Various – Cinema16: European Short Films (Special US Edition) (1965 – 2005)

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Cinema16 celebrates the short film by showcasing some of the best classic and award-winning shorts on DVD.

Aside from providing short films with a much needed platform, Cinema16 gives filmmakers and movie-lovers access to some great films that would otherwise be near impossible to see, from the fascinating early works of some of the world’s greatest directors to award-winning films from its most exciting new filmmakers.

Launching for the first time in North America, Cinema 16’s European Short Films DVD celebrates some of the best short films to have come out of Europe in the last half-century.

With over three hours of films, this DVD is essential viewing for anyone with an interest in the moving image. The majority of the films are accompanied by original audio commentaries, almost always by the directors themselves. Continue reading

Louis Lumière – Débarquement du congrès de photographes à Lyon (1895)

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Débarquement du congrès de photographes à Lyon

Maths Jesperson on IMDb wrote:
Members of the French Photographic Society arrive from a riverboat to their congress venue in Neuville-sur-Saône on a summer day. They go ashore across a wooden landing stage. Among the many men in straw hats are also a few women in long skirts. Some of the men lift their hats toward the photographer when passing. Many of them are carrying their own cameras. Continue reading

Alexandre Promio – Enfants pêchant des crevettes (1896)

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Catalogue Lumière wrote:
Vue N° 45

“Des enfants traînent leurs filets sur la plage à mer basse : les fillettes, les jupes relevées, rivalisent d’entrain avec les garçons dans cet exercice.”

– Un des personnages porte un panier sur lequel est inscrit “Shrimp” [crevette].- Une vue supplémentaire et non cataloguée représente le même sujet. Continue reading

Manoel de Oliveira – O Pão AKA Bread [Short Version] (1959)

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Each day, a man must work around the clock to produce and acquire bread: throwing the seeds into earth, helping the breeding of the corn, the corn’s recolt, transport to the mills, manipulation of the flour into actual bread, transport to a variety of locations and consumers. Continue reading

Azadeh Navai – Friday Mosque (2014)

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A silent meditation on the Islamic prayer ritual through motion (water is the core, but light is the cause) in FRIDAY MOSQUE. Shot on high-contrast black and white 16mm film, Navai hand processed the negative and painstakingly contact- printed the strips of celluloid. The resulting image quivers and pulses. Enlarged film grain nearly obliterates the already abstracted image. There exists both a tension and serenity in the flickering frame. Every element is preparing for and anticipating the faithful soul that is summoned to the everyday practice. The silent tune of the calling, Azan, has overtaken. Continue reading

Alan Schneider – Film (1965)

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Samuel Beckett, the celebrated author of Waiting for Godot, made a single work for projected cinema. It’s in essence a chase film; the craziest ever committed to celluloid. It’s a chase between camera and pursued image that finds existential dread embedded in the very apparatus of the movies itself. The link to cinema’s essence is evident in the casting, as the chased object is none other than an aged Buster Keaton, who was understandably befuddled at Beckett and director Alan Schneider’s imperative that he keep his face hidden from the camera’s gaze. The archetypal levels resonate further in the exquisite cinematography of Academy Award-winner Boris Kaufman, whose brothers Dziga Vertov and Mikhail Kaufman created the legendary self-reflexive masterpiece Man With a Movie Camera. Commissioned and produced by Grove Press’s Barney Rosset, FILM is at once the product of a stunningly all-star assembly of talent, and a cinematic conundrum that asks more questions than it answers. Continue reading

Marguerite Duras – L’homme atlantique (1981)

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“In this avant-garde short, Duras uses outtakes from Agatha et les lectures illimitées, removing Agatha and leaving only the voice and likeness of her brother (Yann Andréa). Duras scholar Leslie Hill contends that for the first time in her work, “the gap between image and sound is now aligned with the fissure of sexual difference itself.”” (filmlinc.org) Continue reading