Philosophy

Daryush Shokof – Seven Servants (1996)

AMG: A very strange dream about a wealthy man preparing for death inspired director Daryush Shokof to make this off-beat and highly esoteric art film. Archie (Anthony Quinn) receives inner peace by being touched by people of four different racial groups. The film shows the five of them conducting daily activities as Quinn endures having their fingers in his nose and ears constantly for 10 days. Archie invites two old friends of his to be present at his death and reveals his secret for inner peace to them. The man goes off in a huff, but the woman stays around and finds her own enjoyment in the situation. Read More »

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Geschichtsunterricht aka History Lessons (1972)

Quote:
Based on an unfinished novel by Brecht, the 1973 feature History Lessons takes on a loose journalistic form, as a young man drives through contemporary Italy to interview an ancient Roman banker on his views of Caesars reign. The discourse turns on the interpenetrations of politics, trade, and war, and the films relentlessly demanding pace marks its makers ambitions to wedge open a space beyond capitalist production, from which some new critique might emerge. Read More »

Sammaria Simanjuntak – Cin(T)a (2009)

Cina was a Chinese-Indonesian Christian young man who got his name ‘Cina’ (China, in English) by misunderstanding in his birth registry and is pursuing his dream to get a scholarship in an architecture faculty in Bandung, Indonesia. He was against his father’s plan for him to leave for Singapore where there’s a scholarship offer with 6 years working contract after, so he could be able to get a chance to be in the governments and to become a governor for Tapanuli, a new province of his dream. Read More »

Peter Watkins – Fritänkaren aka The Freethinker (1994)

Quote:
“This is Peter Watkins (epic) companion-piece to his highly acclaimed “Edvard Munch” (1974). “The Freethinker” examines the life, art, and times of the noted Swedish dramatist August Strindberg, author of Miss Julie, Inferno, and Dance of Death. Strindberg is depicted as a rebel, and idealistic and controversial iconoclast who openly criticized the hypocrisy of 19th century society.” (p. back cover) The film broadly focuses on 3 aspects of Strindberg’s life- the impact of his childhood on his psychology and future work; the meaning of his relationship with his first wife, and the way in which Strindberg, as an author, created works that confronted the social injustices of their time. Read More »

Mike Hoolboom – Incident Reports (2015)

After a bike accident, the amnesiac produces one-minute shots. The voice-over weighs in on gender, animals and the end of literary culture. An essay featuring Elvis, wrestlers, boy ballet, naked cyclists and the heavenly voices of ChoirChoir!. (from MUBI) Read More »

Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering Kofman – Derrida [+Extras] (2003)

Quote:
One of the most influential and iconoclastic figures of the 20th century, French philosopher and father of “deconstruction” Jacques Derrida has single-handedly altered the way we look at history, language, art, and film. In the spirit of Derrida’s work, acclaimed filmmakers Kirby Dick (SICK: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST [torrent available here]) and Amy Ziering Kofman have created an innovative and entertaining portrait by questioning the very concept of biography itself. Featuring a mesmerizing score by Oscar-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (THE LAST EMPEROR), DERRIDA is a playful and provocative glimpse at a visionary thinker as he ruminates on everything from SEINFELD to the sex lives of ancient philosophers. Read More »

Nancy D. Kates – Regarding Susan Sontag (2014)

NY Times website:
“Regarding Susan Sontag,” a documentary Monday night on HBO, will fill you in on a lot of the details of its subject’s life: her precocity, her travels, her illnesses, her lovers. (Particularly her lovers.)

What it won’t give you is any strong sense of her work. The famous essays and collections of criticism and analysis — “Notes on Camp,” “Against Interpretation,” “On Photography,” “Illness as Metaphor” — are used as mile markers, along with the less famous novels and films. But rather than tackle Ms. Sontag’s ideas or their value head-on, the director, Nancy Kates, continually deflects the discussion along other lines: Ms. Sontag as closeted bisexual, serial heartbreaker, liberal provocateur, narcissist, celebrity, camera subject, Jew, cancer survivor. Read More »