United Kingdom

Stephen Dwoskin – Central Bazaar (1976)


By Central Bazaar (1976), his next feature, Dwoskin seemed to have traded limitation for license: a handful of strangers gather together for what almost instantly devolves into a freeform two-and-a-half-hour-long sexual merry-go-round. Dwoskin’s subjects drift from partner to partner draped in elaborate costumes and moving half-consciously, as if magnetic currents were tugging them together and apart. There are moments of great tenderness, but the whole affair comes off as grotesque—not least because we’re made to feel like an unwelcome and particularly intrusive guest. Dwoskin’s camera roves around, focusing in on a caress here, a clasped hand there, the strap of a pair of leggings, an exposed back: always too close for comfort, yet for the most part excluded from the proceedings. In the spectacle of these able bodies contorting themselves, strutting, dancing, converging, and lounging around, Dwoskin saw a mirror of the world: a place in which human connection was something frightening and alien, something that demanded a performance well outside his range. Read More »

Lynne Ramsay – Morvern Callar (2002)


Willow Maclay wrote:
In Ramsay’s close-ups on Morton’s face, you can see a woman who’s breaking under the pressure, overloading her life with potent but fleeting experiences. In doing so, she remains mired underneath the weight of her own grief, which is always creeping through the surface. In a brilliant, subtle performance, Morton conveys the deep loss that suicide leaves behind, while also tapping into a total sense of reckless abandon. Ramsay amplifies the performance with an understanding of image and aural effect; the movie at times feels like the unleashing of a torrent of despair that can only be drowned out by the blaring of pop music in cheap headphones. Anything to keep the reaper away. Read More »

Adam Curtis – All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (2011)


Newest series of polemical essay film/documentaries by Adam Curtis is both maddening and occasionally brilliant… frustrating for their reductivism and eliptical approach to complex subjects, but frankly staggering for the allusive leaps of the narrative. Truly inspired selection of music on the soundtrack, also. Anyways:

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

A series of films by Adam Curtis about how humans have been colonised by the machines they have built. Although we don’t realise it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers. Read More »

Adam Curtis – It Felt Like a Kiss (2009)


from Wikipedia:
It Felt Like a Kiss is an immersive theatre production, first performed between 2 and 19 July 2009 as part of the second Manchester International Festival, co-produced with the BBC.Themed on “how power really works in the world”, it is a collaboration between film-maker Adam Curtis and theatre company Punchdrunk, with original music composed by Damon Albarn and performed by the Kronos Quartet. The visitor is immersed in sets based on archive footage from Baghdad, 1963; New York, 1964; Moscow, 1959; in the Amygdala, 1959–1969; and Kinshasa, 1960. The title is taken from The Crystals’ 1962 song “He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)”, written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Read More »

Andrew Kotting – Ivan and the Dogs AKA Lek and the Dogs (2017)


In his adaptation of Hattie Naylor’s play Ivan and the Dogs, experimental filmmaker Andrew Kötting travels to the Chilean desert to recreate the life of the young boy who left his Moscow apartment to live with a pack of wild dogs. A crossover between narrative film and contemporary art piece.
Read More »

Isabel Coixet – The Bookshop (2017)


Set in a small town in 1959 England, it is the story of a woman who decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop, a decision which becomes a political minefield. Read More »

Tristram Powell – Omnibus: The Making of Husbands (1971)


This is a super-rare look behind the scenes of Cassavetes’ first ‘big budget’ film, Husbands. It depicts several scenes which never made it into the final film, and a few that did. Also great is to watch Cassavetes working out scenes with Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara, sitting around a table smoking, brainstorming, joking, and singing – just like Archie Gus and Harry!

Picture quality isn’t tops, being this was taken from a VHS copy from a 16mm print that’s seen better days, and it has a timecode window burned in at the bottom left, but everything is visible that counts. Read More »