Roland Lethem – Le sexe enragé aka The Red Cunt (1970)

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This film was made in the 70’s, with Jean-Pierre Bouyxou. The superimpositions at the end are in some ways influenced by Etienne O’Leary’ stuff : Lethem didn’t saw the films, but Bouyxou was talking to him so much about these movies that if influenced him surely…

This is part of the “belgian underground” with Patrick Hella, Noel Godin, etc… Continue reading

Fred Halsted – LA Plays Itself (1972)

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L.A. Plays Itself begins as a mock-pastorale, with a steamy woodland encounter between a long-haired blonde guy and a hunky brunette whose face, typical of the director, we can barely discern. This extended hardcore sequence of outdoor sex gives way to images of bulldozers tearing down parts of the city; noisy, car-choked streets; and opportunistic encounters that occur both onscreen and on the audio track, the latter in the form of a conversation between a hayseed from Texas who’s just arrived in town and a predator who pretends to warn him of the dangers of the “big city” as a kind of nervous foreplay ritual. Halsted’s sex is sweaty and desperate, set against images of cruelty and destruction both in the bedrooms, bathhouses, and casual sexspaces where it occurs and in the grim, trashy world looming just outside. The sardonic commentaries of the director, who’s also usually a participant even when only seen in shadow, add unexpected touches of humanity.L.A. Plays Itself is a film of private rituals publicly exposed
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Travis Collins & Amélie Ravalec – Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay (2015)

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Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay traces the development of one of music’s most quietly influential genres from the post-industrial cities of Europe to America’s avant-garde scene, and features contributions from members of pioneering outfits : Throbbing Gristle, Cabaret Voltaire, NON, SPK, Test Dept, Clock DVA, Re/Search – V Vale, Z’EV, Click Click, Sordide Sentimental, Hula, The Klinik, Ant-Zen, Orphx, In The Nursery and Prima Linea. Continue reading

Hans-Jürgen Syberberg – Hitler, ein Film aus Deutschland AKA Hitler: A Film from Germany (1977)

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Director Hans-Jurgen Syberberg examines the rise and fall of the Third Reich in this brooding seven-hour masterpiece, which incorporates puppetry, rear-screen projection, and a Wagnerian score into a singular epic vision. Syberberg, who grew up under Nazi tyranny, ruminates on good and evil and the rest of humanity’s complicity in the horrors of the holocaust. Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – Il Dialogo di Roma (1982)

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“The subject of this film is the conversation between a man and a woman. A couple, maybe lovers, maybe married, it doesn’t matter. (…) During this conversation, we do not see but the city of Rome. I wanted to transmit that what Rome provokes in me, the feeling of an intrinsic matter, indissoluble, in difference with Paris, made of small parks and open spaces, crossed by the sky and the wind. Hand in hand with the film, the difficulty of the two lovers assumes a clearer, more explicit form. But as much as, in my opinion, it is impossible to describe and film Rome, the difficulty in the love of a couple can never be totally understood.”
Marguerite Duras, Venice film festival catalogue, 1982. Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert (1976)

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When the film Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert was initially shown in 1976, many viewers found it hauntingly beautiful but deeply perplexing. Some, seeing it as a sign of Duras’ inability to separate herself from the making of India Song, even ascribed the film to a kind of postpartum depression. Since that time, the film has been placed in perspective as an inseparable component of the India cycle as a whole, although little has been written, with certain notable exceptions, on its specific relation to the other works. Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert is a purely metanarrative epilogue that culminates the progressive decomposition of spectacle as well as the dismantling of the neocolonial subject conceived as specular identity that was initiated by previous works in the India cycle. The film confirms the paradoxical character of the mimetic illusion, whose mirror functions as an ontological abyss for the desiring subject. Its seductive ideal of absolute identity and mastery in fact results in passivity and impotence. Conceived as a means of guaranteeing individuals the illusion of a form of immortality, it actually removes them from the arena of real action, enslaving them to a sterile fantasy. Continue reading