The sun shone on Old Trafford on 12th September 1970 as Manchester United beat Coventry 2:0 in a league match. It was not an important victory; that season Man Utd would only be also-rans in the race for the championship. But a record was preserved of the match that is probably unique in the history of film and television. Using eight 16mm cameras, Hellmuth Costard, one of the most important experimental filmmakers in German cinema of the 60s and 70s, followed every move over the 90 minutes of the man in the red jersey with the number 11 – traditionally associated with the conventional outside left, but here worn by the mercurial George Best. Continue reading
James Benning’s latest is a three hour+ shot featuring light, clouds and the much anticipated return of a BNSF train. Only info about this on the net is that a recent intended screening was cancelled. Continue reading
Once a common medium to record home movies and holiday souvenirs, the memory of Super-8 film is now disappearing fast. Yaël André has recycled a wealth of random Super-8 footage into a fake biography, with a cheeky off-screen voice.
There are only two protagonists in this film, and both remain invisible. There is the narrator, who addresses us in a confidential tone. And there is ‘George’, his imaginary friend. But there are many more personae: the imagined lives of a an adventurer, a psychopath, a perfect mother, an accountant and an invisible man…
Although the film appears divided into short thematic chapters, its real strength lies in the associative flow that guides us along a surrealist chain of thoughts, hypotheses and dreams. In the images, the decades from the 1940s to the present day appear all mixed up.
Yaël André’s storyline and editing technique make us see these anonymous and quite generic home movies with a fresh eye, as if they were the first of their kind. The combination of text and images results in a bizarre meditation on truth and fiction, life and death, grief and joy. Continue reading
A parallel film to Vilgot Sjöman’s controversial I Am Curious-Yellow, I Am Curious–Blue also follows young Lena on her journey of self-discovery. In Blue, Lena confronts issues of religion, sexuality, and the prison system, while at the same time exploring her own personal relationships. Like Yellow, Blue freely traverses the lines between fact and fiction, employing a mix of dramatic and documentary techniques. Criterion is proud to present Vilgot Sjöman’s infamous I Am Curious-Blue.
Seized by customs upon entry to the United States, subject of a heated court battle, and banned in numerous cities, Vilgot Sjöman’s I Am Curious–Yellow is one of the most controversial films of all time. This landmark document of Swedish society during the sexual revolution has been declared both obscene and revolutionary. It tells the story of Lena (Lena Nyman), a searching and rebellious young woman, and her personal quest to understand the social and political conditions in 1960s Sweden, as well as her bold exploration of her own sexual identity. I Am Curious–Yellow is a subversive mix of dramatic and documentary techniques, attacking capitalist injustices and frankly addressing the politics of sexuality. Criterion is proud to present Vilgot Sjöman’s infamous I Am Curious-Yellow.
Human Remains is a haunting documentary which illustrates the banality of evil by creating intimate portraits of five of this century’s most reviled dictators. The film unveils the personal lives of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Francisco Franco and Mao Tse Tung. We learn the private and mundane details of their everyday lives — their favorite foods, films, habits and sexual preferences. There is no mention of their public lives or of their place in history. The intentional omission of the horrors for which these men were responsible hovers over the film.
Human Remains addresses this horror from a completely different angle. Irony and even occasional humor are sprinkled throughout the documentary. This darkly poetic film is based entirely on fact, creatively combining direct quotes and biographical research. Though based on historical figures, Human Remains is contemporary in its implications and ultimately invites the viewer to confront the nature of evil.
The initial inspiration for the film was an outdoor glass elevator and the visual, spatial and gravitational possibilities it presented me with. The work was also informed by an interest in panoramas, the urban landscape, as well as the topography of San Francisco. Finally, the shape and character of the work was tempered by reflections upon a lifetime of displacement, moving from place to place and haunted by recurring memories of other places I once passed through.
“… Gehr gives us an expansive view of the relationship between architecture, city streets and the movement on them, the medium of cinema, and patterns of thought.” – Fred Camper, Chicago Reader, February 17, 1995