Eric Rohmer – Les Métamorphoses du paysage AKA Changing Landscapes (1964)

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One of Rohmer’s most obscure works (the IMDB’s is the only filmography which lists it), a black-and-white short film, “Changing Landscapes” (“Metamorphoses du paysage”), made for TV in 1964. It appears to be part of a series with the overall title Vers l’unité du monde: L’ère industrielle. It’s a series of shots of the countryside and its transformation into an urban landscape, with a voiceover (in French, subtitled into English). The end credits call it “Une émission de Maurice Schérer” (i.e. Rohmer, using a variation of his real name). The cinematography is credited to Pierre Lhomme, a DP of some distinction but one who never worked on any of Rohmer’s features. “Changing Landscapes” is full-frame, running 22:20. It’s in remarkably good condition, with only a few scratches here and there. This tele-essay will no doubt be much too dry for a general audience, but Rohmer fans and completists will be glad to have it. (DVDTimes) Continue reading

Simon Aboud – Come Here Today (2008)

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Alex takes on a poignant journey that examines his relationships with lover, brother and mother on his way to an emotional reconciliation with his father. Alex’s take on life is surprisingly crystal clear for a man who has lived life to the full. It is only in the moment of death that one can truly grasp the meaning of life. ~imdb Continue reading

Yuriy Norshteyn – Yozhik v tumane aka Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)

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Plot / Synopsis
Hedgehog is on his way to visit Bear cub, to sit and count the stars, their nightly ritual. On the way however, he is distracted by the sight of a beautiful white horse in the fog, and curious about the nature of this strange world, ventures into it, becoming hopelessly lost in the process.
Hedgehog in the Fog [ Ëжик в Tумане ] is a classic Russian animated short film from 1975. Based on a story by Sergei Kozlov. Charming in its simplicity.

In 2003 “Hedgehog in the Fog” won the “#1 Animated film of all the time” at “All time animation best 150 in Japan and Worldwide” contest in Tokyo, Japan.

Awards: “Outstanding Film of the Year”, London, UK, 1977 “Second Prize”, Sydney, Australia, 1978 “Third Prize”, Chicago, USA, 1977. Continue reading

Peter Nestler – Ödenwaldstetten (1964)

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Portrait of a small south German village and its residents in the early sixties.
Rural culture is undergoing a transformation caused by the intrusion of the industrial world. Gestures at work and words of its inhabitants.

“COUNTER (HI)STORIES”
From the start, Nestler’s films attest how an observational description of reality can become an authentic art form. He consistently refuses to comply with the insistence of television editors and directors to provide explanatory comments of the pictures through neutral narration. Nestler insists on leaving things and testimonies of people standing side by side before the camera. But one who violates the unwritten policy conditions that come along as formal laws of the medium (motto: “people will not understand it…”) will be placed on the index. So he never became a TV reporter. In March 2007 he was dedicated a retrospective at the Paris Cinéma du réel documentary film festival at the Centre Pompidou for this. “My first films in the early 60s (that weren’t ‘political’) contained something that was irritating, disturbing the peace, especially in the films Mülheim (Ruhr), Ödenwaldstetten (both 1964) and Von Griechenland (1965). I was cut off the money supply, and so I moved to Sweden”, thus Nestler 1998 laconically. from ray Filmmagazin Continue reading

Giles Walker – I Wasn’t Scared (1977)

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Plot Synopsis from IMDB:

Adolescent Debbie reluctantly looks after her younger brother Todd for the day. Todd wants to go fishing and the two decide to fish in the creek located in a fenced off and restricted WWII bombing test site. The military has the area fenced off since there may still be remnants of dangerous materials there. Todd stumbles across an undetonated bomb, which he believes to be a dud. He takes the propeller off the bomb and plans on taking the bomb with him as a keepsake. Debbie is more concerned about Todd’s find, she believing the bomb could still be active, as it started to smoke after Todd took off the propeller. Debbie is unable to convince Todd to do what she believes is the correct thing to do, which is to tell the police. As Debbie runs off to tell someone in authority of the bomb, Todd goes back to retrieve it. When news of the bomb gets back to the military and their bomb squad, they have to rush back to save Todd from what sounds like a live bomb. Continue reading