Isaac Julien – BaadAsssss Cinema: A Bold Look at ’70s Blaxploitation Films (2002)

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from rottentomatoes
“Produced by the Independent Film Channel (IFC), this documentary by filmmaker Isaac Julien takes a look at blaxploitation films, and the huge cult following that has built up around them. Interviews with some of the original actors and directors of the genre are featured, including Richard Roundtree, Pam Grier and Melvin Van Peebles; Latter day fan Quentin Tarantino also offers his opinions. The explosive mixture of incredible fashions, hairstyles, comedy, sex, action and music contained in these films has won millions of fans all over the globe, find out why in BAASASSSSS CINEMA!” Continue reading

Michel Deville – Le Dossier 51 (1978) (DVD)

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A long time ago, I went to see Michel Deville’s Le Dossier 51 knowing absolutely nothing about it. About 5 minutes in, I realized I had made a terrible mistake, and I started to plan my exit from the middle seat where I was trapped. 5 minutes later, I had become intrigued enough by the weird experiment I was watching to be distracted from that plan. About 100 minutes after that, as the lights came up, I was convinced I had just seen a masterpiece, a film that should be mentioned in the same breath as The Conversation and Blow Out. Continue reading

Partho Sen-Gupta, John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain – Shakti Timeless (2006)

“Shakti Timeless” tells the story of the Indo-Western music group Shakti. Formed in 1975, the group pioneered a groundbreaking and highly influential musical East-meets-West approach. In the 1970s, the group, whose name means creative intelligence, beauty and power, consisted of legendary British jazz guitarist John McLauglin, North Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, violinist L. Shankar and percussionist T.H. Vinayakram, the latter two hailing from South India. Together, they created a fluid and organic sound that managed to successfully combine seemingly incompatible traditions. After a number of very successful live concerts and albums they disbanded. The group was reformed in 1997 under the name Remember Shakti with new talents from India, such as V. Selvaganesh, who replaced his father Vinayakram on percussion, and the young prodigy U. Shrinivas, who replaced L. Shankar. In 2000, the young Indian classical singer Shankar Mahadevan joined as the first vocal element in the group. The documentary is on the DVD “Remember Shakti – The Way of Beauty,” which also includes the 2000 concert film “Saturday Night in Bombay.” Continue reading

John Paizs – Crime Wave [Director’s Cut] (1985)

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A Canadian cult classic.

A seminal film in Winnipeg independent film-making in the 1980’s Crime Wave is a work of incredible imagination and inventive ideas. Upon its release in the mid 1980’s the film played to terrific acclaim at film festivals across North America. Crammed with B movie gags and pop cultural references the movie follows the story of Steven Penny, a crime writer who wants to create the perfect colour crime movie but he is only good at writing beginnings and endings (and not the stuff in the middle.) Continue reading

Marin Karmitz – Sept jours ailleurs aka Seven days somewhere else (1969)

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A young composer is suffocating in his social and family life. He dreams of leaving and starting his life over somewhere else… Jacques goes on a tour of the provinces with a ballet troupe who dance to his music. They live in hotel rooms, train compartments, and dressing rooms where the excited dancers liven up the atmosphere. The girls, among themselves, describe their problems, experiences and hopes in their crude, colorful language. He falls madly in love with one dancer who is as distraught as he is. Maybe this is a way to find happiness again. But the tour comes to an end… It was just a ‘brief encounter’. At the Gare de Lyon, Michèle, his wife, is waiting for him. Jacques lets Catherine go… Continue reading