The Abomination is manic, ambitious, and completely insane. Upon initial impressions, it’s no trash classic. But there’s something else there. Something special. Something which finds an abrasive balance between Biblical riffing, physical sickness, skewed humor, and bloody vagina monsters which hide in cubbards (and washing machines). How does that grab you? Read More »
The international breakthrough of acclaimed filmmaker Claire Denis, Chocolat is set in a remote town in Cameroon during the last days of France’s colonies in Africa.
Claire Denis’s award-winning autobiographical film traces a young white woman’s return to her youth in pre-independence French Cameroon, haunted by strong memories of black African Protee, the family’s “houseboy” and a man of great nobility, intelligence and beauty. Chocolat is a stirring & subtle examination of intricate relationships in a racist society and the human damage exacted on both the colonized and colonizer. Read More »
In the 70’s, Bokolo and Mamadou sweepers in the city of Paris, looking for a way to pay for the return home of one of their sick comrades. When they discover an old book of recipes in the trash, the idea came to participate in a televised game of decline precisely the ingredients of the best dishes of French cuisine. They memorize the recipes sauces, puddings and desserts. Read More »
It is World War II in German-occupied Romania. Nazi soldiers have been sent to garrison a mysterious fortress in a remote area of the Carpathian Alps. A nightmarish discovery is soon made, forcing them to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the mysterious force killing their men. They soon discover the massive stone fortress was not built to keep anyone out—it was built to keep something in. Read More »
This interview with Castoriadis was conducted in 1989 by famed filmmaker Chris Marker for Marker’s own television series L’héritage de la chouette (“The Owl’s Legacy”). Eighty-one minutes long, the raw footage originally recorded in French has been translated into English (via easy-to-read subtitles) and edited anonymously as a public service. Here, Castoriadis lays out and examines the contributions of ancient Greece to questions of contemporary relevance relating to democracy, politics, philosophy, art, poetry, economic and social reorganization, and the creative chaos that underlies all existence. Read More »
Synopsis: Released in English-speaking countries as The Rose King, the German Der Rosenkonig is another of director Wern Schroeter’s self-indulgent studies of intense, artistically expressed human passion. The scene is a large Portuguese estate. Still-beauteous widow Magdalene Montezuma lives in empty luxury on the estate with her son. This close familial relationship is shaken up, but ultimately strengthened, by the arrival of a low-born laborer. Director Schroeter unfolds his tale with the slightly surreal logic of a midsummer daydream. Read More »
Quote: Fresh from the tangled dramas of two temporarily halted film productions—including his collaboration with Coppola—Wenders used the cinematic quagmires as fodder for a film about filmmaking. Patrick Bauchau, a Wenders-like German arthouse director, is in the midst of making a black-and-white existential science-fiction feature called The Survivors in Portugal when his funding from a US studio is suddenly cut. The lull in production allows the cast and crew—which features Viva, Robert Kramer and Samuel Fuller—to ponder their relationships to the film and indulge in philosophical rambles and wandering detours, biding their time as needs, both creative and practical, float to the surface. Austerely zooming in and out of narrative focus, with an eye on both Hollywood noir and European arthouse, The State of Things meditatively and wryly captures little truths of cinema’s strange dimension. As Fuller’s cinematographer states, “Life is in color, but black and white is more realistic.” Read More »