Bing Wang – Fu yu zi AKA Father and Sons (2014)

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Synopsis:
“In 2011, Cai took his two sons to his workplace, a factory in Fuming, where he worked as a stone caster, and found a school for them. Ever since, they have been living in a hut owned by the factory, with only one bed. We began filming their life on February 2nd 2014. On the morning of the 6th, we received threats from the boss and had to stop filming.” Continue reading

Jon Bang Carlsen – Hotel of the Stars (1981)

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Quote:
Along the northern edge of Hollywood on Franklin Avenue, there is a hotel where movie stars used to stay, but whose glory days are long gone. Celebrities no longer go there, and the new guests are dreamers from all over the place who’ve come to LA to pursue a career in acting. “I loved to see myself in Technicolor,” one of them says, recalling his first screen appearance in a street scene. For most of them, the dream of a Hollywood career will forever remain an illusion. They hardly manage to make ends meet by working as extras – during the shoot of this documentary, a number of them were extras in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. Bang Carlsen’s camera obviously gives them an opportunity to show their talent for make-believe – an art that they, for lack of an audience, mainly seem to deploy to keep up their own spirits. In this often-comical, sometimes tragic portrait of some of the hotel’s residents, Hotel of the Stars reveals the wide gap between dream and reality, poverty and success in American society. Continue reading

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