Patrick Vollrath – Alles wird gut AKA Everything Will Be Okay (2015)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
A divorced father picks up his eight-year-old daughter Lea. It seems pretty much like every second weekend, but after a while Lea can’t help feeling that something isn’t right. So begins a fateful journey.

Review:
Cinema as a mode of fabricated observation can be fascinating because, unless instructed to do so, the camera doesn’t judge. This is the key to entering Patrick Vollrath’s powerful domestic drama Everything Will Be Okay, which chronicles a divorced father’s initially fun day out with his daughter during which life-altering decisions are made. The movie opens with Michael (Simon Schwarz, “About a Girl”) impatiently waiting for young daughter Lea (Julia Pointner) outside her mother and stepfather’s home. He’s itching to go and can’t wait to get her in the car and race her off to the toy store, an innocent start to their time together. Continue reading

Gaspar Noé – Sodomites (1998)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Iconoclastic indie filmmaker Gaspar Noe is as soft-spoken as his films are abrasive. The force behind the short film “Carne” (1991) and “I Stand Alone” (1998) — two visually explosive and delectably warped odes to the ordinary madness of a misunderstood horse butcher — Noe writes, directs, produces, shoots and edits films so distinctive that his films have already developed cult followings.

As part of a French government initiative to promote the use of condoms through graphic depictions of their proper use, Noe made the short “Sodomites” and handled camera duties on Hadzihalilovic’s “Good Boys Use Condoms.” Continue reading

Mauro Bolognini, Mario Monicelli, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Steno, Pino Zac, Franco Rossi – Capriccio all’italiana AKA Caprice Italian Style (1968)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
The film consists of six short stories created by different directors, but all the stories share one thing: a warm irony to current events.

Review:
Italian PORTMANTEAU film, a bit uneven.

Segment four by Pier Paolo Pasolini is by far the best; a completely MINDBLOWING and DERANGED rendering of OTHELLO played in a puppet theatre with human marionettes!
TOTÒ has the main role in this, and also in segment 2, where he hates Italian beatniks and stalks them as THE SUNDAY MONSTER! Both segments are very funny in completely different ways, but segment 2 would probably not have worked without Totò.
Segment 5 is completely unlike everything else; four minutes short, based on a animated cartoon by Pino Zac, and with Silvana Mangano as the Queen of England, and with guest appearances by James Bond (model Sean Connery)! The other three segments are fully watchable, although not so FAR OUT as number 2, 4 and 5. Continue reading

José Luis Guerín – Le Saphir de Saint-Louis AKA The Sapphire of St. Louis (2015)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

In 1741, a ship called the Saphir sets sail from a port in La Rochelle, France on its way to the New World. On board are thirty crewmembers and two hundred seventy-one slaves. Somewhere off the coast of Santo Domingo, a slave revolt erupts. This little-known moment in history was memorialized in an obscure 18th century painting that hangs in the Saint-Louis Cathedral in La Rochelle. Celebrated filmmaker Jose Luis Guerin peers into this painting to vividly re-tell the story, capturing, in the process, a snapshot of the political, historical, economic and social realities of the time. THE SAPPHIRE OF ST. LOUIS is a remarkable documentary that uses a little painting hidden away in a remote cathedral to open a door on a pivotal moment in history. Continue reading