Tag Archives: 1980s

Werner Schroeter – Die Generalprobe AKA Dress Rehearsal (1980)

The first of Schroeter’s series of documentaries about theatrical performers, Dress Rehearsal began as a commission by German television for a short report on the 1980 edition of the World Theatre Festival in Nancy, France. Inspired by a number of the performers at the festival, Schroeter created instead a feature-length film essay. In particular, he focuses on Pina Bausch and her troupe from the Wuppertal Tanztheater, the Japanese butoh dancer Kazuo Ohno and the American performance artist Pat Olesko. Out of an engrossing and entertaining collage of various impressions from the festival, including rehearsals, performances, interviews, readings and encounters onstage and off, Schroeter develops a meditation on the relationship between art and politics and presents an early formulation of his ideas about performance as a form of love. Read More »

Erden Kiral – Ayna AKA Der Spiegel AKA The Mirror (1984)

Quote:
Der Spiegel reflects the sad existence of a village couple, Necmetting and Zelihan, whose lives are regulated by nature and the all-powerful feudal lord. When the lord’s good-looking brother tries to seduce beautiful Zelihan, her husband has no choice but take up arms to restore his lost honor. Read More »

Alejandro Jodorowsky – Santa sangre [+Commentary] (1989)

Quote:
Does the prolonged gestation period account for the bulging-valise feel of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s seething, gore-drenched carnivale? Not really — all of his pictures seem deliberately shaped to let the fantasies spill over once poured in, and this lushly scabrous murkfest, made after nearly a decade of inactivity, is true to the molten-lava of Jodorowsky’s imagination. As in his ’70s freakouts, the movie follows the trajectory of the subconscious, namely Fenix’s (as in “rising from the ashes,” and played at different ages by the filmmaker’s sons, Axel and Adan), first spotted perched nekkid atop a tree in the asylum. Cue flashback, and the parade of candy-colored melodrama surging out of the “Circo del Gringo,” traumas piling up on little Fenix’s innocence via his bloated, randy cowboy dad (Guy Stockwell) and his fervid-eyed mom (Blanca Guerra), who, when not dangling from a trapeze by her hair, presides over an order of fanatics worshipping an armless martyr. Read More »

Richard Kerr – Last Days of Contrition (1986)

Richard was coming back into town and we set up a gig for him at the local co-op. He was bringing along his new, tough, beautiful, hard-won movie called The Last Days of Contrition. It showed just about everywhere that tough movies were being shown. But for this night we brought dad’s pull-down screen and a couple of boxes of beer and the crowd spilled out into the hallway. We sat around the projector and marveled at how he’d managed to go into America and find it so emptied and cruel. There were how many military vehicles shuttling across the desert in shots he’d waited all day for, so by the time he finally turned the camera on, all that anger had become something else. He really had a knack for the silver light. Read More »

Milos Forman – Amadeus [Director’s Cut + Extras] (1984)

Synopsis: For this film adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s Broadway hit, director Milos Forman returned to the city of Prague that he’d left behind during the Czech political crises of 1968, bringing along his usual cinematographer and fellow Czech expatriate, Miroslav Ondricek. Amadeus is an expansion of a Viennese “urban legend” concerning the death of 18th-century musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. From the vantage point of an insane asylum, aging royal composer Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) recalls the events of three decades earlier, when the young Mozart (Tom Hulce) first gained favor in the court of Austrian emperor Joseph II (Jeffrey Jones). Read More »

Oliver Schmitz – Mapantsula (1988)

From the Chicago Reader (Jonathan Rosenbaum) :
Shot in Johannesburg and Soweto by Oliver Schmitz, a white South African, this radical 1988 feature offers a grittier view of the anti-apartheid movement than Cry Freedom or A World Apart, both from the same period. A petty thief (Thomas Mogotlane) winds up in jail, meets other blacks involved in protesting racism, and gradually becomes politically aware. Banned in South Africa upon release, the film conveys a volatile sense of both time and place–according to the South African censor, it had “the power to incite probable viewers to act violently.” Read More »

Todd Solondz – Fear, Anxiety & Depression (1989)

All Movie Guide says:
This film focuses on the trials and tribulations of Ira (Todd Solondz), who is an unsuccessful playwright trying to find himself in New York City. — Iotis Erlewine Read More »