Wolfgang Staudte – Schicksal aus zweiter Hand (1949)


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Ein Versicherungsangestellter heiratet eine Frau aus reichen Haus, ohne Einverständnis ihrer Eltern. Eines Tages geht er zu einem Wahrsager, der seiner Frau ein jähes Ende prophezeit. Read More »

Andrew Robinson – Satyajit Ray The Inner Eye: The Biography of a Master Filmmaker (1989)

Book Description
This is the best-known biography of the film giant, based on extensive interviews with Ray himself, his actors, collaborators, and a deep knowledge of Bengali culture. This second edition contains extensive new material covering Ray’s final three films made in 1989-1991, a discussion of his artistic legacy, and the most comprehensive bibliography of Ray’s own writings.

Andrew Robinson, who had been a friend of Ray’s, spent a number of years working on this, and his account of Ray’s family and childhood draws upon interviews and conversations, supplemented with material from Ray’s own CHILDHOOD DAYS, MY YEARS WITH APU, and other sources. Robinson paints a portrait of a Calcutta overflowing with creative potential – Ray’s family connections to Tagore are also detailed, as are the accomplishments of his father and grandfather, and the intellectual independence of his mother, who seemed to strongly influence at least a few of his cinematic characters. Read More »

James Benning – 11 x 14 (1977)

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11 x 14

James Hoberman chose 11 x 14 as one of the top ten films of the seventies (Film Comment, January 1980) and later wrote in The Village Voice:

“One of the most praised American avant-garde films of recent years, James Benning’s 1976 feature is a laconic mosaic of single-shot sequences, each offering some sort of sound/image pun or paradox. At once a crypto-narrative with an abstract, peekaboo storyline and fractured, painterly study of the midwestern landscape, 11 x 14 points toward the creation of a new, nonliterary but populist cinema.” Read More »

Nils Malmros – Kammesjukjul AKA Pal Christmas (1978)

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‘Kammesjukjul’ is a children’s Christmas movie made for television. It is basically a portrayal of the odd (in retrospect) childhood experiences which, at the time they occur, hold some mysterious significance. The movie is set at Christmas time, but the Christmas setting is not really important for the appreciation of the movie.

The plot:
Mads is not going to a Christmas tree party this year because his father’s company is way too small for that. Therefore, Mads decides to arrange his own party. He invites some of his friends and his teacher’s grandson for the party. Arranging a party is of course not easy for a young boy; it involves theft, intrigues, lying… Do Mads overcome the difficulties, or will there be no Christmas tree party? Read More »

Chris Marker & Pierre Lhomme – Le Joli mai (1963)

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Some info:

Setting out to create an evocative portrait of his beloved hometown of Paris and to “track it like a detective with a telescope and a microphone,” Chris Marker’s astounding and astute film LE JOLI MAI emerges as an early example of Marker’s unique cinema of poetic cultural anthropology. Filmed in May 1962, just as the Algerian war had come to an end, LE JOLI MAI sees a crew of interviewers and cameramen fanning out across Paris interviewing a compelling cross section of city dwellers on life, love, money, happiness, work, war, and peace. From a poverty stricken mother of seven who just received a government-financed flat, to outspoken teenage students at the stock exchange, Marker’s interviewees respond to his deceptively simple questions with statements that encapsulate the complex, troubled, and exciting society of 1962 Paris during a period of psychological and social turmoil. Marker’s highly subjective documentary style matches eloquent narration with illustrative montage. The film’s visual and verbal wit matches the stark reality of its documentary footage with philosophical musings (voiced beautifully by narrator Simone Signoret). LE JOLI MAI faithfully captures Marker’s sociopolitical vision of Paris, and it foreshadows the unrest that would erupt less than a decade later in the revolts of May 1968. Read More »

Koji Wakamatsu – Joji no rirekisho AKA A Personal history of a love affair (1965)

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Roland Domenig, Vital flesh: the mysterious world of Pink Eiga
Koji Wakamatsu is one of the more important directors to have worked in the pink film (pinku eiga), a genre of softcore, dramatically charged films which were dominant on the Japanese domestic scene in the 1960’s and 1970’s (the roman porn were a more radical and explicit subset of the pink film). The Japanese studios who produced these films, including Nikkatsu, were reluctant to distribute these films abroad, for fear of the sort of image the films would project of Japan. Seeing these films today one must conclude that it was not the more obvious sexual display that worried the Japanese, but the radical anarchist politics of the films, perhaps above all else, often compounded by violent sadomasochism, and the undercurrent of misogyny. Read More »

Jonathan Rosenbaum – Moving Places: A Life at the Movies (1995)

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[Amazon.com]:
Moving Places is the brilliant account of a life steeped in and shaped by the movies–part autobiography, part film analysis, part social history. Jonathan Rosenbaum, one of America’s most gifted film critics, began his moviegoing in the 1950s in small-town Alabama, where his family owned and managed a chain of theaters. Read More »