Jean-Luc Godard – Adieu au langage (2014) (DVD)

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The idea is simple: A married woman and a single man meet. They love, they argue, fists fly. A dog strays between town and country. The seasons pass. The man and woman meet again. The dog finds itself between them. The other is in one, the one is in the other and they are three. The former husband shatters everything. A second film begins: the same as the first, and yet not. From the human race we pass to metaphor. This ends in barking and a baby’s cries. Continue reading

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Ken Jacobs – Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son (1969)

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Quote:
Ken Jacobs’s avant-garde landmark (1969) is both a study in the possibilities of rephotography and a film about watching movies. It begins with a 1905 short of the same title, in which a large crowd of people tumble through a doorway, leap from a loft, and climb out of a chimney in pursuit of the eponymous pig thief. Jacobs then rephotographs the film–slowing it down, freezing frames, introducing flicker effects, and isolating portions of the frame, some so tiny that we see mostly the grain. As he varies the rhythm the film becomes a series of carefully constructed riffs on particular characters or actions, or on pure shape; new meanings emerge from the little dramas between alternating shadows, or from background elements of the original. In a gesture at once didactic and poetic, Jacobs repeats the short near the end, and now it’s glorious to behold: we see its imagery more actively and intensely, far more aware of its complex and diverse rhythms. Thus Jacobs teaches us how to resee almost any film, by mentally reframing its images or changing the speed of its action. 86 min. Continue reading

Bill Morrison & David Harrington – Beyond Zero: 1914-1918 (2014)

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Intro from CPH : DOX homepage
The 100 year old film images sparkle and crackle with an expressive fury, which almost looks like a reaction to what they depict. This year, it is 100 year since the First World War – the first ‘modern’ war, and the first to be documented in moving images – forever destroyed any notion of the (Western) world’s continued progress under the banner of reason and industrialisation. 1914 was the modern era’s absolute year zero. A landmark year, which is here marked in a cinematic collaboration between the renowned American filmmaker Bill Morrison and the string quartet Kronos Quartet, who have recorded the original score by the Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov. Continue reading

Corneliu Porumboiu – Al doilea joc AKA The Second Game (2014)

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The Second Game (Romanian: Al doilea joc) is a 2014 Romanian documentary film directed by Corneliu Porumboiu. The film integrally depicts the Dinamo — Steaua footbal derby played on December 3, 1988; the game is commented on by Porumboiu and his father, Adrian, the referee of that match.

It was selected for the Forum section at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. Continue reading

Shirley Clarke & Wendy Clarke – Butterfly (1967)

Synopsis:
Shirley made Butterfly with her daughter Wendy for an anti-Vietnam War protest event held in New York City in 1967; it is one of the last films she made before she began working with video in 1968. The film was screened as part of the Week of the Angry Arts Against the War in Vietnam which Shirley helped organize at the NYU Loeb Student Center; Wendy remembers it being screened at the Elgin Theatre sometime in 1967 so it was shown once for sure—possibly twice but not more than that—it is a film that is virtually unknown and is not included on any filmography for Shirley. The theme of the movie was that war kills and threatens to wipe out families, creativity, and life. In the film, Shirley and Wendy are seen separately and together with Shirley holding and rocking Wendy; their images often overlap. Wendy drew, scratched and hand-painted butterflies and used Clorox directly on the film to create a cascade of colors. The soundtrack is comprised of the alternating sounds of a baby crying, machine gun fire, and Brahm’s Lullaby sung by Shirley’s niece Liza Lorwin. Continue reading

René Clair & Francis Picabia – Entr’acte (1924)

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Experimental and avant-garde offering from director René Clair that was produced by the French dance company Les Ballets Suis, and features the members mourning the loss of their star dancer, Borlin. Outrageously surreal and silly, it offers such sights as a funeral procession with the hearse being pulled by a camel and the dead occupant giving a final performance. Eric Satie (who is uncredited) composed the music and makes an appearance towards the end. Continue reading

Su Friedrich – Sink or Swim (1990)

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from Imdb, written by Su Friederich herself

Through a series of twenty six short stories, a girl describes the childhood events that shaped her ideas about fatherhood, family relations, work and play. As the stories unfold, a dual portrait emerges: that of a father who cared more for his career than for his family, and of a daughter who was deeply affected by his behavior. Working in counterpoint to the forceful text are sensual black and white images that depict both the extraordinary and ordinary events of daily life. Together, they create a formally complex and emotionally intense film. Written by Su Friedrich

By Fred Camper
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