Bob Rafelson – Head (1968)

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Running in from seemingly nowhere, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith & Peter Tork – better known collectively as The Monkees – disrupt a bridge opening ceremony. From where and why did they come to disrupt the proceedings? They were filming a series of vignettes in several different genres, including a wild west sequence, a desert war sequence, a Confederate war sequence, and a science fiction sequence. They disagree with much of what is happening around them, and try to figure out how to escape the oppression they feel – symbolized by a big black box in which they are seemingly imprisoned – by the forces around. That oppression is often shown in the form of “The Big Victor Mature”. Continue reading

Don Levy – Herostratus (1967) (HD)

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Quote:
In British director Don Levy’s Herostratus, a young poet, Max (Michael Gothard, The Devils), decides to commit suicide in public as a form of protest. He hires a prestigious marketing company to capture the event and promote it to the masses. As preparations begin, however, Max realizes that his plan might be flawed – he doubts that the company would cover the event as he wishes. With only a few days left, the young rebel is faced with an impossible dilemma – finish what he has started, or abandon his plan and run away.

Herostratus reminded me about two very powerful films: Marco Bellocchio’s Fists in the Pocket (1965) and Bernardo Bertolucci’s Partner (1968). In the former, a young epileptic (Lou Castel), frustrated with the world around him, goes on a family killing spree. In the latter – a film loosely based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s work The Double – a passionate revolutionary’s (Pier Clementi) plan to commit suicide issuddenly thrown into turmoil when a mysterious double appears. Continue reading

Aneta Leshnikovska – Boli li? Prvata balkanska dogma aka Does it hurt? (2007)

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The Dogma 95 film movement appeared out of the need to make low budget films that will be concentrated on the storytelling and the acting. No long preparations, no stylish million-dollar bullshitting. Just film. For many years most of the filmmakers in the Balkan have been doing exactly the same. It is just that they haven’t made a manifesto and most of them have never even heard of Dogma 95. Does it hurt? The First Balkan Dogma is a no budget mockumentary shot on HDV according to the dogma rules.

Synopsis:
A Macedonian filmmaker wants to make the first official Balkan Dogma film in Macedonia. She lies to her friends that she got financial support from the Zentropa producers. The film starts from the moment that she gathers her closest friends and asks them to join her in the quest for finding the right story for the film. She has decided to film the whole process from the very beginning and use it later for the making off. Following the four characters in their quest we discover Macedonia and the Balkans in 2006. The camera captures visual sequences of the absurdity, humour and survival techniques of a land and people in transition. The making of project ultimately becomes the true subject of the film. Continue reading

Gustav Wiklund – Exponerad aka Exposed aka The Depraved (1971)

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Quote:
With periodic flashbacks and fantasy sequences, Exposed, in terms of its narrative structure at least, is a bit more complicated than your average sexploitation picture. While on the surface Lena is a typical, if flawed, central character the film lets us get into her head enough that even if we don’t completely see her as an innocent, we can at least feel for her. Her plight with Helge and his blackmailing ways is a sticky situation to be sure and while his coercion into the world of kinky sex allows for many titillating sequences, you can’t help but feel sorry for Lena. That said, she uses her sexuality to put herself in rather precarious situations and at times you almost wonder if she subconsciously wants the dysfunction that seems to follow her around. Consider this alongside the way that she’s treated by most of the men in the film, whose eyes linger on her quite voraciously, and you’re left trying to figure out how much of her dire situation she’s put herself in, rather than found herself in. Continue reading

Lindsay Anderson – If…. (1968)

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“A modern classic in which Anderson minutely captures both the particular ethos of a public school and the general flavour of any structured community, thus achieving a clear allegorical force without sacrificing a whit of his exploration of an essentially British institution. The impeccable logic of the conclusion is in no way diminished by having been lifted from Vigo’s Zéro de Conduite, made thirty-five years earlier.” – Time Out London Continue reading

Serge Gainsbourg – Je t’aime moi non plus AKA I Love You, I Don’t (1976)

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IMDB:
The petite waitress Johnny works and lives in a truck-stop, where she’s lonely and longs for love. She develops a crush on the garbage truck driver Krassky, although her sleazy boss Boris warns her that he’s gay. Maybe because of her boyish looks, Krassky likes her too. Both don’t notice the growing jealousy of Krassky’s boyfriend Padovan – until an escalation. Continue reading