Siblings Karin and Simon are visiting their parents and their little sister Clara. That evening, other relatives will be joining them for dinner. Over the course of the day, the washing machine is repaired, people sit together at the kitchen table, carry out an experiment with orange peel, talk about lungs, and sew on a button that was deliberately torn off. This sequence of family scenes in a Berlin flat complete with cat and dog creates a wondrous world of the everyday: Coming and going, all manner of doings, each movement leading to the next, one word following another. It is a carefully staged chain reaction of actions and sentences. And in between, silent gazes and anecdotes about experiences. The people act oddly even-temperedly; their dialogues are direct and unemotional. Even the pets and the material surroundings play a part. Some objects seem alive as if by magic. Commonplace actions and familiar items appear absurd and eerie in this narrative cosmos. Putting the absurdities of daily life on display and translating unspectacular events into an exciting choreography of everyday life, this film is no small feat.
(Written by Birgit Kohler) Continue reading
A sexually-troubled young man runs away from home, while a girl wakes up one morning with a single cyclops breast…
A quatorze ans, l’amour et le sexe intriguent. Entre les phantasmes, les phobies, les incertitudes et les croyances, comment reagir? Roudoudou, qui est tres amoureuse, reve d’avoir une poitrine imposante comme celle de sa mere, mais cela ne marche qu’a moitie. Romain et Francis, quant a eux, sont persuades que leurs meres sont homosexuelles et qu’il leur faudrait coucher avec elles pour les sauver… Continue reading
Two scientists are chosen as guinea pigs for a time experiment: they are placed in hibernation and should be brought back to life after three years. In the meantime, however, the World War III breaks out and life have been wiped out of the surface of the Earth. When they wake up, it turns out that not only 50 years have passed but also that they are the only living specimens of the male sex in a new, underground society composed exclusively of women. Max used to be woman-chaser so he finds himself in heaven. Albert, on the other hand, forgot all about love and sex as a serious scientist, but is willing to learn. So are the Amazons, who after a kiss turn into pliant kittens. The Council of Women is going to decide their fate, so they are trying to win more time. Eventually they make it to the surface, helped by beautiful Lamia. On the surface it turns out that there is life there and somebody has been living a decent life… Continue reading
Mickey Rourke plays Henry Chinaski, a poet and alcoholic. He spends his life in bars in Los Angeles, drinking every night. One day he meets Wanda, also a alcoholic and falls in love with her. Wanda is not like his former girlfriends, one is still able to see the beauty she once was before she started to drink. Together they meet Tully Sorenson, who wants to publish some of Henry’s poems. For a short time he becomes famous but in the end it is clear that Henry and Wanda have only one goal in life: drinking to forget the lousy life they live outside the bars of Los Angeles. Continue reading
Cesar Romero plays an outwardly tough prohibition-era gangster who in reality wouldn’t hurt a fly. He maintains his “killer” reputation by planting evidence of his involvement at the scenes of other crooks’ crimes. Romero begins aspiring for respectability when he falls in love with Virginia Gilmore and adopts the orphaned Stanley Clements. Through his own non-homicidal means, Romero redeems himself by wiping out a genuinely nasty gangster boss (Sheldon Leonard). Tall, Dark and Handsome was remade in 1950 as Love That Brute, with Paul Douglas in the Cesar Romero role–and with Romero playing the villain! Continue reading
A clueless police inspector stumbles his way through a provincial murder investigation, in this shocking — and shockingly funny — change of pace from premier French auteur Bruno Dumont (L’humanité, Hadewijch).
Originally conceived and broadcast as a four-part miniseries, Bruno Dumont’s P’tit Quinquin works seamlessly when screened in its cinematic version.
Dumont has again chosen to shoot his new film against the countryside of his birthplace, the Boulonnais region around Calais; apart from that, the film marks a notable change in tone for this immensely creative filmmaker. (Well, it does share one other thing in common with his earlier films: like L’Humanite, the film centres on a police detective investigating a murder.)
P’tit Quinquin is — believe it or not for those who have been following Dumont’s career — a comedy. Little prepares you for the adventure, rollicking and slapstick, in this idiosyncratic screwball of a film. Chuckles abound — at times you can’t quite believe what you are seeing — but, not surprisingly in the hands of a director who has always managed to keep a firm, controlling hand on his material, the film never spirals into silliness. Wit and intelligence prevail. Continue reading
The master of the French New Wave indicts consumerism and elaborates on his personal vision of Hell with this raucous, biting satire. A nasty, scheming bourgeois Parisian couple embarks on a journey through the countryside to her father’s house, where they pray for his death and a subsequent inheritance. Their trip is at first delayed, and later it is distracted by several outrageous events and characters including an apocalyptic traffic jam, a group of fictional philosophers, a couple of violent carjackers, and eventually, a gross display of cannibalism. By the time the film concludes, their seemingly simple journey has deteriorated into a freewheeling philosophical diatribe that leaves no topic unscathed. With Week End, Jean-Luc Godard reaches an impressive plateau of film originality, incorporating inter-titles, extended tracking shots, and music to add an entirely new grammar to film language. The result is a deeply challenging work that will most certainly invigorate some viewers just as much as it will as frustrate others. Continue reading