Jean-Luc Godard – Grandeur et décadence d’un petit commerce de cinéma (1986)

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Synopsis
The director Gaspard Bazin is preparing a new feature film. For now, he is still in the casting and financing stages. He’s asking the help of Jean Almereyda, a producer once fashionable but now at low ebb, who has more and more difficulties to raise cash for his company. His wife, Eurydice, dreams of being a movie star. Between the two men, a perverse game is starting, Almereyda wishing to please his wife, but the unrepentant seducer reputation of Bazin holds him to require a part for Eurydice… Continue reading

Orson Welles – Around the World with Orson Welles (1955) (HD)

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Sean Axmaker, Keyframe wrote:
When handed the raw materials from an unfinished documentary about Elmyr de Hory, an art forger whose life was being written up by biographer Clifford Irving, Orson Welles took the opportunity to make something far beyond the concept of the traditional documentary. F for Fake has been called the Orson Welles’ first essay film, a true enough statement if you limit the accounting to feature films, but he had been doing short-form non-fiction since 1955, when he made Around the World with Orson Welles (a.k.a. Around the World) for British television. Continue reading

Marcel Ophüls – Yorktown (1982)

Commissioned by the French television channel Antenne 2, Yorktown covers the bicentennial commemoration of the Siege of Yorktown, near the end of the American Revolutionary War, where the Americans and their French allies defeated the English. The festivities celebrating Franco-American friendship give Ophuls some amusement, as he takes a gleefully ironic look at the formally “friendly” meeting between Mitterand and Reagan, or exposes the absurdity of patriotic folklore. Much to the viewer’s delight, he is not at all reluctant to ask disruptive questions. Continue reading

TVTV – Adland (1974)

Quote:
TVTV turns its critical eye to the world of advertising in Adland, subtitled Where Commercials Come From. Focusing on the reality behind the image, and specifically on the strategies of Madison Avenue, they interview prominent 1970s admen such as George Lois and Jerry Della Femina. They also go behind the scenes of commercial shoots, where such figures as Ronald McDonald and the precocious child actor Mason Reese are put through grinding routines, only to reveal themselves as jaded pros off-camera. In this clear-eyed look at the manipulation inherent in advertising, the TVTV crew meets its match in the relentless cynicism and masculine braggadocio of the seasoned admen; ultimately, TVTV conveys respect for the savvy and skills of these shrewd veterans Continue reading

TVTV – TVTV Looks at the Oscars (1976)

EAI writes:
Made in 1976, TVTV’s close-up look at Hollywood’s annual awards ritual mixes irreverent documentary with deadpan comedy. TVTV’s cameras go behind the scenes to follow major Hollywood figures (including Steven Spielberg, Michael Douglas, Lee Grant, Jack Nicholson, and many others), capturing them in candid moments—inside their limousines, dressing for the ceremony, backstage at the awards. Lily Tomlin appears as a fictional character watching the televised Oscar ceremony in her suburban home. Tomlin, nominated for best supporting actress in Robert Altman’s Nashville in 1975, is also seen as she attends the actual awards ceremony. With Tomlin serving as a fulcrum between Hollywood’s insiders and outsiders—the adoring fans, the workers who serve the stars, those overlooked by the awards—TVTV records the lead up to and letdown after the ceremony, revealing the vagaries of fame and stardom. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Spokoj AKA The Calm AKA Peace (1976)

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Quote:
Based on the short story A Step Beyond the Gate / Krok za brame by Lech Borski).
A television feature that is considered to have been one of the pioneering films in the cinema of moral anxiety. The story of worker Antoni Gralak who is released from prison and wishes to settle down to a calm life. He fails to find peace though he does find a woman to marry and a place to live. The realities of the Polish People’s Republic cause him to enter into conflict with his construction worker colleagues who decide at one point to organise a strike, and with the manager of the construction site who wishes to make an informer of him. These complications conclude tragically. Premiered on television in 1980. @culture.pl
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Rimas Tuminas – Uncle Vanya (2010)

Winner of 2010 Golden Mask for Best Russian Theatre Performance.

Anton Chekhov
UNCLE VANYA
Vakhtangov Theatre, Moscow

Director: Rimas Tuminas
Composer: Faustas Latenas
Set designer: Adomas Yacovskis

Rimas Tuminas’s production was enthusiastically greeted by Moscow critics – not only for its undoubted merits but also because Uncle Vanya gave a positive response to the ‘accursed question’: is it possible at all to breathe life into a half-dead academic theatre today? Yes, it’s possible, answers the Vakhtangov Theatre but only in case there is a powerful director that is able to sweep his actors along with him. In Uncle Vanya there are a lot of witty solutions and paradoxical psychological moves. Rimas Tuminas seems to reflect Chekhov’s ‘scenes of rural life’ in secret false mirrors of otherness, and for this reason his performance turned out to be darkly eccentric. And you ask yourself: is it really that those on the stage are not ghosts of the country seat? Continue reading