Arthouse

Aleksandr Dovzhenko – Arsenal (The Cultural Heritage) [Disc 2] (1928)

In Arsenal, Alexander Dovzhenko, perhaps the most radical of the Soviet directors of the silent period, altered the already extended conventions of cinematic structure to a degree greater than had even the innovative Sergei Eisenstein in his bold October. The effect of this tinkering with the more or less accepted proprieties of motion picture construction produced a work that is actually less a film than it is a highly symbolic visual poem. For example, in a more linearly structured piece like October, the metaphors, allusions, and analogies that arise through the construction of the various montages replace rather than comment on essential actions within the film. In Arsenal, however, the symbolism is so purposely esoteric, with seemingly deliberate barriers established to block the viewer’s perception, that the relationship of individual symbols or sequences to the various actions of the film is not immediately clear. Read More »

Aleksandr Dovzhenko – Zemlya – versions of 1930 & 1971 (The Cultural Heritage [Disc 3]) (1930)

Earh (1930) 59 min.
Poetic cinema story about events related to collectivization in Ukraine at the end of 20th years of the last century, about creation of the first of a collective farm communes, about class enmity on a village.
The best film Dovzhenko and one of the best films in history world to the cinema.
A film “Earth” on the World exhibition in Brussels of 1958 was adopted among the twelve best films of all times and people as a result of questioning, conducted Belgian cinematic among 117 film critics andconnoisseurs of the films from 26 countries of the world. During many subsequent years “Earth” was multiple included in the various lists of the best films of the world of XX century. Read More »

Miguel Gomes – Redemption (2013)

Synopsis
On January 21st 1975, in a village in the north of Portugal, a child writes to his parents who are in Angola to tell them how sad Portugal is. On July 13th 2011, in Milan, an old man remembers his first love. On May 6th 2012, in Paris, a man tells his baby daughter that he will never be a real father. During a wedding ceremony on September 3rd 1977 in Leipzig, the bride battles against a Wagner opera that she can’t get out of her head.
But where and when have these four poor devils begun searching for redemption? Read More »

Julie Taymor – Frida (2002)

Frida chronicles the life of artist Frida Kahlo (beautiful Salma Hayek) with her mentor and husband Diego Rivera (Alfred Molina), as they took the art world by storm. From their own complex and enduring relationship to her illicit and controversial affair with Leon Trotsky, to her provocative and romantic entanglements with women, Frida Kahlo lived a bold and uncompromising life as a political, artistic, and sexual revolutionary. Also starring Ashley Judd and Antonio Banderas. Read More »

Adina Pintilie – Nu ma atinge-ma AKA Touch Me Not (2018)

In her long-gestating first feature, Adina Pintilie uses bodies of all types to explore the boundaries of intimacy and challenge notions of beauty, which clearly wouldn’t be possible without a significant display of naked flesh. Whether she’s achieved that goal, however, will very much depend on the individual, as “Touch” is a divisive film that aims to address more issues than it can persuasively handle. Seamlessly blending fiction with reality, Pintilie invents a story about an Englishwoman grappling with intimacy issues and weaves in real people guiding her toward being comfortable with her body and the bodies of others. Read More »

Kaneto Shindô – Gogo no Yuigon-jo AKA A Last Note (1995)

Quote:
Veteran Japanese filmmaker Kaneto Shindo was 82 when he directed this meditation on life, death, and loss. Following the passing of her husband, elderly former actress Yoko Morimoto (Haruko Sugimura) travels to her summer home in the mountains of Central Japan. Upon her arrival, her servant Tokoyo (Nobuko Otowa) has sad news for her — her long-time gardener has recently committed suicide. Adding to Yoko’s sorrow is the arrival of Tomie, an old friend from her days in the theater, who is traveling with her husband Tohachiro Urshikuni (Hideo Kanze), also an actor. Read More »

Roberto Rossellini – Il tacchino prepotente (1939)

This is an anti-Fascist short Rossellini made in 1940.
Quote:
La vispa Teresa was rejected and, although Ferrara said that Il tacchino was distributed by Scalera under its working title, “La perfida Albione,” there were no press notices, and no one outside of Scalera is known to have seen it. According to Ferrara, Rossellini told him it was a satire in which “Perfidious Albion,” a big turkey representing England, goes around pecking at the hens representing the nations of Europe, until defied by a rooster representing Italy. “Rossellini detested it,” said Ferrara, “[though his] genius was such that he could achieve extraordinary effects out of nothing. He used to tell me, ‘It’s the only time that, through my weakness, I made a work of propaganda.’” Read More »