Donald Cammell – Wild Side [Director’s Cut] (1995)

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Quote:
A bank accountant, whom moonlights as a high-priced call girl, becomes embroiled in the lives of a money launderer, his seductive wife, and his bodyguard whom blackmails her to help the FBI entrap him with his latest money laundering scheme.

IMDB comment says:

Never have a Director’s cut and a released studio version been sodifferent . . .

I watched the Director’s Cut of this movie premiered August ’99, together with clips of the trash that the studio released. The studio movie is trash – completely and utterly and doesn’t even aspire to be anything better. The editing is flat and the performances look like rehearsals. The Director’s Cut (pieced together by the Editor after the Director’s suicide) is an outstanding piece of cinema. Not a frame wasted. The opening sequence shocks you into an awareness that this movie will be very different to anything you’ve seen before. Chris Walken gives one of the best performances of his career. This is exciting, original cinema that riveted my attention in every moment of its two hour authorised version. The script sparkles with wit and dry, unpretentious humour and you never quite know what is going to happen next. A sexy, stylish thriller that makes you laugh and also appreciate the beauty inside every villain. The tenacity and integrity of the Editor and Scriptwriter that saw it through to completion is a monument to the industry. Continue reading

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Apotheosis (1970)

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Quote:
What a perfect film…..short and simple, Ono takes a camera and a boom mike onto a hot air balloon, kicks the rope, and starts the camera and lets us watch as it goes above the clouds for a 17 minute shot. Key things to notice: A roll of 16mm film films only 14 minutes yet the film runs for 17, meaning somewhere in the clouds Ono had another camera loaded and started when the first one ran out, yet somehow the splice is not noticeable and there weren’t any computers at the time to fix this sort of thing…..all i can say is optical printing tricks at its best. The last shot, as the balloon rises above the clouds, the wind silences, and the sun becomes visible, is alone worth checking out this timeless classic of experimental film. Continue reading

Andre Singer – Night Will Fall (2014)

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Synopsis:

When Allied forces liberated the Nazi concentration camps, their terrible discoveries were recorded by army cameramen, revealing for the first time the horror of what had happened.

Using British, Soviet and American footage, the Ministry of Information’s Sidney Bernstein collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock to make a film that would provide evidence of the Nazi’s unspeakable crimes. Yet, despite initial support from the British and US governments, the film was shelved. In this compelling documentary by André Singer (executive producer, The Act of Killing), the full story of the filming of the camps and the fate of Bernstein’s project, which has now been restored and completed by Imperial War Museums, can finally be told. Continue reading

Michael Winterbottom – The Emperor’s New Clothes (2015)

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The Emperor’s New Clothes – a film by Michael Winterbottom with Russell Brand

Milton Friedman once said that every crisis was an opportunity. The financial crisis of 2008 should have been a chance to reform the system for the benefit of everyone. But instead, austerity for everyone throughout Britain and Europe was the price to be paid for supporting the financial sector, with £131 billion spent by UK tax payers to keep the financial system afloat, while $30 trillion in support and subsidies went to Wall Street in the US.

Using a mixture of documentary, interviews, archive footage and comedy, Russell Brand takes us from his hometown Grays in Essex, to the heart of London ‘City’ and on to the Big Apple. This daring film will shake up the world by revealing the bewildering truth about how the people at the bottom are paying for the luxuries of those at the top.

Things can change…things do change. #ThingsCanChange Continue reading

Derek Jarman – A Journey to Avebury (1971)

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Journey to Avebury beautifully reflects Derek Jarman’s fascination with ancient history, paganism, and Celtic traditions.

An IMDB review:
Derek Jarman is often said to be a painter rather than a movie director. Indeed, with his films he makes pictures that seem to be more important than the plot (which is usually unclear or missing at all). But those pieces of art he creates using camera are beautiful and astounding.

A JOURNEY TO AVEBURY, his 1971 silent short movie, is a literal journey that we can experience. We are being taken to Avebury and given the chance to admire it for 10 minutes. The shots are incredibly beautiful, as we see a huge stone or trees bathed in orange light of sunset.

The film lacks a plot and sound and should be treated as a collection of images rather than a movie. If you like Jarman’s art – you’ll be pleased with this one. If you like beauty – you’ll love it. But if you’re looking for action or amusement, better walk around it because these 10 minutes might just be too long for you. Continue reading

Celestino Coronado – Hamlet (1976)

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Quote:
[A] radical reinvention of [Hamlet was] carried out by Celestino Coronado in a 16mm-and-video project made at the Royal College of Art in 1976. Taking its cue from Hamlet’s speech to Gertrude concerning “the counterfeit presentment of two brothers”, Coronado casts identical twins Anthony and David Meyer as not only twin Hamlets but also the Ghost, Laertes and the Player King, with Helen Mirren playing both Gertrude and Ophelia. Though the budget was admittedly tiny, this was not a money-saving device: this doubling served to emphasise the way the play’s characters frequently mirror each other in method and motivation. Continue reading