T. Minh-ha Trinh – Reassemblage (1983)

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From Allmovie:

Director Trinh T. Minh-ha’s first film is an ethnographic portrait of rural Senegalese women, but its provocative editing and self-conscious narration question the very activities of ethnography and documentary filmmaking; Minh-ha inverts and critiques authoritative Western representations of the “other.'” ~ Sarah Welsh, All Movie Guide

INTERVIEW WITH TRINH MINH-HA

Interviewer Interviewed: A Discussion with Trinh T. Mihn-ha

by Tina Spangler
Emerson College

BORN IN VIETNAM, Trinh T. Minh-ha is a writer, composer and filmmaker She has been making films for better than ten years and may be best known for her first film Reassemblage, made in 1982. However her most recent film Surname Viet, Given Name Nam (1989), which examines “identity and culture through the struggle of Vietnamese women” has received much attention, including winning the Blue Ribbon Award at the American Film and Video festival Trinh T. Minh-ha is a professor of Woman Studies and Film at the University of California, Berkely and was recently a Visiting Professor at Harvard University. Continue reading

John Boorman – Hell in the Pacific (1968)

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A shot-down American pilot finds his way to a small, unpopulated island where he hopes to find provisions. He soon discovers that he is not alone; there is a Japanese officer marooned on the island also. Will they continue to fight each other to the death, or will they reach a modus vivendi?

Lone Japanese soldier Toshiro Mifune diligently scans the ocean from his island lookout as he must have thousands of times before, but this time he spies an abandoned life raft resting on a rocky bluff. Within minutes he’s face to face with American sea-wreck survivor Lee Marvin and the two begin an elaborate game of cat and mouse. Director John Boorman presents this two-man war as a deadly game between a pair of overgrown children, who finally tire of it (as kids will) and settle into tolerated co-existence and then even something resembling a friendship. With impressionistic strokes, Boorman paints a lush tropical paradise in colors you can drink from the screen, capturing the texture of their experience as refracted through the cinema: the look of the island as seen through the haze of smoke, the sound of a sudden rainstorm as it hushes the island in a calming roar, the timelessness of life outside of civilization. Continue reading

Claire Denis – Beau Travail AKA Good Work (1999)

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Synopsis
This film focuses on ex-Foreign Legion officer, Galoup, as he recalls his once glorious life, leading troops in the Gulf of Djibouti. His existence there was happy, strict and regimented, but the arrival of a promising young recruit, Sentain, plants the seeds of jealousy in Galoup’s mind. He feels compelled to stop him from coming to the attention of the commandant who he admires, but who ignores him. Ultimately, his jealousy leads to the destruction of both Sentain and himself.
Continue reading

Serge Gainsbourg – Je t’aime moi non plus AKA I Love You, I Don’t (1976)

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IMDB:
The petite waitress Johnny works and lives in a truck-stop, where she’s lonely and longs for love. She develops a crush on the garbage truck driver Krassky, although her sleazy boss Boris warns her that he’s gay. Maybe because of her boyish looks, Krassky likes her too. Both don’t notice the growing jealousy of Krassky’s boyfriend Padovan – until an escalation. Continue reading

Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Sud pralad AKA Tropical Malady (2004)

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Plot

The story of a blossoming romance between a soldier and a country boy, crossed with a Thai folk legend about a shaman with shapeshifting abilities.

Review

Love is the drug, a game for two and, in the otherworldly new Thai film ”Tropical Malady,” unabashedly strange. A fractured love story about the mystery and impossibility of desire, the film was directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, whose earlier feature ”Blissfully Yours” opened recently in New York. Perched between two worlds, two consciousnesses and two radically different storytelling traditions, this new feature, which will be screened today as part of the New York Film Festival, shows a young filmmaker pushing at the limits of cinematic narrative with grace and a certain amount of puckish willfulness. Continue reading

Nino Oxilia – Rapsodia satanica aka Satan’s Rhapsody (1915)

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Quote:
Rapsodia Satanica (1915) was the last film directed by Nino Oxilia and is undoubtedly one of the finest achievements of the early Italian cinema. In it, Oxilia spins a variation on the Faust myth, embodied here by the diva Lyda Borelli. Typical of extravagant D’Annunzian aestheticism at its height, Rapsodia Satanica was one of the summits of what was later called the “tail coat film.” Diametrically opposed to the “cinema of reality” practiced by Serena, Martoglio and others, “tail coat films” set their melodramatic stories in the salons and villas of the upper middle class and the aristocracy, deploying narrative structures contrived to showcase their actors and especially its actresses. This had the effect of accentuating their physical presence and turning them into stars – probably the first stars in movie history. The success of the “dive” contributed to the development of motion picture grammar in its special use of the close-up.
Written by Anthony Kobal Continue reading