Ming-liang Tsai – Ai qing wan sui AKA Vive l’amour (1994)

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Plot: The film focuses on three city folks who unknowingly share the same apartment: Mei, a real estate agent who uses it for her sexual affairs; Ah-jung, her current lover; and Hsiao-ang, who’s stolen the key and uses the apartment as a retreat.
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Ming-liang Tsai – Dong AKA The Hole (1998)

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(From Allmovie Guide)

“At the 1998 Cannes Film Festival, this Taiwanese-French drama won a FIPRESCI Award, given by international critics. Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang previously won top awards for his 1994 Vive l’amour (at Venice) and 1996 The River (at Berlin). High strangeness is evident in the tale, originally initiated as part of the French TV series of one-hour end-of-millennium dramas. As an epidemic spreads through Taipei, virus victims display odd symptoms. A man (Lee Kang-sheng) who runs a food store with few customers lives in a shabby building in a quarantined section, and a woman (Yang Kuei-mei) in the same building has a withdrawn existence. A plumber, checking a leak, makes a hole in the man’s floor and leaves; the man then observes his neighbors through the hole. The film features four musical fantasy sequences that recall Hong Kong musical films of the ’50s.” — Bhob Stewart Read More »

Shion Sono – Ai no mukidashi AKA Love Exposure (2008)

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Plot:Yu is a high school boy who lives with his father who became a priest after Yu’s mother died. But one day, a woman, Kaori, falls for Yu’s father although she knows that he is a priest. Yu is completely against this because he does not like Kaori’s eccentric presence intruding into the father and son’s peaceful life, and even more because she brings with her Yoko, the girl he fell in love with at first sight. He does not want the girl of his dreams to become a step-sister! One day, religious cult member Koike finds this so-called family an interesting group and kidnaps three of its members, leaving Yu behind on purpose hoping he will join the cult soon. He will not fall for Koike’s tricks, but instead will do anything to save the love of his life, Yoko, from this cult. Read More »

Shion Sono – Himizu (2011)

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Set after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, all 14-year-old Yuichi Sumida (Shota Sometani) wants to become is a regular boy and live a decent life. His environment though repeatedly drags him into the mud. He runs his parent’s rental boat business, which is located next to a nondescript lake. His mother frequently comes home with different men and soon she leaves him entirely. His father only comes around looking for money. Whenever Yuichi’s father is drunk he tells Yuichi “I wish you were dead.”

Keiko Chazawa (Fumi Nikaido) is a classmate of Yuichi Sumida. She harbors a severe crush on Yuichi. Keiko’s home life isn’t much better than Yuichi’s. Her mother builds a gallows with a noose in place for Keiko to take her own life. Her mother believes her life would be better off without Keiko. Read More »

Alexander Gentelev – Putin’s Games (2014)

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As costs for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia spiraled to in excess of $50 billion dollars, Putin’s Games goes behind the scenes to investigate why the first Winter Games to be held in a sub-tropical resort have become the most expensive Olympics ever. With extraordinary access to top government officials and wealthy Russian businessmen, the documentary follows the preparations from the early stages, exposing alleged corruption, the sky-rocketing budget and the big winners and losers. Read More »

Fei Mu – Kong Fuzi AKA Confucius (1940)

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Confucius (Chinese: 孔夫子; pinyin: Kǒng Fūzǐ) is a 1940 Chinese film directed by Fei Mu. Produced during the war, the film was released twice in the 1940s before being thought lost. In 2001, the film was rediscovered when an anonymous donor sent a damaged copy of the print to the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA). The HKFA then spent seven years restoring the print which was finally screened to modern audiences at the 33rd Hong Kong International Film Festival in April 2009.
The film depicts Confucius’s later life, as he traveled across a China divided by war and strife in an ultimately futile effort to teach various warlords and kings his particular philosophy.
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Shion Sono – Ore wa Sono Sion da! (1985)

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This is the highly experimental first film by the then 22-year-old Sono. The title means “I am Sono Sion!” Shot on 8mm, it is a free-wheeling, intimate, poetic cinematic journal in which the artist contemplates his life as he approaches his birthday. The film clearly reveals the experimental roots of a director whose subsequent work has made him a cult figure both inside and outside Japan. Read More »