USA

Ulu Grosbard – Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971)

Quote:
Georgie Soloway, a pop hit love song writer who cannot love, himself, or others. He spends his days with various women flying his plane, and dropping in to the world around him. Read More »

John Sayles – Matewan (1987)

Independent filmmaker John Sayles creates one of his more artistic works with this period feature about a volatile 1920s labor dispute in the town of Matewan, West Virginia. Matewan is a coal town where the local miners’ lives are controlled by the powerful Stone Mountain Coal Company. The company practically owns the town, reducing workers’ wages while raising prices at the company-owned supply and grocery. The citizens’ land and homes are not their own, and the future seems dim. When the coal company brings immigrants and minorities to Matewan as cheaper labor, union organizer Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper) scours the town to unite all miners in a strike. Read More »

Charles Burnett – The Annihilation of Fish (1999)

Quote:
James Earl Jones and Lynn Redgrave star as mutually insane neighbors in a California apartment house who become romantically involved (she thinks she’s sexually intimate with Puccini, and he periodically wrestles with a demon of his own named Hank). Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep, The Glass Shield) directed this whimsical, bittersweet 1999 feature, handling the actors with sensitivity, but the preciousness of Anthony C. Winkler’s screenplay, adapted from his own novel, only underlines how much better off Burnett is writing his own scripts (Nightjohn being an exception). With Margot Kidder.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader Read More »

Alfred E. Green – East of the River (1940)

Synopsis:
Troubled youths Joe and Nick Lorenzo grow into very different men: Joe a small-time hoodlum and Nick an honored college graduate. When Nick falls for Joe’s girl Laurie, trouble erupts between the two men and also with the gang that has it in for Joe. Read More »

Jack Deveau – The Boys from Riverside Drive (1977)

Synopsis/Background wrote:
“This early offering from master director Jack Deveau is decidedly tamer than most of his later work, and at just over an hour it’s also a shorter than his epics from the later part of the decade. There is an anonymous flavor to some of the sex, and a little kinky bondage enters the picture courtesy of some very loose rope midway through, but this is mostly a straightforward, romance-inflected film. Read More »

Bill Viola – I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like (1986)

Quote:
Structured in five parts, Il Corpo Scuro (The Dark Body), The Language of the Birds, The Night of Sense, Stunned by the Drum, and The Living Flame, the tape envisions a metaphysical journey of rational and intuitive thought, from the natural world to spiritual rituals. Viola’s poetic investigation of subject and object, observing and being observed, and his search for knowledge of the self is encapsulated in an indelible visual metaphor: an image of the artist reflected in the pupil of an owl’s eye. Read More »

Jessica Yu – In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

Henry Darger, an elderly recluse, spent his childhood in an Illinois asylum for feeble-minded children and his adulthood working as a janitor. He lived a quiet, nearly solitary existence, but his imaginary life was exciting, colorful and sexually provocative. When he died in Chicago in 1973, his landlady discovered in his room 300 paintings, some over 10 feet long, and a 15,000-page illustrated novel (The Realms Of The Unreal), which told the epic story of the virtuous Vivian Girls, seven angelic sisters who lead a rebellion against godless, child-enslaving men. Read More »