Arthouse

Rob Nilsson – Signal 7 (1986)

A day in the life of two middle-aged San Francisco cab drivers, Marty and Speed, both who are living in a state of turmoil, unable to shake the anguish of the lives they didn’t live. Read More »

Kelly Reichardt – Old Joy (2006) (HD)

Two old friends reunite for a quietly revelatory overnight camping trip in this breakout feature from Kelly Reichardt, a microbudget study of character and masculinity that introduced many viewers to one of contemporary American cinema’s most independent artists. As expectant father Mark (Daniel London) and nomadic Kurt (Will Oldham) travel by car and foot into the woods in search of some secluded hot springs, their fumbling attempts to reconnect keep butting up against the limits of their friendship and the reality of how much their paths have diverged since their shared youth. Adapted from a short story by Jonathan Raymond and accompanied by an atmospheric Yo La Tengo score, Old Joy is a contemplative, wryly observed triumph whose modest scale belies the richness of its insight. Read More »

Ingmar Bergman – Efter repetitionen AKA After the Rehearsal (1984)

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With this spare chamber piece, set in an empty theater, Ingmar Bergman returned to his perennial theme of the permeability of life and art. Lingering after a rehearsal for August Strindberg’s A Dream Play (a touchstone for the filmmaker throughout his career), eminent director Henrik (Erland Josephson) enters into a frank and flirtatious conversation with his up-and-coming star, Anna (Lena Olin), leading him to recall his affair with Anna’s late mother, the self-destructive actress Rakel (Ingrid Thulin). The sharply written and impeccably performed After the Rehearsal, originally made for television, pares away all artifice to examine both the allure and the cost of a life in the theater. Read More »

Alain Guiraudie – Du soleil pour les gueux AKA Sunshine for the Scoundrels (2001)

The earlier of Guiraudie’s two medium-length films looks forward to both No Rest for the Brave and The King of Escape with its tale of a young woman who falls in love with a gay shepherd. During their wanderings, they cross paths with a bandit – played by the director himself – as well as the bounty hunter who’s pursuing him. Sunshine for the Scoundrels announces Guiraudie’s fascination with loners and oddballs, his extravagant imagination and his affection for the rough landscape of France’s Massif Central, whose ruggedness gives the film the flavor of an eccentric Western. Read More »

Guillaume Brac – Le naufragé AKA Stranded (2009)

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Luc goes off on his bicycle to forget his problems. A suit of accidents make him spend the night in a little town of Picardie. He meets Sylvain, who tries to help him, for the best and the worst. Read More »

Ross McElwee – Sherman’s March [+Extras] (1986)

Filmmaker Ross McElwee grew up in the South and always marveled at how the folks there were affected by Union general William Tecumseh Sherman’s legacy. Aiming to delve deeper into the region’s interest, McElwee revisits the path of the general’s march that took down the Confederacy. But the tone of his documentary changes when he learns his girlfriend has left him, causing him to second-guess himself with each woman he meets during the shoot. Read More »

Jean Eustache – La maman et la putain (1973)

A few days of a dandyish French intellectual in his late 20s named Alexandre (Jean-Pierre Leaud), who’s living with and supported by his lover, Marie (Bernadette Lafont); she’s in her mid-30s and runs a small boutique. In the first scene he borrows a neighbor’s car and tracks down a former girlfriend, Gilberte (Isabelle Weingarten), who’s just started a new semester at the Sorbonne, and tries to persuade her to marry him, only to discover that she’s just agreed to marry someone else. (We and Alexandre briefly glimpse Gilberte with her husband, played by Eustache, toward the end of the film, in the liquor section of a department store.) After hanging out with an equally idle friend (Jacques Renard) at the Deux Magots cafe, Alexandre follows a young woman after she leaves a nearby table, asks for her phone number, and scores; the remainder of the film is devoted to his courting of her. Read More »