Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Noyuki yamayuki umibe yuki AKA To the Fields, to the Hills, to the Beaches [B&W Version] (1986)

During the fervently nationalist months leading up to World War II, a rebellious teenager is transferred to a new primary school in a small Inland Sea town. He vies with the school’s reigning bully, who takes a romantic interest in his older stepsister. When they learn she’s going to be sold to a brothel to pay off her father’s debts, they form an uneasy alliance to free her. With surprising moments of caricature and slapstick, Obayashi celebrates the anarchic world of adolescence while also satirizing adult hypocrisy and conformism. Read More »

Hachimiya Ahamada – L’Ivresse d’une Oasis AKA Ashes of Dreams (2011)

On an island in the Indian Ocean, the Comoros archipelago, unoccupied houses await the arrival of their owners. These places without souls and half built abound across the landscape. The myth of eternal return is repeated in the Comorian diaspora. Read More »

Jens Ravn – Manden der tænkte ting AKA The Man Who Thought Life (1969)

The main character is Dr. Max Holst, a successful neurosurgeon. One day an intense little man named Steinmetz shows up, who has the real ability to create objects out of thin air, using only his mind. As no one believes him at first, he is held at a ward for mental patients, but manifests the key to his door and escapes. As he has a special interest in Dr. Holst, Steinmetz subsequently invites Holst to his large mansion, which is full of expensive paintings and sculptures, and proves to him that he can in fact materialise objects. Steinmetz’s abilities are evolving by leaps and bounds, and is progressing from being able to create objects only to being able to create living things. Read More »

Xu Xin – Karamay (2010)

The film opens on the morning of December 8th 2007, in Karamay’s Xiaoxihu cemetery. Daybreak casts a cold grey light over faraway mountains and the Gobi sands. As the camera moves from grave to grave, it zeroes in on the photographs encased in glass on every tombstone. All are of children. Exactly 13 years ago, Karamay’s Friendship Hall was the site of a horrible tragedy: nearly 800 grade and middle-school students and their teachers, hand-picked to entertain a delegation of education officials, were in the midst of a performance when a fire broke out in the hall. Read More »

James Ivory – Maurice (1987)

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Set against the stifling conformity of pre-World War I English society, E.M. Forster’s Maurice is a story of coming to terms with one’s sexuality and identity in the face of disapproval and misunderstanding. Maurice Hall (James Wilby) and Clive Durham (Hugh Grant) find themselves falling in love at Cambridge. In a time when homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment, the two must keep their feelings for one another a complete secret. After a friend is arrested and disgraced for “the unspeakable vice of the Greeks,” Clive abandons his forbidden love and marries a young woman. Read More »

Valie Export – Die Praxis der Liebe AKA The Practice of Love (1985)

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Judith, an investigative journalist, begins to unravel a murder mystery that implicates one of her current lovers. When she checks out a peep-show business on the seedy side of Hamburg as part of the investigation, she runs into a former boyfriend who used to be a psychiatrist but is now an arms dealer. Judith is lured back into his fold, cheating on her current lovers, one of whom is also a shrink. Despite her profession, or perhaps because of it, Judith tends to blend fantasy and reality, so small wonder she is attracted to psychoanalysts. But, two shrinks and a murder prove more than Judith can handle. Nominated for the Golden Berlin Bear at the 1985 Berlinale. Read More »

Jack Gold – The Bofors Gun [+Extras] (1968)

A drama set in post-war Germany. A small detachment of British National Servicemen faces
internal strife and a meltdown of Army discipline. Read More »