Mike De Leon – Bayaning Third World (2000)


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Two filmmakers were obsessed with doing a film about Jose Rizal, the Filipino national hero. Their effort to explain the mysteries in the hero’s life lead them to confront the past and its characters.

This odyssey towards the illusive truth show us their face encounters with Dona Lolay, Rizal’s mother; Paciano, the brother; Josephine Bracken, the controversial “dulce extranjera”; Narcisa, the understanding elder sister who holds the key to the retraction controversy; and Padre Balaguet, the jesuit who writes about Rizal’s final hours. Read More »

Bernardo Bertolucci – Il conformista AKA The Conformist (1970)

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This story opens in 1938 in Rome, where Marcello has just taken a job working for Mussollini and is courting a beautiful young woman who will make him even more of a conformist. Marcello is going to Paris on his honeymoon and his bosses have an assignment for him there. Look up an old professor who fled Italy when the fascists came into power. At the border of Italy and France, where Marcello and his bride have to change trains, his bosses give him a gun with a silencer. In a flashback to 1917, we learn why sex and violence are linked in Marcello’s mind. (IMDb) Read More »

Various – Den vita sporten AKA The White Match (1968)

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Directors (credited as Grupp 13)
* Roy Andersson
* Kalle Boman
* Lena Ewert
* Staffan Hedqvist
* Lennart Malmer
* Jörgen Persson
* Ingela Romare
* Inge Roos
* Axel Rudorf-Lohmann
* Rudi Spee
* Bo Widerberg

imdb user review:

An in-the-face documentary in the height of the 1968 student rebellions, 8 August 2004
Author: rundfunk

Some people might claim that Den vita sporten (The White Match/Sport) is dated. Others might claim that the film too closely bound with the whole 1968 student movement, the new left, the student uproar. And some might consider it as mere propaganda. This phenomenal film is all of the above – and that’s why it’s such a shocker.

The question the filmmakers wishes to explore is if sports and politics don’t mix, with the Davis Cup tennis matches between Sweden and Rhodesia as a backdrop. Of course the answer is already given – sports are politics as much as anything that goes down in society as a whole. Naturally, politicians and sports organizers disagree, but a regular but diverse army consisting of angry students, self-righteous liberals and crazed fanatical Maoists set their course toward the small beach resort Båstad. Here, things go really ugly as the demonstrators are determined to stop the match at any cost. Read More »

Scott Crary – Kill Your Idols (2004)

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Quote:
A thrilling, comprehensive guide to New York’s buzzing downtown underground post-punk scene. Director Scott Crary kicks things off with the birth of No Wave in the late 1970’s, providing an angular rush with a priceless collection of live performances from Suicide, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, the Theoretical Girls and DNA. From this initial explosion of artistic energy, the film moves through the 1980’s, passing the torch to Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth and Michael Gira of Swans, before crashlanding in the noisy Now! of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Dice, Liars, A.R.E. Weapons and the Gypsy stylings of Gogol Bordello. Interviews connect the threads between the past and the present, an ever-fertile scene is defined, celebrated and trashed with equal amounts of enthusiasm, and the creators of some of the most challenging rock music of all-time get to explain what they do, why they do it and where it’s all heading. – palmpictures.com Read More »

Robert Guediguian – La Ville est tranquille AKA The Town Is Quiet (2000)

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From Stephen Holden review in NYT: “In his unsettling urban panorama, “The Town Is Quiet,” the director Robert Guédiguian invests the French port city of Marseille with the same epic sense of drama that infused Robert Altman’s “Nashville.” Raw, wrenching and more starkly tragic than Mr. Altman’s satire, “The Town Is Quiet” evokes a similar vision of a city as a teeming organism in violent, spasmodic flux.
Like “Nashville,” the film is a sprawling mosaic of interlocking stories whose characters run the social gamut, from right-wing upper- class politicians to young North African immigrants to blue-collar dock workers. As much as the director grasps the anxieties of the city’s well-heeled establishment, his sympathies lie with the sufferings of its underdogs, the struggles of its working class and the dreams of newcomers pouring into the city through its teeming harbor. If his identification with the common people recalls Frank Capra, the go-for-broke passion with which he expresses that vision is closer to Pier Paolo Pasolini.” Read More »

Ulrich Seidl – Paradies: Liebe (2012)

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Quote:
The premiere of the first part of Ulrich Seidls PARADISE trilogy was celebrated in this year’s competition of the Cannes Film Festival with great success. The film tells the story of Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel), a 50-year-old Austrian from Vienna who travels as a sex tourist to Kenya in search of love. On the beaches of Kenya they´re known as Sugar Mamas: European women to whom black beach boys offer sex to earn a living. The movie of Ulrich Seidl deals about older women and young men, the market value of sexuality, the power of skin color, Europe and Africa, and the exploited, who have no choice but to victimize other victims.

PARADISE: Love is the opener in a trilogy about three women in one family who take separate vacations: one as a sex tourist, another as a Catholic missionary (PARADISE: Faith) and the third at a diet camp for teenagers (PARADISE: Hope.) Three films, three women, three stories of longing. Read More »

Kamran Shirdel – An shab ke barun amad AKA The Night it Rained (1967)

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The Night It Rained is undoubtedly Kamran Shirdel’s best film and a masterpiece in the history of documentary filmmaking. In northern Iran, a schoolboy from a village near Gorgan is said to have discovered that the railway had been undermined and washed away by a flood. As the story goes, when he saw the approaching train, he set fire to his jacket, ran towards the train and averted a serious and fatal accident. Shirdel’s film does not concentrate on the heroic deed promulgated in the newspapers, but on a caricature of social and subtle political behavior – the way in which witnesses and officials manage to insert themselves into the research into this event. Shirdel uses newspaper articles and interviews with railway employees, the governor, the chief of police, the village teacher and pupils, each of whom tell a different version of the event. In the end, they all contradict each other, while the group of possible or self-appointed heroes constantly grows. With his cinematic sleights of hand, Shirdel paints a bittersweet picture of Iranian Society in which truth, rumor, and lie can no longer be distinguished. Read More »