Youssef Chahine – Awdat al ibn al dal AKA The Return of the Prodigal Son (1976)


In this Andre Gide adaptation, an activist (Ali Mahrez) is released after many years in prison and returns home, shaking up established relationships among his family members at the farm governed by his strict father. Demonstrating Chahine’s eclecticism, this is an elegant melodrama, exuberant musical, layered allegory, and profound portrait of personal and political disillusionment. This is one of Chahine’s best movies and one of the greatest Arabic films. Great performances by Mahmoud El-Meliguy and Hoda Soltan. Continue reading

Shûji Terayama – Isoppu Monogatari AKA Aesop’s Fables (1973)

Oh man, this is a gem. Highly recommended if you dig Tenjosajiki/Terayama’s musical numbers. For starters, take a peek at this lineup:

Lyrics composed by Terayama Shuji
Music composed by J.A. Seazer, Panta, Fukamachi Jun…
Performed by Zunou Keisatsu (Brain Police, far left political rock band, Les Rallizes Denudes’ Hiroshi Nar was a member at one time), Tanaka Seiji

Terayama Shuji’s slightly…dark? interpretations of the fables, mixed with the absolutely wonderful composition and experimental, theatrical vocals/instrumentation…it’s a surreal journey. Continue reading

François Girard – Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993)



As the title suggests, this dramatised documentary about the eccentric Canadian pianist Glenn Gould is broken up into thirty-two short films (mirroring the thirty-two part structure of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’, the recording that Gould made famous), each giving us an insight into some aspect of Gould’s life and career. Out of respect for the music lead actor Colm Feore is never seen playing the piano, merely reacting to Gould’s own recordings, which are extensively featured Continue reading

Rufus Norris – London Road (2015)


London Road documents the events of 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women. The residents of London Road had struggled for years with frequent soliciting and kerb-crawling on their street. When a local resident was charged and then convicted of the murders, the community grappled with what it meant to be at the epicentre of this tragedy. Continue reading

Teo Hernandez – Salomé (1976)


“Ce film n’est pas l’illustration d’un récit historique ou d’une pièce de théâtre mais il est structuré par sa dynamique propre et trois éléments basiques: la lumière, la couleur et la vitesse de projection. Par leur interaction il vise le regard du spectateur.
Le film propose un questionnement sur:
1) ce qu’il génère c’est-à-dire sa propre histoire;
2) l’imaginaire du spectateur et son regard;
3) le seul dehors questionné: le devenir de l’image qui est sa seule possibilité d’être. (…)
La musique utilisée n’illustre pas le film, mais elle propose un contrepoint à l’image et développe un parcours parallèle, parcours qui trouve par moments les points de suture, qui sont des cristallisations de chaînes de motivations provoquant et montrant la possibilité infinie d’interprétations d’une image.(…)” Continue reading