Raoul Ruiz – Treasure Island (1985)

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Raoul Ruiz’s surrealistic modern-day riff on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel.

Review by timmy_501 @IMDb:
While this film is related to the Robert Louis Stevenson book of the same title, it certainly doesn’t resemble a traditional adaptation. The entire film is about the relationship between people and works of fiction. Treasure Island is the most important and notable of these works, but it isn’t the only one. A substantial part of the plot is about a group of people who attempt to reenact Treasure Island each year; they get so caught up being their characters that they sometimes forget they are just acting and none of them seem surprised when the bodies start piling up. Continue reading

Derek Jarman – The Last of England (1987)

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Quote:
Jarman is a tough filmmaker to recommend, but he occasionally rewards. As we’ve seen from practically the first film on, he sets out to make pictures entirely for himself; with each one intellectually structured, creatively shot, but almost always a reflection of his personal thoughts and feelings, his sexuality, and England in decline. Here we have a film that combines all of these preoccupations, told in a combination of wordless images and narrated prose, with little or no clarification given as to what is actually going on. Jarman has said that he wanted the film to feel like a visual poem, but really, this is far from poetic. Instead, this seems more like something that Godard would have directed in the 1970’s; angry, venomous and always seething with contempt. The images here are violent to the extreme and the approach that Jarman brings to the editing room is visceral and heavily kinetic. Here we see the use of various colour filters, tints and distortions used alongside a multitude of film stocks and spliced-in video footage. The images of middle-class households rounded up, driven into the depths of a post-apocalyptic wasteland and detained at gunpoint must have had a shocking relevance at the time, when terrorist attacks and IRA bombings were as common as they were incomprehensible. Continue reading

Benjamin Cleary – Stutterer (2015)

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Synopsis:
Greenwood has a truly debilitating stutter but we hear his inner thoughts through voiceover and his online conversations with his only friend and love of his life, Ellie. Outwardly a mute, Greenwood is sweet, witty and charismatic on the inside. Ellie surprises Greenwood with the news that she has travelled to his city for a few days and he is suddenly faced with the truly daunting task of meeting her in person for the very first time. Continue reading

John Mackenzie – “Play for Today” Red Shift [+Extras] (1978)

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Three men at three different times in history come to Mow Top hill in search of sanctuary from their troubles. A Roman soldier, a medieval rebel and a 1970’s young man. Somehow they seem linked through a energy within the hill and an axe. Is history doomed to repeat itself or can loving another person free them?

A disturbing exploration of the inevitability of life. Under Orion’s stars, bluesilver visions torment Tom, Macey and Thomas as they struggle with age-old forces. Distanced from each other in time, and isolated from those they live among, they are yet inextricably bound together by the sacred power of the moon’s axe and each seek their own refuge at Mow Cop. Can those they love so intensely keep them clinging to reality? Or is the future evermore destined to reflect the past? Continue reading

Derek Jarman – The Tempest (1979)

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Quote:
Prospero, a potent necromancer, lives on a desolate isle with his virginal daughter, Miranda. He’s in exile, banished from his duchy by his usurping brother and the King of Naples. Providence brings these enemies near; aided by his vassal the spirit Ariel, Prospero conjures a tempest to wreck the Italian ship. The king’s son, thinking all others lost, becomes Prospero’s prisoner, falling in love with Miranda and she with him. Prospero’s brother and the king wander the island, as do a drunken cook and sailor, who conspire with Caliban, Prospero’s beastly slave, to murder Prospero. Prospero wants reason to triumph, Ariel wants his freedom, Miranda a husband; the sailors want to dance. Continue reading

Joanna Coates – Hide and Seek (2014)

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In an isolated English cottage, four young people from London move in together, seeking to challenge social conventions and their own tolerances by engaging in scheduled partner-swapping.
As their inhibitions and past traumas fade, they achieve a unique kind of collective happiness but the durability of their new living arrangement is tested by the arrival of an outsider who fails to get in tune with the foursome’s radical spirit.
An inventive and engaging film that uses an elegant, delicate style to gently probe both the protagonists’ ideals and our own convictions about love and sex.
A genuinely radical take on current woes and wishes, Hide And Seek takes the glooms of today and transforms them into a beguiling and provocative modern fable…. Continue reading