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

Mark Rappaport – From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1995)

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As in his Rock Hudson’s Home Movies, Mark Rappaport offers a trenchant piece of film criticism, revisionist history, and social commentary in the form of a movie star’s fictionalized autobiography–specifically Jean Seberg (Mary Beth Hurt) speaking from beyond the grave about her life and career, as well as the careers of Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave, who, like Seberg, have also been associated with radical politics. Rappaport is a highly entertaining raconteur as he speaks through his title character, always justifying his many digressions on such subjects as movies about Joan of Arc, close-ups, expressionless actors, film directors who depict their actress-wives as whores, the Vietnam war, the FBI, and the Black Panthers; he also has a rather chilling story to tell–not only about Seberg but also about what her audience did and didn’t see in her films from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, including Saint Joan, Bonjour Tristesse, Breathless, Lilith, and Paint Your Wagon. Essential viewing.

Jonathan Rosenbaum Continue reading

Lazar Stojanovic – Plasticni Isus AKA Plastic Jesus (1971)

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Anarchic collage on Titoism and Stalinism, totalitarism and undeground arts, Fascism and Socialism. A minor narrative line tells about a bearded anarchist filmmaker whose Croatian- American girlfriend keeps on singing country songs – one of them entitled Plastic Jesus. When she leaves him, he finds another woman and gets into trouble with the police. Influenced by the Yigoslav Black Wave of the late 6o’s, especially by Dušan Makavejev’s W.R. – Mysteries of the organism, Stojanovićs film marks a free spirit, connected with sarcastic criticism on the socialist leaders of it’s time which is specially dome by a subversive use of certain archive material. [Zagreb Film festival 2006, festival catalogue] Continue reading

Rowan Lee Hartsuiker – Chandmani Sum (2009)

Mongolia. A place of many stories. Vast and endless steppes, mountains and deserts. Chinggis Khaan, symbol for The Land of the Blue Sky. But what exactly is the true face behind this least populated country of the world?

As an audio and visual experience this film brings you in the middle of a journey through Chandmani Sum, a small village in West Mongolia. Through the eyes of an anonymous person we witness an experimental view on the real life of Mongolian countryside.

–Rowan Lee Hartsuiker Continue reading

Sophie Calle & Greg Shepard – No Sex Last Night aka Double Blind (1992)

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http://www.recirca.com/reviews/SophieCalle/Sophiecallereview.shtml

For over 20 years Sophie Calle’s work has taken the form of photographic installations and chronicles, whose structure and form reflect a narrative approach – both within themselves individually and, taken together, in terms of Calle’s own career. Born in Paris in 1953, Calle’s early work dates from a world trip in the 1970s that lasted seven years. During a stay in California in 1978 she took her first photographs – graves marked Father and Mother – with no professional intent, she simply had come upon something that ‘her father might like’. On her return to Paris she began tailing unknowns in the street as part of a conscious ‘drifting through the city’, recording the results in notebooks containing photographs and texts.

By the 1980s the emphasis had moved to her own feelings resulting in the construction of a set of rules and rituals intended to resolve certain personal difficulties. This was followed in the late ‘80s and ‘90s by a concentration on the concept of sight and more recently issues to do with the disappearance of people and things. Continue reading