Jean-Marie Straub – La madre (2012)

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The texts in Cesare Pavese’s “Dialoghi con leucò” have a stake in the old and the new alike. It is the lively tension, the bridge between myth and modernity of these texts that deeply touches us and which as a new experience so wonderfully permeates this film by Jean-Marie Straub. Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of LA MADRE is the complete transparency and darkness that is revealed at the same time. Continue reading

Ubu films – Ubu Films – Sydney Underground Movies 1965-1970 [Volume 1 & 2]

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UBU Films was a Sydney-based independent film-making co-operative which operated from 1965 to around 1970. Its members produced many of the most important experimental and underground films made in Australia in the Sixties. Ubu was also a pioneer of psychedelic lightshows in Australia, and during the late Sixties the UBU collective was Sydney’s leading lighting provider for dances, discos and other special events.

Formed by Albie Thoms, David Perry, Aggy Read and John Clark at Sydney University in 1965, UBU FILMS was Australia’s first group dedicated to making, exhibiting and distributing experimental films. Although these four are considered the key members, the UBU circle took in many young film-makers who were to become very prominent in later years including Matt Carroll, Peter Weir, Phillip Noyce and Bruce Beresford. Continue reading

Calum Waddell – Parasite Memories: The Making of ‘Shivers’ (2014)

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Barbara Steele and others share anecdotes including how Cronenberg slapped an actress (at her own request) to help her cry, how makeup artist Joe Blasco invented the bladder effect and what Steele’s singular regret is about her kissing scene with another actress. This is an enjoyable look back at the making of a messed up movie. Ivan Reitman makes an appearance too discussing his role as producer on the film. Continue reading

Cristina Alvarez Lopez and Adrian Martin – Phantasmagoria of the Interior (2015)

PHANTASMAGORIA OF THE INTERIOR is an audiovisual essay devoted to Walerian Borowczyk’s film THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MISS OSBOURNE. Utilising the materials of the complete, restored version of the film, and its French language soundtrack, the film offers a new way of looking at, understanding and appreciating Borowczyk’s intensely cinematic art. Particular attention is paid to a painting by Vermeer of a pregnant woman, introduced early into Borowczyk’s film, and reappearing at key moments. Beginning from this painting – its content, style, and historical background – particular aspects of the film are explored: its unusual pictorial compositions; the mingling of sexuality with violence; and the association of men and women with (respectively) open and closed spaces. The film argues that Borowczyk brings a surrealist sensibility to his free adaptation of the Jekyll and Hyde story, especially emphasizing the transgressive, revolutionary role of the free-spirited Lucy Osbourne. Continue reading

Ferdinand Khittl – Das magische Band AKA The Magic Tape (1959)

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Das magische Band – West Germany 1959, 21 min.
Directed by: Ferdinand Khittl
Written by: Bodo Blüthner, Ferdinand Khittl, Ernst von Khuon
Cinematography by: Ronald Martini
Music by: Oskar Sala
Edited by: Irmgard Henrici
Cast: Margot Trooger, Ferdinand Khittl
Produced by: Gesellschaft für bildende Filme, München

One of the 3 short films that came as an extra on Edition Filmmuseum 47: Die Parallelstrasse AKA The Parallel Street (Ferdinand Khittl, 1962).

An innovative documentary on magnetic tape & sound recording, sort of in the style of Charles and Ray Eames. Continue reading

Robert Vas – Refuge England (1959)

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The films follows a Hungarian refugee arriving in London, speaking no English and with little money…

IMDB:
Hungarian refugee Tibor Molnar has arrived in England, picking London as his new place of residence. The film follows him as he wanders the centre of his new home and tries to find his lodgings at 25 Love Lane – but with no other information than this and the name of his landlord, he finds himself with a long day of travelling to find which Love Lane it is.

Part of the Free Cinema movement in the late 1950’s and funded by the BFI, this film takes on the story of an immigrant walking the streets of London looking for his new home. Substance wise it is interesting as it is well narrated with some of the fellow’s thoughts but I will admit that it was not as interesting as it really could have been. I cannot imagine that immigration was a welcome thing at the time in England (how things have changed) and the film could have done a better job of challenging the audience but, while it does this a little, it is far too gentle to be really memorable. Continue reading