Ate de Jong – Highway to Hell (1992)

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Charle (Rob Lowe’s affably boyish younger brother Chad) and Rachel (delectable blonde hottie Kristy Swanson, who originated the part of everyone’s favorite bloodsucker-stomping high school cheerleader in the flop movie “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) are a sweetly pure and innocent young couple who make the usual mistake of driving down a remote desert dirt road. When Rachel gets abducted by the pernicious superhuman fiend Hellcop (hulking C.J. Graham; Jason in “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives”), Charlie literally has to go to hell to rescue Rachel within twenty-four hours or otherwise the Devil (a smoothly sneaky and ingratiating Patrick Bergin) will have her soul for all eternity. Read More »

Lynne Ramsay – Swimmer (2012)

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Swimmer is a poetic journey through the waterways and coastline of the British Isles, following a lone swimmer through lakes, rivers and coves. The journey is framed by a soundtrack of seminal British music, combined with a sound tapestry of hydrophonic recordings and snippets of bankside conversations. The film aims to give a real feel for the diversity of landscape and people of Britain. Read More »

W.S. Van Dyke & Robert J. Flaherty – White Shadows in the South Seas (1928)

Unscrupulous trader Sebastian has little trouble cheating the inhabitants of the South Seas paradise and leading the natives to adopt some of the more unfortunate habits of “civilized” men. He has little opposition save Dr. Matthew Lloyd, once an educated and prominent physician but now smothered in the depths of alcoholic deterioration. When Lloyd goes too far in his attempts to thwart the success of the trader’s greedy plots, Sebastian sees to it that the doctor is framed for a crime and sentenced to be cast adrift tied to the wheel of a derelict ship. Read More »

James Benning – Stemple Pass (2012)

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Benning, like Kaczynski a mathematician who came of age in a working-class Midwestern family in the late 1950s/early 1960s, was able not only to get hold of Kaczynski’s secret journals but also managed to decipher their code (giving added significance to the filmmaker’s reprise of his subject’s words: “FBI, suck my cock!”). Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – The Golden Boat (1990)

“The Golden Boat, the first American production from internationally acclaimed director Raoul Ruiz, is a dry-humored, surreal tale set in downtown Manhattan. Young writer Israel Williams (Federico Muchnik) encounters a wounded man on the street. Though he has been stabbed several times over, the man seems unaffected by his wounds and refuses to go to a doctor. Instead, he asks Israel to help find his estranged son. Israel reluctantly agrees but is met with disbelief and suspicion from the supposed son, a South American television star. Things become dangerously complicated when the old man proves to be a murderer with shady criminal and political connections. Read More »

Felipe Guerrero – Oscuro Animal (2016)

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The protagonists don’t speak – which only makes the images all the more telling in this drama about three women who manage to escape a dangerous war situation in different places in the jungle. One day, La Mona stabs her sleeping boyfriend, a brutal paramilitary commander. She flees. A second woman, Rocío, also has to leave her place of residence, as it is surrounded by paramilitary troops. Nelsa is one of the paramilitaries, but she turns her back on them after being forced to bury the dismembered bodies of executed farmers. Read More »

Manoel de Oliveira – O Princípio da Incerteza AKA The Uncertainty Principle (2002)

Social class, prideful martyrdom, and a dollop of beautifully expansive landscape weave a tale of operatic proportions, both by plot and physically exhaustive standards, in veteran Manoel de Oliveira’s latest exploration of motivation. Marrying for money instead of childhood love, Camila (Leonor Baldaque) naïvely assumes the supposed epic and selfless attributes of Joan of Arc to deal with her husband’s infidelity and the consistent treatment of being irrelevant to the very people that encouraged the doomed match. Read More »