Tadeusz Konwicki – Jak daleko stad, jak blisko AKA How Far, How Near (1972)

Middle-aged Andrzej takes a dreamlike journey to his troubled past, trying to understand his friend’s suicide. Read More »

Christel Buschmann – Comeback (1982)

A once-famous blues singer whose career has taken a downturn tries to get back on top. Read More »

Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche – Les chants de Mandrin (2011)

After the execution of Louis Mandrin, famous outlaw and popular hero of the mid-eighteenth century, his companions risk the adventure of a new campaign of smuggling in the provinces of France. Under the protection of their weapons, smugglers organize unauthorized markets, near the villages, where they sell tobacco, fabrics and precious goods. They write songs in honor of Mandrin, print them and distribute them to the kingdom’s farmers… Read More »

Jinsei Tsuji – Tenshi no wakemae AKA Angel’s Share (1995)

A strange duo, Minko and Hiroto, who believe themselves to be angels, throw out fashion massage leaflets called “Angel Dispatch” from the roof of a building on Christmas Day in order to save unfortunate people. The flyers were blown by the wind and fell into the city. Read More »

Isild Le Besco – Demi-tarif AKA Half-Price (2003)

Actress Isild Le Besco (Girls Can’t Swim) makes her feature debut as a director with Demi-Tarif (Half-Price). The movie, shot on digital video on a miniscule budget, garnered attention in its native France after renowned filmmaker Chris Marker compared the experience of seeing it to the experience he and his friends had upon seeing Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless for the first time. Demi-Tarif follows the low-key adventures of three young siblings, Romeo (Kolia Litscher), Launa (Lila Salet), and the youngest, Leo (Cindy David), left on their own in a rundown Paris apartment. One of them narrates, wistfully explaining how their mother abandoned them and calls them once in a while to see how they are doing or tell them she loves them. The three kids do as they please, roaming the streets, running out of restaurants without paying for food, and shoplifting from the local grocery store. They eat whatever and whenever they want, gorging themselves on sweets. They beg for change on the Metro and show up late for school in tattered, dirty clothes. All the while, they try to keep the fact that they are alone a secret from the world of adults. Demi-Tarif had its U.S. premiere at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. Read More »

Ryô Nakajima – Suicchi o osu toki AKA When I Kill Myself (2011)

Due to the high suicide rate among youths in Japan, the government implements experiments to uncover the causes behind the high suicide rate. Children are selected and placed in a YSC facility under constant surveillance. At the age of 10, the children are then give a detonator with a red switch. They are told if they press the switch they will die immediately. Most of the children under the experiment, eventually presses the switch and dies. Read More »

Jonathan Nossiter – Sunday (1997)

Jonathan Nossiter’s “Sunday” – winner of the Grand Jury Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival – is an intriguingly ambiguous drama about the chance meeting and role-playing of two lonely, middle-aged people in Queens, N.Y. Despite a slow, disorienting start and an unsatisfying conclusion, pic has memorable impact due largely to strong lead performances by David Suchet and Lisa Harrow. Even so, it will need canny marketing, backed with highly favorable critical response, to attract ticketbuyers in specialty venues. Read More »