Arthouse

Vjekoslav Nakic – Kompozicija (1970)

An experimental film with no plot. Consists mostly of static shots portraying train wagons. The word COMPOSITION in Serbian has a triple meaning here – a train composition, composition of a shot, and music composition. Regarding the third meaning, the “soundtrack” of the film is a 5 second loop that keeps repeating itself over and over again. Read More »

Paulo Rocha – A Ilha dos Amores AKA The Island of Love [CUT] (1982)

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Quote:
The film traces the life and times of Wenceslau de Moraes (b. Lisbon 1854, d. Tokushima 1929), the great Portuguese writer who lived in the Far East. 1891: Moraes breaks with his mistress and leaves Portugal for Macao, never to return. 1895: While in Macao, he becomes fascinated by Japan, leaving his Chinese wife and their two children. 1912: Moraes is living and writing in Robe, in the south of Japan, as Portuguese Consul, with his Japanese wife Oyone. 1913-16: Deeply affected by the death of Oyone, Moraes quits his post and goes to live in poverty, near the tomb of his wife. However, he soon becomes involved with a young niece of Oyone’s, Ko-Haru, who eventually dies of tuberculosis. 1916-29: Moraes is transformed into a ghostly figure, wandering at night around the graves of Oyone and Ko-Haru. He writes his most mature works at this time, while his literary fame continues to grow in Portugal. 1929: Moraes dies under obscure circustances. Read More »

Jacques Rivette – Out 1: Spectre (1974)

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Unheard melodies may be sweet, but unsolved mysteries are about as satisfying as a windowful of succulent food that you can’t afford. Jacques Rivette’s “Out One/Spectre”—which played Saturday and Sunday at the New York Film Festival—is frustrating for two reasons: first, because 4½ hours of hidden motivations is hard on the soul; second, because some of the characterizations and performances are tantalizingly good — hence you really want to understand these people and what drives them. (The movie has been edited down from a 13-hour version that was —and then wasn’t—intended for television.) Read More »

Elo Havetta – Slávnost v botanickej záhrade AKA Celebration in the Botanical Garden (1969)

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SYNOPSIS
This colorful ”fairy”-tale is about the need of miracles in life and of letting the charms of nature, where every single particle is in constant motion, take over as if in an impressionist painting. It is a mosaic built of the stories of Mária and Pierre. Mária, a tavern-keeper tries again and again to lead Pišta, the father of her eight daughters, to the wedding altar. Pierre by his arrival disturbs the peace of the wine-growing village of Bábindol but at the same time he shows its inhabitants how to really enjoy life.

This film tied for the Grand Prize at the Mannheim Film Festival in 1969. Read More »

Kôji Wakamatsu – Yuke yuke nidome no shojo aka Go go second time virgin (1969)

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ゆけゆけ二度目の処女

Quote:
A girl (Mimi Kozakura) is forcibly carried to a rooftop and gang-raped, as a boy of similar age (Michio Akiyama) stands to the side watching the events unfold. The boy remains on the roof until the next morning, waiting for the girl to wake. When she does finally rise, the two teens begin sharing intimate details about their lives, including the fact that the boy has recently killed four people that forced him to take part in an orgy. As the two kindred spirits sink lower and lower into depression and delusion, they exact revenge for the crimes against the girl and take a bold, tragic step to end their misery once and for all. Read More »

Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger – Black Narcissus (1947)

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Plot:
(Gary W. Tooze wrote)
“five Protestant missionary nuns embark on the task of establishing a school/health center and residence for their future convent in the desolate Himalayan mountains. The dwelling is a deserted sultans palace surrounded by the grandeur of the snowcapped peaks of Kanchenjunga. Obstacles confront them at every turn with a community of superstitious natives and a jaded and rugged British intermediary named Mr. Dean (David Farrar). Adding to these hurdles are their own emotional frailties, culture shock and previously unearthed worldly passions with the inherent creeping jealousies and desires. The project proves a daunting test for the ambitious Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr), given her first taste of authority and her strong determination to succeed as she counters the continuous roadblocks.” Read More »

Masao Adachi – Gingakei AKA Galaxy (1967)

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Galaxy (Gingakei), in many ways, embodies a transitional point in Adachi’s direction as a filmmaker. Many of his fellow society members offered production support, and in a sense the film could be construed as a continuation of the activities of the Nihon University Film Studies Club. Although at this point Adachi was already involved with Wakamatsu, the film was produced as the inaugural title for the Theatre Scorpio, where people began to take pink cinema seriously. Yet, Galaxy is quite unlike anything else Adachi has been involved in before or since, a substantial piece of art cinema that reveals the singularity of the filmmaker’s vision. Read More »