A documentary crew from the BBC arrives in L.A. intent on interviewing Heidi Fleiss, a year after her arrest for running a brothel but before her trial. Several months elapse before the interview, so the crew searches for anyone who’ll talk about the young woman. Two people have a lot to say to the camera: a retired madam named Alex for whom Fleiss once worked and Fleiss’s one-time boyfriend, Ivan Nagy, who introduced her to Alex. Alex and Nagy don’t like each other, so the crew shuttles between them with “she said” and “he said.” When they finally interview Fleiss, they spend their time reciting what Alex and Nagy have had to say and asking her reaction. Continue reading
From acquarello at Strictly Film School Blog: Hiroshi Shimizu’s government-pressured, militarism-era film A Star Athlete is a breezy, refreshingly lighthearted, and subtly subversive slice-of-life comedy that centers on an all-day student march in formation and armed combat drills through the rural countryside for military training exercises. Shimizu demonstrates his deceptively facile adeptness and virtuoso camerawork through a series of extraordinarily choreographed plan sequence shots: a track-and-field race around the campus track between the school’s start athlete Seki (Shuji Sano) and his constantly spurring – and sparring – team mate (Chishu Ryu); an extended dolly sequence of the students’ march as bemused villagers and flirtatious, love-struck young women alternately respectfully step aside, playfully trail, obliviously obstruct, and amorously chase the dashing students in uniform; a mock battlefield charge assault through muddy fields as a guilt-ridden motley crew of travelers on the road scramble to flee from the students in a mistaken belief of being chased in retribution for their petty transgressions during their brief stay in the village. Continue reading
Forty-year old Abel travels to France from Quebec on a pilgrimage to explore the mother country and the land of his ancestors. As he travels around and does all the things tourists are supposed to do, his expectations and perceptions are shattered and he is forced to revise his romanticized image of France. As he travels to see the places where Rimbaud was born, lived, and died, he meets two women who show him the warmth and kindness he was searching for. Continue reading
This film, a kind of sketch, is directed with total freedom, without any concession to any kind of censorship. It seeks to remind the viewer that voyeurism stems from the way we look at things and human beings, not from the things and human beings themselves. Continue reading
Karoly Makk’s contemplative film about two unmarried sisters who cast wistful glances back at their lives, yet still believe in hope and love. Told in the form of an epistolary novel, and utilizing vivid images to convey the character’s innermost thoughts, the film is a serious, stylistically daring, and deeply involving drama. As with Makk’s previous international success, Love, the director exhibits an extraordinary skill at drawing emotionally compelling performances from his talented female leads. In the end, Cat’s Play opposes the bleakness of the outside world with themes of passion, love, and loyalty. Continue reading
“I read the obituaries in The New York Times first thing every day. I know I am not alone in this. It is a melancholy devotion, and slightly occult, and allows me to wander outside my own skin, and to wonder how a life’s essence can be captured in miniature, immortalized in a few words. Continue reading
Saburo and Keiko fall in love with each other but the tide of the war separates them.
It’s a scene that would be cherished and preserved in the cinema’s pantheon of moments were it known; a simple scene – a young man saying goodbye to his girl at her home. They are trying to come to terms with the fact that the fates don’t seem to want to be together. He leaves, and she goes back to the living room and moves to the window to watch him go. Snow is falling steadily. She waits for him to look back, which he does about 10 yards or so away. He starts to come back and stops in front of the window. He’s positioned lower down than her, but after longingly staring at each other, and the camera showing us each of their anguished faces in turn, he stands on tip toe to pucker up his lips to the glass. She in turn motions her head down to meet his lips. Continue reading