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Waldemar Januszczak – The Happy Dictator (2007)

Deep in the heart of Central Asia lies one of the world’s most secretive countries – Turkmenistan. Run by a crazy dictator whose megalomania has spawned a personality cult to rival that of Chairman Mao, this unlikely desert republic has earned itself a grim reputation as “the North Korea of Central Asia.” But since no one is usually allowed in or out, the truth about Turkmenistan is impossible to separate from the rumours and the legends. Until now.

Posing as a tourist who has come to Turkmenistan for a stag weekend, Waldemar Januszczak goes undercover in this bizarre and sinister country to separate the facts from the fiction. And he’s taken his camera with him… Read More »

Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince – Roundhay Garden Scene & Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge (1888)

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Roundhay Garden Scene is an 1888 short film directed by French inventor Louis Le Prince. It was recorded at 12 frames per second and is the earliest surviving film.

According to Le Prince’s son, Adolphe, it was filmed at Oakwood Grange, the home of Joseph and Sarah Whitley, in Roundhay, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England on October 14, 1888.
It features Adolphe Le Prince, Sarah Whitley, Joseph Whitley and Harriet Hartley in the garden, walking around and laughing. Note that Sarah is walking backwards and that Joseph’s coat tails are flying. Read More »

Otto Preminger – The Human Factor (1979)

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Description: Otto Preminger’s final feature is a restrained but well crafted espionage thriller based on a novel by Graham Greene, adapted for the screen by Tom Stoppard. Preminger’s direction tends to lack verve and tension, removing what should be the human factor of a moral dilemma of loyalty. The cast includes Richard Attenborough, Derek Jacobi, John Gielgud, Ann Todd and Iman, but it’s Robert Morley who stands out from the crowd as a ruthless doctor. The convoluted and underdeveloped plot hinges on tacit Cold War approval for the apartheid regime in South Africa. Read More »

Alan Parker – The Road to Wellville (1994)

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In Welville, at Battle Creek, eccentric rich Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (a historical figure) runs a stylish health farm for the wealthy, an idea ahead of his time, based on extreme vegetarianism, neither sex, masturbation or even sensual stimulation, but laughing therapy and purging the ‘polluted’ body, mainly by exercises, often in open air, vicious diet, his invention corn flakes, laxatives, anal yogurt cure, enemas and brutal mechanical cleansing. Eleanor Lightbody drags her sickly, incredulous husband Will along to the therapy; the couple is almost immediately separated and getting horny for more available members of the opposite sex. Kellogs stubbornly willful adopted son (among over 30 kids) George is a filthy embarrassment, paid off just to stay away. Charles Ossining panics when arriving in Battle Creek he finds his aunt’s fortune made him partner in the empty shell- health food company Per-fo, not the planned corn-flakes factory; however with a former Welville-employee and George’s name they hope to get rich from their own cornflakes brand. When an electric therapy goes fatally wrong and several other patients die, Will’s incredulous reluctance turns to panic… Written by KGF Vissers (IMDB). Read More »

Mark Cousins – On the Road with Kiarostami (2005)

Abbas Kiarostami is the most acclaimed Iranian film director whose films have won prizes all around the world. In this film he gives a rare and frank interview about his work, and journeys out of Tehran to meet Babak Ahmadpoor the now grown up star of his famous trilogy, which started with WHERE IS THE FRIENDS HOUSE. On the journey Kiarostami picks up the camera himself , producing images of pure poetry. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Kieslowski On Kieslowski (1993)

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Kieslowski on Kieslowski

Edited by Danusia Stock

Published by Faber and Faber, 1993 (268p.)

Quote:

From Danusia Stok on the genesis of the book:

This book is largely based on interviews recorded with Kieslowski in Paris in December 1991 and May 1992 when he was working on the scripts of the triptych Three Colours. A third set of interviews, covering the triptych, was recorded in Paris in the summer of 1993 once Three Colours had been shot.

Excerpts from Kieslowski’s reflections written for the monthly cultural magazine Du (Zurich, Switzerland) have been worked into the text. The passages are my own direct translation of Kieslowski’s original words. Read More »

Eileen Anipare & Jason Wood – A Short Film About Dekalog: An Interview with Krzysztof Kieslowski (1996)

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A Short Film About Dekalog: An Interview with Krzysztof Kieslowski was initially conceived as a final-year degree project for the University of North London. Using equipment borrowed from the University, the project was privately funded in its entirety by filmmakers Eileen Anipare and Jason Wood, and post-production was completed within a hectic week-long period. These constraints largely account for the somewhat rough-and-ready look of the film, but it is beyond doubt a valuable piece of documentary, given that it is one of the final interviews Kieslowski gave before his untimely death and most likely his last for a non-Polish entity. (from the DVD) Read More »