Vilgot Sjöman – Syskonbädd 1782 AKA My Sister My Love (1966)

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Set in Sweden in 1782. Jacob, a young nobleman (Per Oscarsson) returns from France to his home and cherished sister Charlotte (Bibi Andersson) who is engaged to Baron Alsmeden (Jarl Kulle). The siblings close relationship becomes incestuous and with fear that the disclosure of Charlotte’s pregnancy will make society view them as libertines, the lovers ultimately choose to part. Jacob decides to leave the country and Charlotte is left to marry the Baron, but it is too late to prevent the final tragedy. Continue reading

George Ovashvili – Simindis Kundzuli AKA Corn Island (2014)

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Synopsis:
The Inguri River forms a natural border dividing Georgia from Abkhazia. Tensions between the two nations have not abated since the war of 1992–93. Every spring, the river brings fertile soil from the Caucasus down to the plains of Abkhazia and northwestern Georgia, creating tiny islands. The islands are havens for wildlife and occasionally also for local peasants who find them perfect for the cultivation of a crop to supplement their income.
This long-awaited, fable-like drama from writer-director Ovashvili (The Other Bank, VIFF 08) captures the inexorable cycle of life in this harsh place. One such cycle begins when an old Abkhaz farmer sets foot on one of the islands. The man builds a hut for himself and his teenage granddaughter. He ploughs the earth and they sow what is soon to become a truly amazing corn crop. As his granddaughter blossoms into womanhood and the corn ripens, border patrol boats from the two nations frequently pass, reminding us and them of the dangers of cultivating in no-man’s land. Before long, the girl finds a wounded Georgian soldier hiding among the stalks… Continue reading

Joseph Losey – The Go-Between (1970)

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Quote:
This 1971 adaptation of L.P. Hartley’s novel was the third and final collaboration between Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter, and is often seen as the least successful.

It is the story of a young boy, Leo (Dominic Guard), who spends a hot summer holiday with his friend Marcus’ (Richard Gibson) upper-class family at their country house, unwittingly becoming embroiled in a forbidden love affair between the daughter and a local farmer. The Go-Between mirrors several of the themes of Losey and Pinter’s previous projects, The Servant (1963) and Accident (1967). Dwelling on themes of class, loss of innocence and our relationship to the past, the novel is well suited to Losey’s cold, detached style and Pinter’s subtle, allusive language. Continue reading

Jacques Doillon – Mes séances de lutte (2013)

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A young woman excuse his father’s funeral to find a neighbor rather charming , and try to understand why she interrupted the love relationship began with him a few months earlier. They end and replay the scene where his cop prevented their history started. They try it , wrestle , grapple , while approaching . They rub , bump against each other and have fun to talk with as fancy as gravity , and into a struggle more and more physical. They will eventually bind to each other during daily sessions that look like a game. Beyond their verbal sparring , the confrontation becomes a necessity to try to find a curious ritual that they can not escape .dropoff window Gradually, obviously it will take something frees them so that these struggles are finally became a real struggle for love. Continue reading

Barry Jenkins – Medicine for Melancholy (2008)

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“Everything about being indie is tied to not being black,” says Micah (Wyatt Cenac), half of the accidental kind-of couple whose one-day romance is chronicled in “Medicine for Melancholy.” He is making an observation — and also registering a complaint — about the quasi-bohemian way of life he shares with Jo’ (Tracey Heggins), his temporary other half. It bothers Micah that their embrace of the folkways of urban hipsterism seems to require the suppression of their African-American identity.

But his words, which Jo’ doesn’t quite agree with, also suggest a degree of self-awareness, and self-questioning, on the part of Barry Jenkins, who wrote and directed this small, incisive film. Most recent movies about culturally savvy, affectless 20-somethings hooking up and being cool are very much tied to not being black. They are about diffident, underemployed white boys and the women who (sometimes inexplicably) go to bed with them. Continue reading

Mohsen Islamzadeh – Sunnis in Iran -How Sunni Muslims live in a Shiite country (2015)

At the time of the Egyptian crisis, Ahmad Mustafa, an economic and political analyst from Egypt, finds an opportunity to travel to Iran to meet and talk Sunni people; an 11000 kilometer journey; a memorable visit, from the country’s most important decision-making centers to its most outlying border areas, from the green strands of the Caspian Sea forests to the Khorasan and Baluchistan desert areas and the high mountains of Kurdistan. On this journey he hopes he will know the real Iran, a country frequently misrepresented by Western and Arab media. How Sunni Muslims live in a Shiite country? That’s the question that’s brought Ahmad Mustafa to Iran. Continue reading