Documentary

Cristina Alvarez Lopez and Adrian Martin – Phantasmagoria of the Interior (2015)

PHANTASMAGORIA OF THE INTERIOR is an audiovisual essay devoted to Walerian Borowczyk’s film THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MISS OSBOURNE. Utilising the materials of the complete, restored version of the film, and its French language soundtrack, the film offers a new way of looking at, understanding and appreciating Borowczyk’s intensely cinematic art. Particular attention is paid to a painting by Vermeer of a pregnant woman, introduced early into Borowczyk’s film, and reappearing at key moments. Read More »

Daniel Eisenberg – Persistence (1997)

The third of Daniel Eisenberg’s thematically connected film essays about postwar Europe, PERSISTENCE, an award-winning feature-length experimental documentary in gorgeous color, once again explores the relationships between past, present and future in a complex portrait of the city of Berlin (divided from 1961 to 1989 by the grandiose Berlin Wall). The film was shot through the period of unification in 1991-92 and edited together with films by U.S. Army cameramen (1945-46) obtained from the Department of Defense archives. Read More »

Wojciech Has & Stanislaw Rózewicz – Ulica Brzozowa AKA Brzozowa Street (1947)

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The film shows the revival of Warsaw after the war. The city slowly rises from the fall, mainly thanks to the people who work hard to rebuild their capital. The documentary, despite its obvious propaganda message, has been made for heart-rending, and today its paintings represent an undeniable historical and archival value. Read More »

José Luis Torres Leiva – El viento sabe que vuelvo a casa AKA The Winds Know That I’m Coming Back Home (2016)

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Looking for extras and locations, a filmmaker settles on Chiloé, the second largest island off the coast of Chile. He does auditions, but mainly listens patiently to the stories of young and old people. As an outsider, he cautiously searches for the soul of the community and its underlying tensions. Read More »

Sydney Pollack – Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005)

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Oscar winning director Sydney Pollack takes a sharp sideways turn with SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY, a documentary about the noted architect. Usually known for making grandiose productions such as THE FIRM and OUT OF AFRICA, Pollock adds a genuine curio to his filmmaking resume with this movie. Although the two men have been friends for years, Pollock thankfully bypasses the opportunity to pay a fawning tribute to Gehry, instead presenting a well-balanced portrait that offers both positive and negative commentators the chance to etch their thoughts into celluloid. But it quickly becomes clear that the biggest naysayer of all is Gehry himself, who is painted as a highly self-critical man, clearly ill-at-ease with fame and his own achievements. Read More »

Mehrdad Oskouei – Az pase borghe AKA The Other Side of the Burka (2004)

Set in a tight-knit, extremely conservative island community off the Southern coast of Iran where all women wear burkas, this film begins as an investigation into the suicide of a woman named Samireh. Her husband callously says that while he cares about the lives of his kids, women’s lives are cheap. However, the women the director Oskouei interviews – many of whom were married off at age 12 or 13 – stand up for themselves and discuss their difficult existences. Oskouei relies mostly on close-up or medium-shot interviews, and as usual, displays his gift for framing people dynamically in tight spaces. Read More »

Mark Rappaport – Sergei / Sir Gay (2016)

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Sergei Eisenstein, one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time, was also a brilliant plastic artist. His thousands and thousands of drawings are superb–as are the hundreds of homoerotic drawings he made for his own amusement, never meant for publication. In this video, the homoerotic references in Eisenstein’s films are examined and explored in ways that they never had been before. Read More »