David Cairns wrote:
I’ve now seen the film, and I thought it was excellent. Imperfect, yes, but fascinating and unique. The closest comparison I can come up with is Strange Cargo, Frank Borzage’s weird religious allegory which deals with a gang of convicts escaping from a tropical prison island, finding salvation along the way. But The Passing of the Third Floor Left brings its rogues’ gallery into contact with the numinous in a modern London hotel.
What both films have in common is Jesus, encorpsified (to use Flann O’Brien’s word) as a convict in the Borzage and as a myseterious tenant in Berthold Viertel’s film. More to the point, embodied by the august personage of Conrad Veidt, whose presence makes Viertel’s expressionist touches seem wholly legitimate and rooted in the old world of Caligari. Continue reading Berthold Viertel – The Passing of the Third Floor Back (1935)
As a teenager in the 1970s, I was a frequent visitor to an art gallery in Liverpool called the Open Eye. When they started a film club, promising to show all the stuff I had read about but would never otherwise get a chance to see, I signed up like a flash.
It was a humble affair: a bare room with temporary blackouts on the windows, a makeshift screen at one end, a projector at t’other and a dozen or so ill-assorted chairs inbetween, but I loved it. For me it was a magic grotto: a portal to another place of endless fascination and discovery. It was here that I had my first exposure to the works of Buñuel, Renoir, Fritz Lang; Dziga Vertov’s “Man With a Movie Camera”; the experimental shadowgraph animations of Man Ray; David Lynch’s Eraserhead and, unforgettably, “Céline et Julie vont en bateau”. Continue reading Jacques Rivette – Céline et Julie vont en bateau: Phantom Ladies Over Paris AKA Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)
The Salzlipp twins grow up without their father. The boy and the girl are convinced he is an important superhero secret agent. But when he eventually comes home, it turns out that he is but a puny, insignificant meteorologist who had been innocently languishing in jail. The children refuse to accept that this is their father. And sexy Mrs. Salzlipp has fallen in love with another man. But Salzlipp fights back. He discovers that he can influence and indeed manipulate the weather. He can turn summertime into deep frost. Magic! As with Dostoyevski’s Idiot there’s more to Salzlipp than meets the eye. Maybe he can use his gift to win back his family? An imaginative tale about love and respect in a romantic seaside setting. Continue reading Nana Dzhordzhadze – The Rainbowmaker [+Extra] (2008)
Only vaguely based on Alexei Tolstoy’s novel ‘Oupyr’ (1841), ‘The Vampire Family’ (Semya vurdalakov) is a mixture of striking dreams, fading reality, and most ingenious psychedelic background music, Artemeyv-style (scores by Vladimir Davydenko). Continue reading Gennadiy Klimov & Igor Shavlak – Semya vurdalakov AKA The Vampire Family (1990)
Little Bahar lives a life spun from folklore and stories, always with her head in a book. But growing up in Yazd in the 1970s and ’80s, she’s at the centre of a country in turmoil: the Shah is overthrown, Ayatollah Khomeini rises to power, and the first shots are fired in a bitter and protracted war with Iraq. Over the span of several years, Bahar finds daydreaming in her own fantasy world is the only way she can make sense of the pain and suffering warring humans inflict on one another. Continue reading Narges Abyar – Nafas AKA Breath (2016)
‘Max Topfer is a successful businessman who lives alone, surrounded by bodyguards. One day, he receives a film which shows him his brutal death at the hands of an unknown assassin.’
‘Anna Karina starts the movie by riding her horse into a tree, She’s rescued by millionaire Bruno Cremer, who is startled to discover in her possession a video recorder showing him being shot by a man he doesn’t know […]. Both Karina, who has total amnesia of the kind only available in sensational fiction, and the tape appear to have come from the future. With the aid of bodyguard Billy Kearns […], Cremer tries to find out why a total stranger is apparently going to kill him on camera.’
– David Cairns Continue reading André Farwagi – Le temps de mourir AKA The Time to Die (1970)
Through Alejandro Jodorowsky’s autobiographical lens, Endless Poetry narrates the years of the Chilean artist’s youth during which he liberated himself from all of his former limitations, from his family, and was introduced into the foremost bohemian artistic circle of 1940s Chile where he met Enrique Lihn, Stella Díaz Varín, Nicanor Parra… at the time promising young but unknown artists who would later become the titans of twentieth-century Hispanic literature. He grew inspired by the beauty of existence alongside these beings, exploring life together, authentically and freely. A tribute to Chile’s artistic heritage, Endless Poetry is also an ode to the quest for beauty and inner truth, as a universal force capable of changing one’s life forever, written by a man who has dedicated his life and career to creating spiritual and artistic awareness across the globe. Continue reading Alejandro Jodorowsky – Poesía sin fin AKA Endless Poetry (2016)