Leo Hurwitz – Dialogue with a Woman Departed (1980)

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The late filmmaker Leo Hurwitz created this documentary tribute to his deceased wife Peggy Lawson by mixing both actual footage of historical events, clips from his own films, and personal remembrances of her life. Lawson was a partner in Hurwitz’s cinematic endeavors and shared his commitment to political and social change. Hurwitz brings up images from the Great Depression, from the persecution of union organizers and laborers in the 1930s, through his blacklisting in the ’50s, and the demonstrations against the Vietnam War in the following decade. These years of turbulence are contrasted with scenes from nature, images of Lawson, and attempts to convey what she meant to him. These two aspects — private and public — are woven together to form the main theme of this very personal documentary, winner of an International Film Critics prize. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Philippe Garrel – Berceau de cristal (1976)

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funny imdb comment:

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A weird and dreamy minimalist underground art movie, Le Berceau de Cristal offers no joy whatsoever to mainstream film buffs – but doomed romantics, drug takers and fans of director Philippe Garrel may find it hypnotic and profoundly moving. An androgynous poet/dreamer (played by Nico – Velvet Underground singer, Eurotrash icon and Garrel’s other half) sits and writes and meditates on the aching void that is her life. Hieratic and semi-mythical beings show up to haunt her dreams. Dominique Sanda as a fleshy Pre-Raphaelite earth goddess. Anita Pallenberg as an impishly grinning, emaciated drug diva – shooting up live on camera. An early icon of ‘heroin chic.’ Continue reading

Philippe Garrel – L’Enfant secret (1982)

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One of the great masters of post nouvelle vague generation, Philippe Garrel, in one of his more acurate films of his narrative period. Again the failure of 68 utopia, the crisis of the modern couple, the parenthood, and the solitude are in the heart of fiction. Again his wonderful images in black and white, the laconism, and the dry romanticism of his urban poet. Continue reading

Werner Nekes – Makimono (1974) (DVD)

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Makimono is an Asian roll painting depicting a landscape. The subject of the film is the language of film itself, its mutability and its influence on the viewer’s vision and thinking. While the film gradually progresses the viewer is gently invited to reflect on the development of the film in its expressive potential. Continue reading

Werner Nekes – Kelek (1969)

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“A long setting of a basement window to the street. Slower and stopping down the street brothers in Hamburg (where Nekes lives). A stand of the belly of a girl on her legs and her dress. Then, vagina and penis, as they are complementary. The 60-minute film is silent. The canvas, as in previous Nekes movies, to the canvas of the painter. It does not look in an imaginary space, one sees an area that is divided divided, with each cut and replaced by a new canvas. In particular, an impression: strong, cool calculation. It stands there like a block. Immovable. The picture is so much that it is beyond the linguistically appropriate formulation. One must see that.”
Werner Kließ Continue reading

Abbas Kiarostami – Shirin (2008)

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Variety Review :
Though his name continues to pop up regularly as writer or story man on a good chunk of Iranian cinema, Abbas Kiarostami himself has not filmed anything even vaguely commercial since 2002’s “Ten.” The maestro has disappeared into making more abstract, experimental installations, theater pieces and films (“Five”). His latest, “Shirin,” wherein 112 Iranian actresses and Juliette Binoche are shot watching a 12th-century Persian play, with the play’s performance itself kept entirely offscreen, is unlikely to pack ’em in. Yet “Shirin” offers a feast for the bedazzled eye and a crash course in narrative obsession for the benumbed mind. Continue reading