Martial Raysse – Le Grand Depart (1971)

Not a good movie, though a prime example of audacious, rule-breaking cinema. It’s an early seventies French film shown almost entirely in negative exposure, which in itself makes it worth a watch.

The Package
LE GRAND DEPART (THE GRAND DEPARTURE; 1972) was the only feature directed by the famed French painter and sculptor Martial Raysse. In keeping with the revolutionary spirit of the time, LE GRAND DEPART has no plot to speak of and appears to have been largely made up on the spot. It shares a kinship with such films as BEGOTTEN (1990) and the X-rated short THE OPERATION (1995), both of which experimented with negative exposure (and far more effectively).
For decades LE GRAND DEPART was thought a “lost” film, but in late 2008 it made its DVD debut (in France), to alternately enchant and disappoint viewers anew. Read More »

Peter Bo Rappmund – Vulgar Fractions (2011)

Seven unique state intersections along Nebraska’s border.
The twenty-seven minute Vulgar Fractions (2011) employs a less linear but equally indexical method of visual inquiry. Shot at seven different state intersections along the Nebraska border, the film moves between these disparate locations with casual impetus, observing different seasons and unique landmarks with a patient, detailed sense of discovery. Rappmund, who was born in Wyoming, appears to have a deep affection for the sounds and spirit of the less traversed corners of the American landscape, the unrepresented but no less storied regions of the country, whether that’s the heartland depicted in Vulgar Fractions, the treacherous West Coast terrain of Psychohydrography, or the volatile northern expanses of Topophilia. Without a comparable focal point to that of Psychohydrography, Rappmund’s time-lapse effect is left in Vulgar Fractions to animate the small details (clouds, leaves, light, snow) coloring these state lines, signs of life amidst otherwise serene locales. (Source: mubi) Read More »

Su Friedrich – Damned If You Don’t (1987)

DAMNED IF YOU DON’T is Friedrich’s subversive and ecstatic response to her Catholic upbringing. Blending conventional narrative technique with impressionistic camerawork, symbols and voice-overs, this film creates an intimate study of sexual expression and repression. Featuring Peggy Healey as a young nun tormented by her desire for the sultry irresistible Ela Troyano. Read More »

Werner Nekes – Makimono (1974)

“The title refers to Japanese landscape painting on rolls. Furthermore it indicates the film’s theme, the balance of colors (blurred tones of blue, green and grey) and the type of montage that gives priority to continuity of development rather than to disruption and contrast. This continuity is achieved by dissolvings and double exposures and by extremely long pans. The rhythm accelerates: a meditation on landscape, which unfolds before the eye or is visually paced out, gives way to fluidity and pure motion, to a feeling of dizziness, the result of two contrasting camera movements. Read More »

Peter B. Hutton – At Sea (2007)

About the film
A sweeping meditation on global commerce, labor and geography in the 21st century which chronicles the birth, life and death of a merchant ship.

“The sublime is no more strongly felt than in Peter Hutton’s magisterial At Sea. Put simply, the film tells the story (“the birth, life and death”—in the director’s words) of a container ship—but there are no words to adequately describe the film’s awesome visual expedition. Hutton knows the sea. His experiences as a former merchant seaman have informed his filmmaking practice, known for its rigor and epic beauty. At Sea begins in South Korea with diminutive workers shipbuilding. The colossal vessel is revealed in de Chirico-worthy proportions, its magnitude surreal to the human eye. Off to sea, the splendor and intensity of the water—set against the vibrant colors of the containers—causes us to see the world anew. The film concludes in Bangladesh amidst ship breakers as enthralled by Hutton’s camera as we are by his images.”—Andrea Picard Read More »

Yoshihiko Matsui – Tonkei shinjû aka Pig-Chicken Suicide (1981)

Directed by Japanese underground legend Yoshihiko Matsui, most famous for his epic film Noisy Requiem and his early work with maverik Japanese director Sogo Ishii (Gojoe, Crazy Thunder Road), Pig Chicken Suicide is a veritable assault on the senses, mixing violent images of animal slaughter, racial strife and surrealism to tell the story of two Koreans living in Japan who’s love is destroyed due to overwhelming racial discrimination. Read More »

Pere Portabella – No compteu amb els dits (1967)

The medium-length film No compteu amb els dits, Pere Portabella’s first work as a director, starts with the following phrase: “defeated…but not conquered”. This may or should be taken as an allusion to the technical K.O. taken by Portabella from Franco’s regime during the sixties as regards his work as a producer. Through the extremely raging playthings of the words of Catalan poet Joan Brossa, Portabella attempts to dismantle the forms of advertising discourse of that time. —pereportabella.com Read More »