Joris Ivens – Une histoire de vent AKA A Tale of the Wind (1988)

Premiere: Filmfestival Venice 1988
Awards: Golden Lion (Filmfestival Venice), Félix (European Filmaward of the European Film Academy)

Joris Ivens’ last film, made with Marceline Loridan, is a testamentary view on his own life and the changes in the world. After Pour le Mistral this film is his second attempt to film the invisible: the wind. On location in China they try to capture the wind as a natural phenomenon, and as metaphor for the constant changes in Culture and Society. In 1988 the film premiered at the film festival of Venice, where Joris Ivens received the Golden Lion for his complete oeuvre. Read More »

    Kihachi Okamoto – Jazz Daimyo (1986)

    A Nutshell Review: Dixieland Daimyo, 26 October 2006
    Author: DICK STEEL from Singapore

    My initial reaction was, this sure is one strange movie. Set in the late 19th century and after the end of the American Civil War, three slaves decided to make their way back to Africa, but en route, found themselves on the shores of Japan after a shipwreck. From then on, it’s a weird mix of Japanese shogun intrigue and jazz music fused into a somewhat nonsensical end. Read More »

      Carl Theodor Dreyer – Prästänkan AKA The Parson’s Widow (1920)

      Although only Dreyer’s third film, The Parson’s Widow is an astonishingly mature achievement. Many of the director’s chief characteristics can be recognised, appearing not as blueprints but in their already fully-realised form. To people who only know his more celebrated later works, the most surprising feature of The Parson’s Widow is its humour. Its comedy is in the tradition – as becomes a Swedish production of the time – not only of Mauritz Stiller’s well-known frequentation of the genre, but also of some of Victor Sjöström’s less widely seen or underappreciated masterpieces, such as Hans nåds testamente (His Honor’s Testament, 1919) and Mästerman (1920). All of these films are quiet, poignant comedies of love and ageing, strangely foreshadowing some of Leo McCarey’s 1930s films. Read More »

        Kihachi Okamoto – Tokkan AKA Battle Cry (1975)


        Peter High: Your war films seem to fall into two categories – those large, epic productions you did for Toho like Gekido no Showa-shi Okinawa kesen (The Battle of Okinawa, 1971) and the low-budget, personal ones financed by yourself, like Nikudan (The Human Bullet, 1968) and Tokkan (Batle Cry, 1975). Read More »

          Martin Walz – Kondom des Grauens AKA Killer Condom (1996)

          A witty and inventive gross-out comedy suggesting a synthesis of John Waters and Terry Gilliam, Martin Walz’s German film adapts Ralf Konig’s graphic comic about killer contraceptives unleashed in a diabolical plot to wipe out New York’s gay population. (Actually the condoms, which eviscerate or castrate their victims, make no distinctions when it comes to sexual orientation.) Luigi Mackeroni (Udo Samel), a gay Sicilian police detective, sets out to track down the source; in the movie’s longest running gag he’s one of the first victims, losing one of his testicles during a hotel tryst. Walz introduces some nice noir shadings (Luigi delivers the ironic voice-overs) and his camera placement is generally smart and revealing–especially in the thoroughly weird shots from the point of view of the condoms. Unfortunately, though, he can’t sustain the wonderful energy throughout the film. Killer Condom certainly isn’t for all tastes–at times it wasn’t for mine–but it’s impossible to walk away indifferent. Read More »

            Rosa von Praunheim – Armee der Liebenden oder Revolte der Perversen AKA Army of Lovers or Revolution of the Perverts (1979)

            Army of Lovers or Revolt of the Perverts (German: Armee der Liebenden oder Aufstand der Perversen) is a 1979 German documentary film directed by Rosa von Praunheim. The film, mainly shot in San Francisco, chronicles the rise of gay activism in the United States between 1972 and 1978 in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots and before the arrival of the AIDS epidemic. It explores, among other themes, the initial unity formed post-Stonewall era, splintered into numerous factions. The American gay liberation movement, strengthened by the assault of the Anita Bryant-led anti-gay initiatives, appears foundering into polarization and self-interest groups in an increasingly fractured leadership. The film discusses whether overt sexual expression and promiscuity were helping or hurting the cause of gay rights. Read More »

              Tobias Adam & Florian Kläger & Markus Milcke – A Story of Sahel Sounds (2016)

              The film is about a project from Christopher Kirkleys called “Sahel Sounds”. He owns an independent label and travels through the Sahel area in Africa, to find musician with an unique sound. The music he uses for his vinyl publication is often in low audio quality but authentic. The plot shows the whole process, from negotiating a fair deal with musician to producing the vinyl. He also organizes European tours, in the movie he is on a trip with Mamman Sani and Mdou Moctar, two musician who were found by Kirkleys in Niger. Read More »