not sure why it’s titled this, but it’s a fanciful and exciting little trip
by Jack Gattanella
Jack Smith was one of the masters of the underground film-making ‘group’ in New York city in the early 60s, and this was one of the few films that Smith finished and screened. While nowhere near the notorious nature of Flaming Creatures or the color-grandeur of Normal Love, Scotch Tape is significant because in a 3-minute stretch of time Smith is able to convey a lot of energy and excitement over some footage that is hard to make out. It looks as those there are figures dancing among garbage or something, moving about, maybe even at 16 frames-per-second, and all done to a super catchy swing tune from the 30s. Continue reading
A film about four teenagers, two boys and two girls, and their relationship. It is a story of love and friendship, of loss and discovery, of the transition from childhood to maturity.
Mads and Kristian spend a summer weekend with their girlfriends at a summerhouse by the sea. When Mads and his girlfriend have a fight we find that Kristian may love someone else. Continue reading
Werner Schroeter’s adaptation of a novel by Ingeborg Bachmann, Isabelle Huppert portrays a writer who suffers from an interminable case of existential angst.
An unusual story of a triangular relationship set in Vienna. A woman shares an apartment with a man named Malina. The woman meets Ivan and falls in love. It will be her last great passion. The singlemindedness of her love is so great that it is more than the man can comprehend or respond to. The film’s subject is nothing less than love- and the loneliness of the lover. Continue reading
Paul Schrader’s visually stunning, collagelike portrait of acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima (played by Ken Ogata) investigates the inner turmoil and contradictions of a man who attempted an impossible harmony between self, art, and society. Taking place on Mishima’s last day, when he famously committed public seppuku, the film is punctuated by extended flashbacks to the writer’s life as well as by gloriously stylized evocations of his fictional works. With its rich cinematography by John Bailey, exquisite sets and costumes by Eiko Ishioka, and unforgettable, highly influential score by Philip Glass, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is a tribute to its subject and a bold, investigative work of art in its own right. Continue reading
A masterpiece of experimental film and a projection of the surrealist vision into cinema by its outstanding artists. Described by Richter as “part Freud, part Lewis Carroll,” it is a fairy tale for the subconscious based on the game of chess. This chess-sonata is played by a host of artists including Paul Bowles, Jean Cocteau, Julian Levy, Jacqueline Matisse, Jose Sert, Yves Tanguy, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst and Alexander Calder. “What interested me is the poetry of images, the melody and rhythm of forms and colors” (Hans Richter). Continue reading
From Senses of Cinema:
Mark Adnum is the editor of outrate.net.
Jean Genet set an example for other self-performers like James Dean, Joe Orton and Andy Warhol to follow. His real life, like those of his successors, emerging as by far the most compelling work of art he produced. Like those other iconic artists, Jean Genet is Jean Genet’s consummate creation, and finding the boundary between the day-to-day realities of life and his creative existence is a bit like exploring a Mobius Strip.
Abandoned by his birth mother, Genet was brought up on a farm, where despite his academic gifts, he was unpopular for his effeminacy and insistence on speaking only formal French, rather than the local slang. Unsettled and kleptomaniac, he bounced between various carers (including blind musicians and Parisian typesetters), spent time in psychiatric institutions, and then joined the army at the age of 19. He was stationed in Syria, but soon deserted, escaping to bum around Europe, funding his travels through prostitution and petty crime. Eventually busted, he spent a long period in jail, where he wrote Our Lady of The Flowers (1942), the work that came to the attention of Jean-Paul Sartre, who secured Genet’s release and became his patron. Genet suffered from depression throughout his life, and attempted suicide more than once. Continue reading
Blacklisted for his daring “anti-French” masterpiece, Le corbeau, Henri-Georges Clouzot returned to cinema four years later with the 1947 crime fiction adaptation, Quai des Orfèvres. Set within the vibrant dance halls and crime corridors of 1940s Paris, Quai des Orfèvres follows ambitious performer Jenny Lamour (Suzy Delair), her covetous husband Maurice Martineau (Bernard Blier), and their devoted confidante Dora Monier (Simone Renant) as they attempt to cover one another’s tracks when a sexually orgreish high-society acquaintance is murdered. Enter Inspector Antoine (Louis Jouvet), whose seasoned instincts lead him down a circuitous path in this classic whodunit murder mystery. Continue reading