Arthouse

Raoul Ruiz – Klimt [Director’s Cut] (2006)

Synopsis
Ruiz, in an a propos to the film: ‘Above all this film should not be seen as a biography of the painter Gustav Klimt (what these days we call a ‘biopic’). It is indeed a fantasy or, if you prefer, a phantasmagoria, a fresco of real and imaginary characters revolving around a single point of focus: the painter Klimt. You see images in the film as if it were Klimt himself who is seeing them. Or rather who is dreaming them. Because this film will be a daydream: exuberance of colours, distortion of space, extreme complexity of camera movements. It would take too long to explain the processes I intend to use in order to record this era, one of the richest, most contradictory and most disturbing in the history of humanity.’ Read More »

Peter Tscherkassky – Outer Space (1999)

A premonition of a horror film, lurking danger: A house – at night, slightly tilted in the camera’s view, eerily lit – surfaces from the pitch black, then sinks back into it again. A young woman begins to move slowly towards the building. She enters it. The film cuts crackle, the sound track grates, suppressed, smothered. Found footage from Hollywood forms the basis for the film. The figure who creeps through the images, who is thrown around by them and who attacks them is Barbara Hershey. Tscherkassky’s dramatic frame by frame re-cycling, re-copying and new exposure of the material, folds the images and the rooms into each other. Read More »

Jean Epstein – Mauprat (1926)

Mauprat was adapted by Jean Epstein from a novel of the famous novelist George Sand. Like many of Sand’s novels, Mauprat borrows from various fictional genres- the Gothic novel, chivalric romance, the Bildungsroman, detective fiction, and the historical novel. Luis Buñuel was assistant director on this film, and was Buñuel’s first film credit. Read More »

Abbas Kiarostami – Zendegi Va Digar Hich aka And Life Goes On (1991)

SYNOPSIS
On a chaotic and congested highway toll interchange, an off-camera toll clerk listens impassively to a humanitarian public service radio broadcast from a Red Crescent spokesperson urging listeners to consider adoption of the many children who have been left orphaned as a result of the recent devastating earthquake in northern Iran. An unnamed, middle-aged film director (Farhad Kheradmand) stops at the tollbooth and inquires about the condition of the main road to Rudbar, having been turned back a day earlier at the intermediate town of Manjil due to the impassability of the route. Accompanied by his son Puya (Puya Pievar), the director is hoping to reach the village of Koker in search of the Ahmadpour brothers: two boys who had appeared in his film, Where is the Friend’s House? (a self-reference to Abbas Kiarostami’s earlier film). Read More »

Albert Serra – Honor de cavalleria aka Honour of the knights (2006)

Matt Zoller Seitz (The New York Times) wrote:
Elmore Leonard once said that the key to telling an exciting story was leaving out the parts that people skip. The “Don Quixote” adaptation “Quxiotic/Honor de Cavalleria” is composed of little else.

In adapting Miguel de Cervantes’s novel about the senile would-be knight, Don Quixote (Lluís Carbó), and his sidekick, Sancho Panza (Lluís Serrat), the film’s writer and director, Albert Serra, favors landscape imagery and natural sounds over dialogue and music. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Fado majeur et mineur AKA Fado, Major and Minor (1994)

Quote:
Ruiz returned to Portugal, the locale of many of his films, to adapt Dostoevsky’s The Eternal Husband, and the end product, Fado, Major and Minor, is among the most elliptical and intriguing works in his filmography. Jean-Luc Bideau stars as a tour guide who after blacking out returns to his apartment to find a mysterious intruder (Melvil Poupaud) who holds him accountable for the death of his lover. After premiering at Cannes, the film all but vanished due to rights issues, but it endures for Ruiz’s toggles between tragedy and farce, black and white and color, pop music and the traditional fatalistic sea shanties of its title. Read More »

Julie Dash – Illusions (1982)

from the Women Make Movies description:
“The time is 1942, a year after Pearl Harbor; the place is National Studios, a fictitious Hollywood motion picture studio. Mignon Duprée, a Black woman studio executive who appears to be white and Ester Jeeter, an African American woman who is the singing voice for a white Hollywood star are forced to come to grips with a society that perpetuates false images as status quo. This highly-acclaimed drama by one of the leading African American women directors follows Mignon’s dilemma, Ester’s struggle and the use of cinema in wartime Hollywood: three illusions in conflict with reality.” Read More »