“This overlong documentary lacks something in structure and focus – and I wanted to know a little more about the exact provenance of all of its home‑movie footage. But it has an extraordinary true story to tell, with hints of the Happy Valley murders in Kenya, and Paul Theroux’s novel The Mosquito Coast. In the 1930s, the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, famed for Darwin’s expedition, were thought of as the last great pristine territory, unspoiled by human habitation.
In Europe, some hardy souls – disenchanted by what the first world war had revealed about humanity – decided to settle there. A German doctor called Friedrich Ritter, who had a passion for Nietzsche, left his wife and went there with a married woman, Dore Strauch. A visiting American scientific party was fascinated by these modern-day Robinson Crusoes and effectively publicised their lives for the press back home, and Ritter was horrified when other would-be settlers turned up too. A stolid, bourgeois family, the Wittmers, arrived, and then a bizarre fantasist and adventuress who styled herself the “Baroness” Eloise von Wagner Bouquet. Continue reading
Mark Landis is perhaps the most prolific art forger the U.S. has ever seen. He’s duped curators throughout the nation with precise imitations from Matisse to Picasso, curiously never asking for money, but instead donating his counterfeits free of charge. After 30 years of conning the art industry, Landis is first discovered by Matthew Leininger, a registrar from Cincinnati, who has since dedicated years to tracking the man who hoodwinked him, in search of answers. But Landis’ motivations are far more layered than simple deception. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, there’s a question if he even knows that he is being deceptive at all. Through a richly complex lens, Art and Craft delicately balances a portrait of an outsider living with mental illness and the universal desire to be a part of a community.
-Genna Terranova . Continue reading
An Honest Liar tells the incredible story of the world-famous magician, escape artist, and world-renowned enemy of deception, James ‘The Amazing’ Randi. The film brings to life Randi’s intricate investigations that publicly exposed psychics, faith healers, and con-artists with quasi-religious fervor. A master deceiver who came out of the closet at the age of 81, Randi created fictional characters, fake psychics, and even turned his partner of 25 years, Jose Alvarez, into a sham guru names Carlos. But Jose was recently discovered to be living under a false identity himself, and it’s not clear whether Randi is still the deceiver – or the deceived. Continue reading
DURAS AND CINEMA
Assembling archives, documents, getting ghosts to talk, is always dangerous: there is a risk of losing the living. But Dominique Auvray, who was known to the great lady in more than one way (besides being her script girl and editor, she also directed a beautiful film portrait of M.D.), knows what to do when it comes to arranging and adding today’s actors’ voices, and inviting them all (past, present, lasting insistences) to twirl, along with us, in the dance. Continue reading
What do you do when you’re an underachiever at home? You go to Berlin to become an underachiever there. At least that’s true for thousands of “creatives” who flock to the German capital every year. They are mostly young Italians looking for success in times of crisis and, together with those who came as guest workers in the 1970s, they form the third-largest migrant community. One of them is Alessandro Cassigoli, who joins Tania Masi from Florence and cinematographer William Chicarelli from Brazil on an Italian journey through Berlin to cope with his homesickness. That at least should be done with at the end. For what could you possibly long for here, when original Italian mozzarella cheese is actually produced in Berlin and the Italian owner of the pizzeria around the corner comes from Bosnia. Continue reading
from Imdb, written by Su Friederich herself
Through a series of twenty six short stories, a girl describes the childhood events that shaped her ideas about fatherhood, family relations, work and play. As the stories unfold, a dual portrait emerges: that of a father who cared more for his career than for his family, and of a daughter who was deeply affected by his behavior. Working in counterpoint to the forceful text are sensual black and white images that depict both the extraordinary and ordinary events of daily life. Together, they create a formally complex and emotionally intense film. Written by Su Friedrich
By Fred Camper
Synopsis from Venice FF page
On January 21, 1975, in a village in the north of Portugal, a child writes to his parents who are in Angola to tell them how sad Portugal is. On July 13, 2011, in Milan, an old man remembers his first love. On May 6, 2012, in Paris, a man tells his baby daughter that he will never be a real father. During a wedding ceremony on September 3, 1977 in Leipzig, the bride battles against a Wagner opera that she can’t get out of her head.
But where and when have these four poor devils begun searching for redemption? Continue reading