Arthouse

Donatello Dubini – Die Reise Nach Kafiristan AKA The Journey to Kafiristan (2001)

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In 1939, the author Annemarie Schwarzenbach and ethnologist Ella Maillart travel together by car to Kabul, but each is in pursuit of her own project. Annemarie Schwarzenbach, who was among Erika and Klaus Mann’s circle of friends in the 30’s, is searching for a place of refuge in the Near East to discover her own self. Ella Maillart justifies her restlessness, her need for movement and travel, with a scientific pretext: she would like to explore the mysterious Kafiristan Valley and “make a name” for herself with publications on the archaic life of the nomads living there. Both women are on the run, but political developments and their own biographies catch up with them again and again. Their mutual journey through the outside world, which runs from Geneva via the Balkans and Turkey to Persia, is compounded by the inner world of emotions with a tender love story. As both women arrive in Kabul, the Second World War breaks out and puts an end to their plans.
Une Suisse rebelle, Annemarie Schwarzenbach 1908-1942 Read More »

Harutyun Khachatryan – Sahman AKA The Border (2009)

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A poetic docu-drama based on real events witnessed by Armenian master Khachatryan. He reflects on the tragedy that befell his people during the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the 1990s, after the Soviet Union fell apart. He does so without words or indeed human protagonists, through the story of a buffalo who is found stuck in a ditch in the countryside. He is brought to a nearby farm where animals, farmers and refugees are gathered to hide and recover from the conflict. All regard him with great suspicion. We follow life on the farm and in the surrounding villages through the eyes of the buffalo over the course of a year, with the changing of the seasons and the slow rhythm of the place. (WARSAW FILM FESTIVAL) Read More »

Kei Kumai – Umi to dokuyaku aka The Sea and Poison (1986)

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Uni to Dokuyaku (1987)
July 22, 1987
FILM: ‘SEA AND POISON,’ FROM JAPAN
By Walter Goodman
Published: July 22, 1987

LEAD: EARLY in ”The Sea and Poison,” the harrowing Japanese movie now at Film Forum 1, a surgical team performs a lung operation on a young woman. It is probably the most graphic view that most of its audience will ever have had of the scalpel and forceps doing their work, and you may find yourself joining the young intern Suguro, who confesses, ”Today in the operating room, I had to close my eyes.

EARLY in ”The Sea and Poison,” the harrowing Japanese movie now at Film Forum 1, a surgical team performs a lung operation on a young woman. It is probably the most graphic view that most of its audience will ever have had of the scalpel and forceps doing their work, and you may find yourself joining the young intern Suguro, who confesses, ”Today in the operating room, I had to close my eyes.” Read More »

Petr Václav – Marian (1996)

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Václav started his career as a director of film documentaries, first attracted critical attention with his graduation film, Paní Le Murie (Madame Le Murie, 1993) and consolidated his reputation with his first feature Marián (1996), which testified to the problems of social and racial determination and more generally also the theme of human freedom and humiliation. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – La macchina ammazzacattivi (1952) (DVD)

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Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader wrote:
This rarely shown early film by Roberto Rossellini (1948), one of his few comedies, anticipates with remarkable prescience the conceits of Godard and others about photography in the 60s. A professional small-town photographer finds that he has the power to kill his subjects by taking their picture, turning them into statues of themselves. Rossellini left this project before it was finished, and it was edited and released a few years later without his approval–but it still comes across as a remarkably suggestive fable. Read More »

Pierre Coulibeuf – Le Démon du passage (1995)

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Le Démon du passage (The Demon of Passage)
35 mm – 14’ – 1995
“Fictional” reconstruction of the chain of mental images that make the visions of the photographer Jean-Luc Moulène appear. Read More »

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.” Read More »