Jean Rollin’s surreal pirate film takes place on land amidst the skeletons of beached and plundered ships, the legacy of a cutthroat band of “wreckers” who lure ships into the shallows. When a pair of survivors, young girls glowing in white nightgowns, wander through the shallows seeking help from the merry quartet, they are summarily molested, beaten, and left for dead. Like in many of Rollin’s films, the story doesn’t make much narrative sense–the girls escape to the haunted ruins where a woman in clown makeup cares for them and a mysterious magician gives them the power to take their revenge in return for sex–but the logic takes on a dreamlike quality appropriate to the gorgeous and bizarre imagery. In a strange tavern adorned with skeletons (and a man playing with a Dracula doll!), the Captain is haunted by visions of the girls as white-faced specters. A search for the girls amidst the rotting hulls of old ships culminates in a fiery inferno that burns spectacularly against the night sky. Meanwhile well-endowed costar Joëlle Coeur strips at the slightest suggestion, frolics and bounces on a bed, and runs around the beach topless while hunting the girls. Rollin’s strange little film, a ghost story without ghosts, rambles on a little too long before it culminates in a self-destructive frenzy and ends on a sad, serene note. Continue reading
Poetical tale of Anne-Marie Stretter, the wife of a French diplomat in India in the 1930s. At 18 she had married a French colonial administrator and went with him on posting to Savannakhet, Laos. There she met her second husband who took her away and for 17 years they lived in various locations in Asia. Now in Calcutta, she takes lovers to relieve the boredom in her life. Told in a highly visual style with little dialogue but a constant voice-over narrative by the different characters. Continue reading
“This cult favorite from one of cinema’s richest eras, directed by Academy Award-winning director Joseph Strick, stars Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) and Robert Drivas (Cool Hand Luke) delivering bravura performances as a pair of brutish truck drivers who pick up a prostitute on a trip across America. Regina Baff (The Paper Chase) tears at the heart as the beaten and furious hooker who exchanges her body for a ride to New York, only to be further abused. Rejected and scorned, she becomes determined to seek revenge.” – DVD packaging copy Continue reading
Based on a popular British cult comic book, this film is the story of a futuristic feminist superhero and her fight to preserve the environment against an evil government bureaucracy. The action is set in the year 2033, after an ecological disaster of drought and pollution has ravaged the countryside, and water is scarce. Tank Girl (Lori Petty) is a sassy punker who has her own vintage tank in tow, along with other high-tech weapons. Her mutant friends join her in bizarre battles against the corporate-statist Department of Water and Power and its villainous chief, Kesslee (Malcolm McDowell). At stake is the world’s water supply, which the Department is hoarding and which the rebels frequently raid. Rock star Iggy Pop has a cameo as Rat Face, one of the half-human, half-kangaroo Rippers. Courtney Love coordinated the post-punk soundtrack. Continue reading
Madrid,1980. Jose Sirgado, a labouring bohemian b-movie filmmaker finishes editing the sequel to a previous film. Visibly displeased he journeys home to his girlfriend strung out on heroin. After attempting to tidy his home and taking some heroin himself he opens a mail package from an old acquaintance Pedro P. containing a reel of super-8 film, a cassette tape and a key to his apartment. Watching the film and listening to the accompanying tape on which Pedro talks through the pair’s first meeting, their ensuing friendship and how he developed an addiction to filmmaking, notably recording himself in bed as he reached a state of rapture induced by the camera manifested in a series of flashbacks. As Pedro’s gravelly voice over wears on it becomes clear that his camera has taken on a vampiric life of its own absorbing its subjects and ultimately erasing them from the real world. Pedro’s final recording informs Jose of his suspected fate and informs him to visit his apartment where he too is absorbed by the camera. Continue reading
This absolutely top-notch documentary by Robert Fischer is a fascinating look back at not just the film in question, but Fassbinder’s meteoric career which ended all too soon with his untimely death. Archival footage of Fassbinder is utilized (including several fascinating snippets culled from interviews he did at the disastrous Cannes premiere of Despair), as well as many others involved in the film and its release. Even if you’re not a particular fan of Despair, or even in fact of Fassbinder, this is stellar documentary filmmaking and is an intriguing look at one of the most enigmatic masters of the New German Cinema. Continue reading
Adapted from Duras’ Abahn Sabana David.
Jaune le soleil est un film de Marguerite Duras sorti en 1972, adapté de son roman Abahn Sabana David.
Tout le film se passe dans une seule pièce où sont réunis les représentants des deux forces politiques et leur ennemi “le juif”. Un personnage féminin établit le dialogue entre ces individus et commente l’idéologie de chacun ; ceci jusqu’à la scène finale où chacun semble se rallier à une idée commune.
Note de tournage :
“Il faudrait que le film donne l’impression d’avoir été tourné sans électricité, que tout effet de lumière en soit complètement banni. Que tout le film baigne dans une lumière uniforme qui n’avantage aucun personnage. Que ce soit la même lumière pour tous. C’est un film sur la parole, l’image ici sert à porter la parole. .(…) Ici c’est la parole qui tient lieu de contact corporel, ainsi que les bruits, les cris des chiens, le bruit des mots….” Cahiers du cinéma n° 400 Octobre 1987 Continue reading