Gustav Deutsch – Shirley: Visions of Reality (2013)

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Quote:
Seldom has the idea of a film as a series of tableaux been so literally appropriate as in the latest work from Austrian filmmaker and artist Gustav Deutsch. Shirley – Visions of Reality is a look at the US from the 1930s to the 1960s as seen through a series of micro-stories set in and inspired by paintings by American realist artist Edward Hopper, painstakingly reproduced and reconstructed in a film studio as life-size sets. Each of 13 paintings is used as the setting for moments in the life of a fictional actress, Shirley (Stephanie Cumming), as she moves through life, houses, trips, situations, and milestones of world history taking place in the exact year of creation of each original painting. Continue reading

Isiah Medina – 88:88 (2015)

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Quote:
The first feature by Canadian experimental filmmaker Isiah Medina is an explosive digital diary dealing with ideas about time, love, philosophy, poverty, and poetry, all erupting within a densely layered montage that is as formally rigorous as it is emotionally raw. The film’s title derives from the reset digital clock display that appears when power is restored to dwellings where it had been abruptly severed because of overdue electricity bills &mdash a meaningless signature that Medina here resuscitates as a double-edged symbol that indicates how those who live in poverty also live in a state of suspended time. Continue reading

Koen Mortier – 22 mei AKA 22nd of May (2010)

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Synopsis:
Sam wakes up, gets ready and goes to do his daily job. And then the unexpected happens. A bomb explodes in the center of the shopping mall where he works. He drags himself towards the entrance to save the victims. One by one he pulls them out, until something terrible takes place. In complete hysteria he runs off till he falls down from exhaustion. A woman’s voice makes him raise his head. She’s one of the victims he saved. She wants to know why the suicide bomber did it. This encounter projects him back in history and even in a surreal world. Thereafter he runs into everyone he saved and feels that their defeat shows many parallels with his own. Even his confrontation with the wrongdoer isn’t that straightforward as he thought it would be and confronts him with the fact that guilt and innocence can be pretty much alike. Continue reading

Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson – The Forbidden Room (2015)

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Synopsis
A never-before-seen woodsman mysteriously appears aboard a submarine that’s been trapped deep under water for months with an unstable cargo. As the terrified crew make their way through the corridors of the doomed vessel, they find themselves on a voyage into the origins of their darkest fears. Continue reading

Philippe Grandrieux – White Epilepsy (2012)

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Where do images come from? This disturbing and essential question is posed by Philippe Grandrieux, and he already imposed it on himself the start, via Sombre (1999) up to the portrait recently devoted to Masao Adachi (FID 2011). From where, then? Maybe from the depths behind our eyes, ungraspable visions, night in suspension, promise of the end of an eclipse, between dream and nightmare. This is the start (and in truth the programme) of White Epilepsy. In a darkness barely broken by light, a mass advances: a nude back, in a long shot entirely centred on the shoulders. Continue reading

Peter Tscherkassky – Three Short Films (1981-89)

From PT’s website:

Aderlaß is a youthful attempt to process the inheritance of the Vienna Actionists through the use of a super 8 camera. In front of the camera is a performance from Armin Schmickl Sebastiano (Peter Tcherkassky). A game with light and sound that explodes out of the calm into a delirium of movement and finally returns, after the “blood-letting”, to rigidity.

Liebesfilm is an ironic attack on one of the durables of the Hollywood clichés – the film kiss. A short take of mouths approaching each other is shown 522 times. But the kiss never takes place, merely the speed of the movement is continually increased. This excessive repetition of the theme destroys the “happy clarity” that inhabits “the film kiss” myth. Continue reading

Thom Andersen – The Thoughts That Once We Had (2015)

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An opening title card from director Thom Andesen’s new feature film, The Thoughts That Once We Had, directly identifies the cinematic writings of philosopher Gilles Deleuze as the project’s primary subject and inspiration. Deleuze’s two volumes on film, Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (1983) and Cinema 2: The Time-Image (1985), are today synonymous with a certain modernist school of thought that, while integrated in academia to such a degree as to be all but understood, remains quite radical. Unquestionably dense and provocatively pedantic, the French empiricist’s filmic texts integrate an array of theories and conceptualizations into a fairly delineated taxonomy, and are therefore fairly conducive to Andersen’s established approach to essay filmmaking—and particularly to the director’s latest, which finds him deliberating on Deleuzian dogma while charting an alternate, personal path through film history. Continue reading