Gilbert Cates – Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973)

 Gilbert Cates   Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Gilbert Cates   Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973)

Plot Synopsis by Michael Betzold

American GI Harry Walden (Martin Balsam) emerged from a harrowing experience in WWII to find himself living an outwardly-happy but inwardly-empty and tedious existence in the post-war U.S. He is an eye doctor, successful in his work, but unfulfilled spiritually and emotionally. He and his wife Rita (Joanne Woodward) have a boring existence, with their biggest issue being what kind of wallpaper to choose when they redecorate their apartment. They are dysfunctional, materialistic, and utterly lost. Rita is neurotic and unhappy, especially after her mother (Sylvia Sidney) dies. They decide to visit France and go to the battlefield where Harry once spent a night in the company of three dead German soldiers. The trip is intended to reawaken their deadened humanity. Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams is a challenging, slow and thoughtful depiction of the corroding effects of a materialistic lifestyle. Continue reading

Alex Ross Perry – Listen Up Philip (2014)

 Alex Ross Perry   Listen Up Philip (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Alex Ross Perry   Listen Up Philip (2014)

Anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend Ashley, and his own indifference to promoting the novel. When Philip’s idol Ike Zimmerman offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favorite subject: himself. Continue reading

René Clair – And Then There Were None (1945)

 René Clair   And Then There Were None (1945)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 René Clair   And Then There Were None (1945)

Jeremy Heilman of moviemartyr.com wrote:
One of the supreme suspense films, René Clair’s And Then There Were None combines the glamour and wit of a Hollywood studio production with a considerable amount of very real suspense. Adapted from an Agatha Christie novel (Ten Little Indians), it tells the story of a group of strangers who are invited to stay at an island estate only to find out that they are being eliminated one by one according to the predictions of a nursery rhyme that they find. By making a game of the treachery and never actually showing any of the murders on-screen, Clair achieves the same delicate balance between tension and breeziness that Hitchcock strived for in films such as To Catch a Thief and Family Plot. The production values are top notch, and the cast of relatively unknown character actors assembled keeps us from guessing whodunit right off the bat. Continue reading

Bill Morrison & David Harrington – Beyond Zero: 1914-1918 (2014)

 Bill Morrison & David Harrington   Beyond Zero: 1914 1918 (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Bill Morrison & David Harrington   Beyond Zero: 1914 1918 (2014)

Intro from CPH : DOX homepage
The 100 year old film images sparkle and crackle with an expressive fury, which almost looks like a reaction to what they depict. This year, it is 100 year since the First World War – the first ‘modern’ war, and the first to be documented in moving images – forever destroyed any notion of the (Western) world’s continued progress under the banner of reason and industrialisation. 1914 was the modern era’s absolute year zero. A landmark year, which is here marked in a cinematic collaboration between the renowned American filmmaker Bill Morrison and the string quartet Kronos Quartet, who have recorded the original score by the Serbian composer Aleksandra Vrebalov. Continue reading

Martin Scorsese – Raging Bull (1980)

YzJz6Z Martin Scorsese   Raging Bull (1980)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Martin Scorsese   Raging Bull (1980)

Plot Synopsis: Based on the life and career of boxer Jake LaMotta, Raging Bull focuses on Jake’s rage and violence that makes him virtually unstoppable in the ring. The same anger also drives Jake to beat his wife and his brother Joey, and sends Jake down a self-destructive spiral of paranoia and rage. Continue reading

Shirley Clarke & Wendy Clarke – Butterfly (1967)

i7KLaY Shirley Clarke & Wendy Clarke   Butterfly (1967)

Synopsis:
Shirley made Butterfly with her daughter Wendy for an anti-Vietnam War protest event held in New York City in 1967; it is one of the last films she made before she began working with video in 1968. The film was screened as part of the Week of the Angry Arts Against the War in Vietnam which Shirley helped organize at the NYU Loeb Student Center; Wendy remembers it being screened at the Elgin Theatre sometime in 1967 so it was shown once for sure—possibly twice but not more than that—it is a film that is virtually unknown and is not included on any filmography for Shirley. The theme of the movie was that war kills and threatens to wipe out families, creativity, and life. In the film, Shirley and Wendy are seen separately and together with Shirley holding and rocking Wendy; their images often overlap. Wendy drew, scratched and hand-painted butterflies and used Clorox directly on the film to create a cascade of colors. The soundtrack is comprised of the alternating sounds of a baby crying, machine gun fire, and Brahm’s Lullaby sung by Shirley’s niece Liza Lorwin. Continue reading

pixel Shirley Clarke & Wendy Clarke   Butterfly (1967)