Lütfi Akad – Hudutlarin Kanunu AKA The Law of the Border (1966)

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Set along the Turkish-Syrian frontier, this terse, elemental tale of smugglers contending with a changing social landscape brought together two giants of Turkish cinema. Director Lütfi Ö. Akad had already made some of his country’s most notable films when he was approached by Yılmaz Güney—a rising action star who would become Turkey’s most important and controversial filmmaker—to collaborate on this neo-western about a quiet man who finds himself pitted against his fellow outlaws. Combining documentary authenticity with a tough, lean poetry, Law of the Border transformed the nation’s cinema forever—even though it was virtually impossible to see for many years. Continue reading

Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato – Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (2016)

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Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures is the first definitive, feature length portrait of the controversial American artist Robert Mapplethorpe since his death from AIDS in 1989. The one thing more outrageous than Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs was his life. Intimate revelations from family, friends and lovers are topped only by Mapplethorpe’s candor, revealed in a series of rediscovered, never before heard interviews, made public here for the first time. This is the unique portrait of an artist who turned photography into contemporary fine art with a bold vision that ignited a culture war still raging to this day. Continue reading

Detlef Siebert – The Man Who Discovered Capitalism (2016)

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The Film has three narratives:

the story of Schumpeter’s life,

the development of his ideas,

and how the digital revolution illustrates these ideas.
Stylized drama sequences, in combination with Monthy Python inspired cut out animations, illustrate key aspects of Schumpeter’s life and theory.Successful entrepreneurs such as Simon Woodroffe (Yo!Sushi), Eric Wahlforss (Soundcloud), Stefan Smalle (Westwing) and Renaud Visage (Eventbrite) share the secrets of their success and offer insights into what it takes to be the innovative entrepreneur who Schumpeter identified as the key actor in the capitalist drama. Continue reading

Olivier Assayas – Personal Shopper (2016)

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A personal shopper in Paris refuses to leave the city until she makes contact with her twin brother who previously died there. Her life becomes more complicated when a mysterious person contacts her via text message. Continue reading

Andrzej Wajda – Powidoki AKA Afterimage (2016)

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While he’s exercising filmmaking muscles that are mighty spry for a 90-year-old, no one will mistake Andrzej Wajda’s latest feature for an expression of joie de vivre: “Afterimage” is a somber portrait of a Polish artist who, unlike his portraitist here, was defeated by the fickle shifts of political ideology imposed on art. This respectable if somewhat monotonous drama won’t be an easy sell to offshore audiences for whom its subject, avant-garde artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski is hardly a household name. Moreover the film references his defining triumphs just in passing, focusing instead on bleak later years when he was persecuted for failing to tow the Party aesthetic line. The result is another significant chapter in Polish history from Wajda, albeit one unlikely to travel as widely as some of his past subjects. Continue reading