Benoît Jacquot & Marguerite Duras – Écrire (1993)

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On Écrire
When she saw La mort du jeune aviateur anglais, she told me that the film was about me, not her. She treated me like a thief. So I offered to make another film, where she could say whatever she wanted about her life as a writer. That’s how we did Écrire. I brought the same film crew. We went to her house at Neauphle-le-Château and we set up in the room she called “the music room,” where there was a piano and you could listen to records. She settled in and for two days of non-stop filming, she talked. Continue reading

Benoît Jacquot & Marguerite Duras – La mort du jeune aviateur anglais AKA The Death of the Young English Aviator (1993)

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La mort du jeune aviateur anglais tells the story of a British airman whose grave Marguerite Duras discovered near Deauville. Although we don’t know where fiction begins, Duras’ narrative has a remarkable authenticity. A veritable manifesto of spontaneous writing, brilliantly directed by Benoît Jacquot, where the “direct writing” of Duras meshes perfectly with the unpretentious approach of the filmmaker. (Allocine) Continue reading

Travis Wilkerson – An Injury to One (2002)

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AN INJURY TO ONE provides a corrective—and absolutely compelling—glimpse of a particularly volatile moment in early 20th century American labor history: the rise and fall of Butte, Montana. Specifically, it chronicles the mysterious death of Wobbly organizer Frank Little, a story whose grisly details have taken on a legendary status in the state. Much of the extant evidence is inscribed upon the landscape of Butte and its surroundings. Thus, a connection is drawn between the unsolved murder of Little, and the attempted murder of the town itself. Continue reading

Peter Brosens & Dorjkhandyn Turmunkh – State of Dogs (1998)

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A cinematic poem based on the Mongolian belief that when dogs die, they are reborn as humans. At least, that’s what humans say. What do dogs think? The film introduces us to Baasar, a stray dog, before and after his death… Documentary or fiction? The pictures and sound are derived from reality, so surely it must be a documentary, but a particularly philosophical and poetic one. Not only does this film offer a lively, inspired commentary on the issue of stray animals in the urban environment, it invites us to contemplate the mystery of life and the complexity of reality. A universal parable on destiny, illustrated by Mongolian folklore. Continue reading

Sergey Loznitsa – Austerlitz (2016)

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Quote:
There are places in Europe that have remained as painful memories of the past – factories where humans were turned into ash. These places are now memorial sites that are open to the public and receive thousands of tourists every year. The film’s title refers to the eponymous novel written by W.G. Sebald, dedicated to the memory of Holocaust. This film is an observation of the visitors to a memorial site that has been founded on the territory of a former concentration camp. Why do they go there? What are they looking for? Continue reading

Roberto Minervini – The Other Side (2015)

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Quote:
In an invisible territory at the margins of society, at the border between anarchy and illegality, lives a wounded community that is trying to respond to a threat: of being forgotten by society’s institutions and having their rights as citizens trampled. Disarmed veterans, taciturn adolescents, drug addicts trying to escape addiction through love, ex-special forces soldiers still at war with the world, floundering young women and future mothers, and old men and women who have not lost their desire to live. In this hidden pocket of humanity opens the abyss of today’s America.

This follows Minervini’s Texas Trilogy, comprised of The Passage, Low Tide and Stop the Pounding Heart. Continue reading