Peter Schreiner – Fata Morgana (2013)

Synopsis
Austrian experimental documentary maker Peter Schreiner undertakes a psychoanalytic quest for human existence. It’s a cross between Freud and Sartre, magical and minimalist, as long as you dare.
Two wrinkled lovers, marked by life, expose their deepest inner emotions. Giuliana compares the vaults of her spirit with closed doors that you ‘have to open cautiously’. ‘But,’ Christian wonders, ‘does that make you happier?’ They talk slowly and calmly, looking for the right words for their inner demons. It all comes down to reason and feeling and where the two meet. About reality that looks both familiar and alienating. Read More »

Samuel Fuller – Pickup on South Street (1953)

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Pickup on South Street opens with a striking omission of dialogue and score, heightening our awareness of the film’s pared images and the diamond-hard editing rhythms. On a subway, a beautiful woman, Candy (Jean Peters), is scrutinized by two men who are obviously tailing her. Everything about Candy’s pose is intensely erotic, from the crook of her arm that’s holding the subway railing to the sweat on her skin, to the way she’s cramped up against the other passengers. Soon saddling up to her is Skip McCoy (Richard Widmark), who approaches her as the prey she clearly represents to his hunter. Hovering over Candy, Skip makes a show of folding a newspaper, opening her purse, rifling through it, and snatching the contents of interest to him. Read More »

Richard Lowenstein – He Died with a Felafel in His Hand [+Extras] (2001)

Over the past 25 years Australian cult director Richard Lowenstein has established himself as one of this country’s most dynamic independent filmmakers. With four feature films to his credit, Lowenstein has straddled both period and art-film genres to give cinematic expression to the stories of everyday Australians and in doing so has consistently captured the cultural zeitgeist on film… Read More »

Paul Thomas Anderson – Boogie Nights (1997)

Synopsis
The story of a young man’s adventures in the Californian pornography industry of the 1970s and 1980s. Read More »

Nicholas Ray & Ida Lupino – On Dangerous Ground (1951)

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A superb noir thriller with a difference. Ray’s second film with producer John Houseman (the first being They Live By Night) starts off in the sinister urban jungle, with Ryan’s cop increasingly brutalised by the ‘garbage’ he is forced to deal with. Finally, his methods become so violent that he is sent to cool off in snowy upstate New York, where his search for a sex killer brings him into contact with Lupino’s blind woman and her mentally retarded brother (Williams). It’s a film about the violence within us all, about the effects of environment and family upon character (Lupino, peaceful and a healing force, even has a tree in her living room), and about the spiritual redemption of a fallen man. Read More »

F. Richard Jones – The Gaucho (1927)

Douglas Fairbanks as The Gaucho
A girl is saved by a miracle after she falls from a cliff in the Argentine Andes, and is blessed with healing powers. A shrine is built on the site, and a whole city grows around it, rich with gold from the grateful worshipers. Ruiz, an evil and sadistic general, captures the city, confiscates the gold, and closes the shrine. But the Gaucho, the charismatic leader of a band of outlaws, comes to the rescue. Read More »

Pablo Trapero – Carancho AKA Abutre (2010)

In Argentina over 8,000 people die in traffic accidents every year. Behind each of these tragedies is a flourishing industry founded on insurance payouts and legal loopholes. Sosa is a lawyer who tours the A&E Departments of the public hospitals and the police stations in search of potential clients. Luján is a young doctor recently arrived from the provinces. Their love story kicks off one night when Luján and Sosa meet in the street. She’s trying to save a man’s life; he wants him on his client portfolio. Read More »