Fantasy

Henrikas Sablevicius – Atspindziai AKA Reflections [Restored] (1968)

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“Reflections” is a film created by Henrikas Šablevičius and the national television. Back then, the movie was seen as unconventional in the context of Lithuanian cinema: it employs a surrealistic etude of no clear narrative and has an extreme form. Thus, immediately after the release it was banned and had been unnoticed for almost two decades. By bringing graphic artist Stasys Krasauskas’ works to life in the conditional spaces of “Reflections”, the director, only by means of images, creates a story about human’s duality, the search for self, liberation, accepting the agency of the past and a limited opportunity to choose. Read More »

Víctor Erice – El Espíritu de la colmena aka The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

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Plot Synopsis [AMG] Widely regarded as a masterpiece of Spanish cinema, this allegorical tale is set in a remote village in the 1940s. The life in the village is calm and uneventful — an allegory of Spanish life after General Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War. While their father (Fernando Fernán Gómez) studies bees in his beehive and their mother (Teresa Gimpera) writes letters to a non-existent correspondent, two young girls, Ana (Ana Torrent) and Isabel (Isabel Telleria), go to see James Whale’s Frankenstein at a local cinema. Though they can hardly understand the concept, both girls are deeply impressed with the moment when a little girl gives a flower to the monster. Isabel, the older sister, tells Ana that the monster actually exists as a spirit that you can’t see unless you know how to approach him. Ana starts wandering around the countryside in search of the kind creature. Instead, she meets an army deserter, who is hiding in a barn. The film received critical accolades for its subtle and masterful use of cinematic language and the expressive performance of the young Ana Torrent. Read More »

Christophe Honoré – Métamorphoses (2014)

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Quote:
One of France’s most unpredictable writer-directors, Christophe Honoré (Dans Paris, Love Songs) offers an audacious, erotically upfront re-reading of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, enacted by a fearless cast of (largely unknown) young actors in contemporary French settings. Kicking off with a startling take on the story of Diana and Actaeon, Honoré’s film follows the wanderings of Europa (Akili), a high-school student who encounters a marauding truck driver – none other than Jupiter (Hirel), father of the gods. Streams of stories within stories bring the old transformation myths a modern-day slant – Narcissus as an arrogant teenage heart-throb, Orpheus as a charismatic housing-estate preacher – and add a multi-racial, polysexual perspective, teasing out the perversity, violence and rapture of classical legend. You may detect shades of Borowczyk, Pasolini, Rohmer and Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane, but this savage, rhapsodic, moving film is something entirely its own. A fabulous soundtrack completes the wayward beauty –BFI Read More »

Ferdinand Diehl – Die Sieben Raben AKA The Seven Ravens (1937)

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A peasant father sends his seven sons to fetch water for their sickly young sister but when he curses them for not returning soon enough, they turn into ravens and disappear. Many years later when the sister is grown up, she sets out in search of her brothers but that will be a long and dangerous journey.

This very gothic horror fantasy animation from the Third Reich is a masterpiece. It is based on one of the German fairytales by Grimm brothers and about 120 puppets were used during the production. Read More »

Bernard Nicolas – Daydream Therapy (1977)

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Quote:
Daydream Therapy is set to Nina Simone’s haunting rendition of “Pirate Jenny” and concludes with Archie Shepp’s “Things Have Got to Change.” Filmed in Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey by activist-turned-filmmaker Bernard Nicolas as his first project at UCLA, this short film poetically envisions the fantasy life of a hotel worker whose daydreams provide an escape from workplace indignities. —Allyson Nadia Field Read More »

Sion Sono – Eiga: minna! Esupâ da yo! AKA The Virgin Psychics (2015)

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Quote:
High school student Kamogawa Yoshiro wakes up one day to discover that he has psychic superpowers. He also soon discovers that others in the city have the gift, only some of them are hellbent on causing trouble. He becomes embroiled in several strange incidents and eventually overcomes those seeking to do the city and its people harm, meeting the woman of his dreams along the way. A film that takes a different approach to the superhero genre by introducing a joyful young man who becomes a hero not by boasting of his superpowers but by overcoming temptation. Read More »

Federico Fellini – Intervista [+extras] (1987)

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Synopsis:
Cinecitta, the huge movie studio outside Rome, is 50 years old and Fellini is interviewed by a Japanese TV crew about the films he has made there over the years as he begins production on his latest film. A young actor portrays Fellini arriving at Cinecitta the first time by trolley to interview a star. Marcello Mastroianni dressed as Mandrake the Magician floats by a window and Fellini followed by TV crew takes him to Anita Ekberg’s villa where the Trevi fountain scene from Dolce vita, La (1960) is shown on a sheet that appears and disappears as if by magic. Read More »