrasting personalities.

This film, based on a story by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, is reminiscent of the work of John Cassavetes, and, like his films, this one is not for everyone’s taste. (IMDB ) Read More »

István Szabó – Álmodozások kora AKA Age of Illusions (1964)

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The Hungarian Age of Illusions was the first feature-film effort by writer/director István Szabó. Andras Balint plays an electrical engineer who hops from bed to bed, never making any lasting commitment with any one woman. All this changes when he falls in love with a local celebrity whom he sees on television (Ilona Beres). Trouble is, he’s never met her; like her other fans, he can assess her only by what he witnesses on the small screen. When he finally does touch base with the girl, he’s in for a few surprises-some pleasant, many others not so. Completed in 1965, Age of Illusions was not given widespread distribution until 1967. Read More »

Derek Jarman – Blue (1993)

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A year before director Derek Jarman succumbed fully to AIDS, he made his last film. In Blue, the color blue is all there is to see as Jarman tries to bring the audience into his vision-impaired world. Jarman offers his insights on life, love, disease, the meaning of art, and the symbology of the color blue over a blue screen. Actors, including Tilda Swinton and John Quentin, also read from Jarman’s journals and poetry.
-AMG Review Read More »

Michael Verhoeven – O.K. (1970)

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Imdb user Review

One of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made!
18 November 2002 | by Mikew3001 (Hamburg, Germany)

A group of G.I. soldiers in the jungles of the Vietnam War meet a native young girl. They are raping and torturing it brutally and finally kill it. One soldier is disgusted by this inhuman behavior and reports this crime to his officers, who try to turn him down. Finally his former mates are sentenced to military jail or have to leave the army.

This whole story really happened in Vietnam in 1967. It was the turn of German independent film maker Michael Verhoeven make a film about it in 1970, in real underground style, with b/w steady cams and German actors down in the forests of Bavaria. There is no jungle but just European forests. The actors are speaking with Bavarian German accents and wear groovy seventies’ style haircuts. It wasn’t Verhoeven’s idea to make a “real” Vietnam war movie but rather a reflection of the war brutality on the human soul. Read More »

Franco Rubartelli – Veruschka (1971)

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from IMDB:
The copy of this film that I have is in Italian language with no subtitles, so there is little risk of my giving away any real spoilers, but suffice to say it does not take sitting through much of the film’s running time to determine that “Veruschka”, which is named after the then-popular supermodel who plays the lead, is not going to be the fun and frothy story of the jet set life one would expect a woman like Veruschka to lead. Instead we are treated to the story of a very unhappy young woman who is apparently so lost and hopeless that the viewer early on wants to help her, but likewise feels equally hopeless. Much of the film takes place in a car on the road, with Veruschka and her boyfriend (the great Luigi Pistilli) driving and getting into personal trouble all over Italy. Read More »

Michelangelo Frammartino – Le quattro volte aka The four times (2010)

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An old shepherd lives his last days in a quiet medieval village perched high on the hills of Calabria, at the southernmost tip of Italy. He herds goats under skies that most villagers have deserted long ago. He is sick, and believes to find his medicine in the dust he collects on the church floor, which he drinks in his water every day. Read More »