Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson – In Search of UIQ (2013)

FOR THOSE WHO WANTS LOVE AND FREEDOM
In Search of UIQ unfolds the story of Félix Guattari’s lost science-fiction screenplay, Un Amour d’UIQ. Conceived during the 1980s, this unmade film imagines the discovery of the Infra-quark Universe (UIQ), an alien intelligence from a parallel dimension that falls in love with one of its human hosts, an event which has catastrophic consequences for the whole planet. Moving between documentary, fiction and essay, through the deployment of video, film and sound archives, letters and other documents that are enmeshed in a series of fabulations, In Search of UIQ explores what the cinema of the Infra-quark might have been (and may still become) and considers its rapport with key social and political transformations of our time from autonomist struggles to the digital recoding of life. Continue reading

Akio Jissôji – Mujô AKA This Transient Life (1970)

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One of the recurrent themes of the Art Theatre Guild (ATG)’s films of the 60s and early 70s was incest. In Funeral Procession of Roses (Bara No Soretsu, 1968) Toshio Matsumoto told a modern version of the Oedipus tale, transplanting the story into the gay subculture of present-day Tokyo. The hero of Susumu Hani’s The Inferno of First Love (Hatsukoi Jigokuhen, 1968) suffers from the sexual abuse of his stepfather. In Yoshishige Yoshida’s Heroic Purgatory (Rengoku Eroica, 1970) a young girl who creeps into the life of a scientist and his wife pretending to be their daughter seduces her alleged father. The family head in Nagisa Oshima’s masterful critique of the patriarchic family, The Ceremony (Gishiki, 1971), rapes his son’s bride. In Masahiro Shinoda’s Himiko (1974) the prehistoric shaman empress of Japan falls in love with her brother and is killed by ruthless elders who can no longer exercise control over her. In Kazuo Kuroki’s Preparations for the Festival (Matsuri No Junbi, 1975) the disabled Kikuo is sexually comforted by his mother, and in Shuji Terayama’s Pastoral: To Die in the Country (Den’en Ni Shisu, 1974), the story of a boy who tries to escape his mother, incest is omnipresent. Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard & Anne-Marie Miéville – Le rapport Darty (1989)

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“French companies never seemed to learn that Godard would never make anything like a traditional advertisement, so when the Darty appliance chain commissioned a pub from the mischievous director, they were in for trouble: a daring deconstruction of consumerism, rejected by its funders.” Continue reading

Claire Denis – L’intrus AKA The Intruder [+Extras] (2004)

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L’Intrus opens to a shot of the Franco-Swiss border as a border guard performs a customs check and inspection of a random vehicle with the aid of a contraband-sniffing dog. The seemingly mundane image of frontier, wilderness, and deception provides a curiously appropriate introduction into the Claire Denis’ impenetrably fractured, enigmatically allusive, otherworldy, and indelible metaphysical exposition into the mind of an emotionally severe, morally bankrupt, and profoundly isolated heart transplant patient named Louis (Michel Subor). Idiosyncratically unfolding in elliptical, often reverse chronology (with respect to the heart surgery) through the lugubriously fluid intertwining of Louis’ alienated existence and deeply tormented subconscious, the film is a fragmented and maddeningly opaque daydream (or perhaps more appropriately, a haunted nightmare) of the price exacted by his disreputable past, estranged relationships, hedonism, and instinctual quest for survival: his inability to reconcile with his only son and his family; his sexually motivated, yet emotionally distant relationship with a materialistic pharmacist; his dubious, transcontinental past (a suppressed history that may have included murder). Perpetually followed by a beautiful, enigmatic sentinel (Katia Golubeva) – or conscience – who seems to have been instrumental in obtaining his new heart, what emerges is an indelible, elegiac, and poetically abstract dreamscape through the wondrous, alien terrain of unreconciled (and irreconcilable) personal history, unrequited longing, and haunted memory. Continue reading

François Caillat – Foucault Against Himself [Subbing Copy] (2014)

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“Don’t ask me who I am, and don’t tell me to remain the same.” —Michel Foucault

From the history of madness, to sexuality and pleasure in classical antiquity, to the law and penal institutions, the breadth of Michel Foucault’s thought was astonishing.

One of the leading intellectuals of the 20th century, Foucault bridged the roles of intellectual and activist, attaining the highest honours of the French academy while using his position to attack the very institutional power that gave him a platform.

Divided into four chapters, FOUCAULT AGAINST HIMSELF focuses on Foucault’s critique of psychiatry, his work on the history of sexuality, the growth of his radicalism arising from his research into the French penal system, the nature of knowledge and underlying structures of human behavior, and his immersion in American counter-cultural movements—in particular the resistance to current social structures that he found among sexual minority communities in San Francisco. Continue reading

Gert de Graaff – De zee die denkt AKA The Sea That Thinks [+Extra] (2000)

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The Sea That Thinks is a 2000 Dutch experimental film directed by Gert de Graaff. The film makes heavily use of optical illusions to tell a “story within a story” revolving around a screenwriter writing a script called The Sea That Thinks. The script details what is happening around him and eventually begins to affect what happens around him. Continue reading