Hans-Jürgen Syberberg – Hitler, ein Film aus Deutschland AKA Hitler: A Film from Germany (1977)

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Director Hans-Jurgen Syberberg examines the rise and fall of the Third Reich in this brooding seven-hour masterpiece, which incorporates puppetry, rear-screen projection, and a Wagnerian score into a singular epic vision. Syberberg, who grew up under Nazi tyranny, ruminates on good and evil and the rest of humanity’s complicity in the horrors of the holocaust. Continue reading

Travis Wilkerson – An Injury to One (2002)

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AN INJURY TO ONE provides a corrective—and absolutely compelling—glimpse of a particularly volatile moment in early 20th century American labor history: the rise and fall of Butte, Montana. Specifically, it chronicles the mysterious death of Wobbly organizer Frank Little, a story whose grisly details have taken on a legendary status in the state. Much of the extant evidence is inscribed upon the landscape of Butte and its surroundings. Thus, a connection is drawn between the unsolved murder of Little, and the attempted murder of the town itself. 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

Marco Bellocchio – Marcia trionfale AKA Victory March (1976)

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Synopsis:
The drawbacks and difficulties of military life are explored in this film. Paolo Passeri (Michele Placido) is a college graduate, somewhat spoiled, somewhat effete, who finds himself in an officer training program under the stern martinet, Captain Asciutto (Franco Nero). He gradually becomes acclimated to the military mind-set, and when the Captain’s wife (Miou-Miou) decides to take a romantic interest in him, he does not report her dangerous peculiarities to anyone. Continue reading

Costa-Gavras – L’aveu AKA The Confession (1970)

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Quote:
Costa-Gavras might be the European filmmaker most influential on American directors of the 1970s. Although this honor often goes to Jean-Luc Godard and other compatriots of the Nouvelle Vague, films like The French Connection, The Parallax View, or Blow Out are most clearly engaged with a clamorous mode of political cinema that’s as fundamentally enraged as it is delicately assembled. Typically, Costa-Gavras’s Z is credited as the key film in this regard, not simply for its humanistic, injustice-as-thriller construction, but also for the way it “opened up critical perceptions,” as Armond White states it, for filmmaking’s lasting cultural effects. Such an assessment is backed by historical fact, but one would be remiss to overstate the terrain for Costa-Gavras, since none of the director’s subsequent films received a similar degree of accolades, either from filmmakers or critics. The neglect is easier to ascertain once it’s understood just how different The Confession is from its predecessor, a nearly two-and-a-half-hour film that shirks the frantic chase sequences of Z by dialing back its proceedings to a nearly singular setting, literally within the confines of Czechoslovakian torture camp, but more figuratively within the mind and body of Anton Ludvik (Yves Montand), a high-ranking communist official held prisoner by Stalinist extremists. Continue reading

Silvio Tendler – Os Anos JK – Uma Trajetoria Politica AKA The JK Years – A Political History (1980)

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PLOT SYNOPSIS
Documentary about Brazilian history, from 1945 until the 70s, focusing on president Juscelino Kubitschek, his political rise, his philosophy of economical development, his gigantic project of constructing a new capital city for the country, Brasília, in the middle of the jungle, and his last years, after the military takeover, when he was deprived of his political rights and went into a temporary exile. Continue reading