Robert Kramer – Sous le vent AKA Leeward (1991)

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The film is part of the television series “La culture en chantiers” (“Culture under Construction”). In the form of a video letter, this film goes up the Seine. Starting with the traces of the Normandy landing of the Americans, it ends in Paris in Jean Genet’s hotel room. It is a voyage made to meditate on the “state of things” in a clear and melancholy way—the mutations in cinema and the media in the year of the Gulf War, in the company of Serge Daney and others. Continue reading

Bertrand Mandico – Boro in the Box (2011)

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Those who still think the biopic is a boring and routine genre have an unbeatable occasion to let Boro in the Box change their minds. The life of Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk, director of films like Contes immoraux or La bête, always halfway between eroticism and fantasy, is imagined by Bertrand Mandico as an oneiric and surreal black and white journey, from Poland to Paris, where Borowczyk wanders around foggy landscapes coming across all kinds of incredible situations. An extremely evocative work, ideal both for fans of Borowczyk and lovers of sensitive, irrational cinema. Continue reading

Thierry Demaizière & Alban Teurlai – Rocco (2016)

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A behind-the-scene account of the porn world and its stars as they’ve never been seen before – and the no-holds-barred portrait of a true giant.

Rocco Siffredi is to pornography what Mike Tyson is to boxing or Mick Jagger is to rock’n’roll: a living legend. His mother wanted him to be a priest; with her blessing he became a hardcore performer, devoting his life to one God only: Desire. Rocco Siffredi reveals all, even if it sometimes means busting his own myth: his true story, beginnings, career, wife and children… and the ultimate revelation that will change his life forever. A behind-the-scenes account of the porn world and its stars as they’ve never been seen before – the no-holds-bard portrait of a true giant. Continue reading

Alain Corneau – Stupeur et tremblements AKA Fear and Trembling (2003)

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A Belgian woman looks back on her year at a Japanese corporation in Tokyo in 1990. She is Amélie, born in Japan, living there until age 5. After college graduation, she returns with a one-year contract as an interpreter. The vice president and section leader, both men, are boors, but her immediate supervisor, Ms. Mori, is beautiful and trustworthy. Amélie’s downfall begins when she speaks perfect Japanese to clients. She compounds her failure by writing an excellent report for an enterprising colleague. The person she least expects to stab her in the back exposes her work. Thus begins her humiliations. What can become of her and of her relationship with Ms. Mori and with Japan? Continue reading

Raoul Ruiz – De grands événements et des gens ordinaires AKA Of Great Events and Ordinary People (1979)

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In 1978, Ruiz was commissioned to make a television documentary about the French elections from the viewpoint of a Chilean exile in the 11th arrondissement. But, contrary to the producers’ expectation, the Left lost. Ruiz seized on this anti-climax to make a documentary about nothing except itself – a film whose central subject is forever lost in digression and ‘dispersal’, harking back to his Chilean experiments of the ’60s. It is the best, and certainly the funniest, of self-reflexive deconstructions of the documentary form. Ruiz drolly exaggerates every hare-brained convention of TV reportage, from shot/reverse shot ‘suture’ and talking-head experts to establishing shots and vox pops (narrator’s note to himself: “Include street interviews ad absurdum”.) Every fragment of reality (e.g. polling booths on voting day) comes through the lens as a pre-fabricated televisual cliché. And, as always, Ruiz detonates his own auteur status.As an essay-film, Great Events contains many echoes – and a cheeky critique – of the sophisticated political filmmaking of Chris Marker. But Ruiz increasingly spices up the lesson with surreal elaborations – such as progressively shorter re-edits of the entire film, avant-garde decentrings of image and sound, and crazy runs of ‘secondary elements’ such as particular colours, angles and gestures. Continue reading

Zabou Breitman – No et moi AKA No and Me (2010)

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Lou has few friends and her mother’s addiction to tranquillisers increases her feeling of isolation. For a school project, she must prepare a presentation on homelessness. At the Gare d’Austerlitz she comes across a homeless girl who calls herself No because this is what everyone says to her. In return for a drink, No agrees to let Lou interview her. No reveals that she is 18 and has spent her whole life in care. Lou is moved by No’s story and begins to see her as a friend. When No disappears, Lou sets out to look for her, convinced that they both need each other… Continue reading

Evangelia Kranioti – Exotica, Erotica, Etc. (2015)

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” Sailors are like terrorists. They arrive in ports with a bomb called love and throw it. And do you know what happens? The bomb explodes when they go away and they never come back, destroying the hearts of all the girls in the neighborhood. How strange – To love somebody who pays you…” Continue reading