Arthouse

Jean-Claude Brisseau – La vie comme ça AKA Life the Way It Is (1978)

Quote:
The second film by Jean-Claude Brisseau is this gritty story of working women in the modern world. Originally shot on 16mm for French television, Life the Way It Is (La Vie Comme Ca) may be the director’s most radical film, with its images of suicide, group violence, and sexual pressure. Agnes Tessier leaves the comfortable confines of school to work at a chemical factory in a slum district with her friend Florence. When greeted with sexual harassment, harsh conditions, and volatile coworkers, Agnes responds by applying for the union rep position in order to challenge the status quo at the factory. Stripped down to the essentials, the film reflects the fury of working-class women everywhere. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach, Ermanno Olmi – Tickets (2005)

Synopsis
A train travels across Italy toward Rome. On board is a professor who daydreams a conversation with a love that never was, a family of Albanian refugees who switch trains and steal a ticket, three brash Scottish soccer fans en route to a match, and a complaining widow traveling to a memorial service for her late husband who’s accompanied by a community-service volunteer who’s assisting her. Interactions among these Europeans turn on class and nationalism, courtesy and rudeness, and opportunities for kindness. Read More »

Bruce LaBruce – Otto; or Up with Dead People (2008)

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From maverick director Bruce La Bruce comes the horrific and subversive smash of the Berlin and Sundance film festivals – Otto. A young zombie named Otto appears on a remote highway. He has no idea where he came from or where he is going. He hitches a ride to Berlin where he is discovered by underground filmmaker Medea Yarn. Fascinated, Medea decides to film a documentary with Otto as her subject. When Otto discovers that there is a wallet in his back pocket that contains information about his past, before he was dead, he begins to remember a few details, including memories of his ex-boyfriend, Rudolf. Otto arranges to meet him with devastating results. Savagely sexual and overtly gruesome Otto is a true original. Read More »

Jan Nemec – O slavnosti a hostech AKA The Party and the Guests (1966)

Distinguished as being ‘banned forever’ in its native Czechoslovakia, Nemec’s film is a masterpiece of barbed, darkly sinister wit. As a biting satire of governmental and institutional power and with its astute observations of human nature and conformity, it is a film whose relevance continues to this day.
Considered the most politically dangerous film made during the short flowering of the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, this is its first-ever release on DVD. Read More »

Renée Nader Messora & João Salaviza – Chuva É Cantoria Na Aldeia Dos Mortos AKA The Dead and the Others (2018)

Quote:
There are no spirits or snakes tonight and the forest around the village is quiet. Fifteen-year old Ihjãc has had nightmares since he lost his father. He is an indigenous Krahô from the north of Brazil. Ihjãc walks into darkness, his sweaty body moves with fright. A distant chant comes through the palm trees. His father’s voice calls him to the waterfall: it´s time for Ihjãc to organize his father’s funerary feast so that his spirit can depart to the village of the dead. The mourning must cease. Denying his duty and in order to escape the process of becoming a shaman, Ihjãc runs away to the city, where he must face the reality of being an indigenous person in contemporary Brazil. Read More »

Trinh T. Minh-ha – Naked Spaces: Living Is Round (1985)

Shot with stunning elegance and clarity, NAKED SPACES explores the rhythm and ritual of life in the rural environments of six West African countries (Mauritania, Mali, Burkino Faso, Togo, Benin and Senegal). The nonlinear structure of NAKED SPACES challenges the traditions of ethnographic filmmaking, while sensuous sights and sounds lead the viewer on a poetic journey to the most inaccessible parts of the African continent, the private interaction of people in their living spaces. Read More »

João Pedro Rodrigues – Morrer Como Um Homem AKA To Die Like a Man [+Extras] (2009)

Once upon a time there was a war In the darkness of the night, a young soldier goes AWOL. Tonia, a veteran transsexual in Lisbons drag shows, watches the world around her crumble. The competition from younger artists threatens her star status. Under pressure from her young boyfriend Rosário to assume her female identity, the sex change operation that will transform her into a woman, Tonia struggles against her deeply-held religious convictions. If, on the one hand, she wants to be the woman that Rosário so desires, on the other, she knows that before God she can never be that woman. And her son, whom she abandoned when he was a child, now a deserter, comes looking for her. Read More »