Ulrike Ottinger – Freak Orlando (1981)

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As Orlando (Magdalena Montezuma) enters the world of “freaks,” the movie develops scenes from a mythological netherworld, the Spanish Inquisition, the Middle Ages, and a few other settings to focus on unusual characters with physical or mental oddities. By the time the various vignettes that take place in these separate periods are completed, each with their own points and counterpoints, the “freaks” seem much less odd than their physically normal contemporaries. After Orlando has revealed much about the human condition through glimpses of a P.T. Barnum side-show, Siamese twins, as well as modern sexual morés, her journey with the viewer is completed. The device of Orlando, the time-traveler and liberated bisexual is based on Virginia Woolf’s “Orlando: A Biography.” The same set of actors play different roles in each of the five chronological segments. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi Continue reading

Clément Perron – Taureau (1973)

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Quote:
The population of a small Beauce town in Quebec dogs a mother and her daughter who are believed to trade on their charms. The film shows the brutal reality of the village inhabitants’ behaviour toward the mother and her daughter. Taureau, the woman’s son who is a little crazy, but as strong as an ox, even takes the liberty of courting the teacher. The Beaucerons feel obliged to avenge their honour. Continue reading

Jem Cohen – Chain (2004)

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“Jem Cohen’s Chain is a hypnotic, highly original piece about what
it’s like to live in the new global corporate landscape.”

Daily Telegraph
“Dreamlike… transforms a mundane world into something strange and
new… formidable power… fierce political intelligence.”

Village Voice

Synopsis:
As regional character disappears and corporate culture homogenizes our surroundings, it’s increasingly hard to tell where you are. In Chain, malls, theme parks, hotels and corporate centers worldwide are joined into one monolithic contemporary “superlandscape” that shapes the lives of two women caught within it. One is a corporate businesswoman set adrift by her corporation while she researches the international theme park industry. The other is a young drifter, living and working illegally on the fringes of a shopping mall. Cohen contrives to turn the entire planet into a stretch of New Jersey commercial property–a universe that feels entirely real yet has the distinct smack of J.G. Ballard otherness. Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – Larmar och gör sig till AKA In the Presence of a Clown (1997)

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Inventor Carl Åkerblom is a rosy-cheeked 54 year-old admirer of Franz Schubert – and a patient in the psychiatric ward of Akademiska Hospital in Uppsala, after having attempted to beat to death his fiancée, Pauline Thibault. Together with another patient, Professor Osvald Vogler, they set up a film project: the living talkie. Before long, they set off on a frantic tour with their film, “The Joy of the Joyous Girl”… (IMDB) Continue reading

Gust Van den Berghe – Lucifer (2014)

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On his downfall from Heaven to Hell, Lucifer passes through the earthly paradise, a village in Mexico, where elderly Lupita and her granddaughter Maria live. Lupita’s brother Emanuel pretends he’s paralyzed so he can drink and gamble while the two women tend to the sheep. Lucifer senses an opportunity and plays the miraculous healer. He forces Emanuel to walk again, seduces Maria and makes Lupita doubt about her faith. He didn’t bring bad luck, he only illuminated the line between good and evil, where it didn’t exist before. Continue reading