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1981-1990

Jirí Menzel – Postriziny AKA Cutting It Short (1981)

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Quote:
Short Cut is a comedy revealed more in the acting and witty dialogue than in the simple premise of the story itself: how the Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal was born. Actually, the story is, in many ways, the writer’s conception. The setting is a small town where Hrabal’s father Francine (Jiri Schmitzer) is in charge of a large brewery. Both the blessing and bane of his life is his gorgeous wife Marja (Magda Vasaryova). Blessing, because she is not only beautiful but resourceful and intelligent and lively, bane because every other man would like to get to know her better. Marja saves the day more than once, and the couple are happy in their life together. When Francine’s brother arrives for a visit, an attraction starts to develop between Marja and her brother-in-law that may have upset the marriage, were it not for a fortuitous accident. Marja sprains her ankle and her husband is “forced” to take care of her – alone. Soon after, the town gets their first radio and life takes a permanent turn for a faster lane. Marja cuts her long, blonde tresses and dons a short skirt which mortifies her husband, until he learns they are going to have a baby. It is 1916 and Hrabal is on the way. The comedy will one day continue as he goes from gestation to adulthood and discovers his writing talents at the age of 48. Coupled with the Czech director Jiri Menzel, Hrabal’s comedic writing finds a kindred cinematic spirit. This film won a Jury Prize at the 1981 Venice Film Festival. Read More »

Dariush Mehrjui – Voyage au pays De Rimbaud (1983) DVD

Dariush Mehrjui did this for France 3, during his french exile. A biopic of Rimbaud, with visions of contemporary france.

Starring :
Pierre Bayle … Arthur Rimbaud
Mathieu Joly … Arthur Rimbaud at 8
Nicolas Joly … Arthur Rimbaud at 16
The Troupe del Theatre Ern Read More »

Richard Lowenstein – Dogs In Space (1987)

Description: Set against the backdrop of Melbourne’s late ‘70s punk rock scene, Dogs in Space chronicles life in a chaotic, squalid share-house. Hippies, addicts, students and radicals fill their days and nights with sex, drugs, parties and television. Writer/director Richard Lowenstein balances a series of chaotic vignettes with the central story of the romance between housemates Sam (Michael Hutchence), the lead singer of the band, Dogs in Space and his lover Anna (Saskia Post) as it spirals out of control. Hutchence is a brilliant symbol of reckless youth in this, his first dramatic screen role, giving Dogs in Space instant cult status upon its release. Read More »

Philippe Garrel – Liberté, la nuit (1984)

‘Liberte, la nuit’ is not really a political film, or, at least, a film about politics. Its central figures are an aging revolutionary helping Algerians in the anti-colonial war against France, his separated wife, a dressmaker who gives them guns, and his mistress, a French Algerian emigree. Such a set-up might offer opportunities for allegory – white Algeria returning to the aging bosom of the fatherland, and all that. The film’s most dynamic sequence is pure political thriller, an assassination by the OAS, confusingly shot and edited on grainy stock that evokes both documentary immediacy and the whirring of a surveillance camera, complete with exciting car chase. The human relationships – especially the drawn-out separation of Jean and Mouche, are said to be caused by his political activity, while his contact with others has some basis in his ‘work’. Even, as I say, his final escape with an apolitical menial has political overtones; and their idyll is ultimately no escape from history. Read More »

Akio Jissôji – Ijmete kudasai Henrietta AKA Arietta (1989)

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Synopsis:
A young widow (Keiko Kaja) becomes an SM call girl to pay off the debts accumulated by her yakuza husband. She’s a depressed woman, merely going through the motions of existence, subjected to every cruel whim concocted by her clients. She’s dedicated to the misery – even finding comfort in it – stumbling through life like a zombie. Read More »

David Byrne – True Stories (1986)

 

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True Stories is a 1986 American film that spans the genres of musical, art, and comedy, directed by and starring David Byrne of the band Talking Heads. It co-stars John Goodman, Swoosie Kurtz, and Spalding Gray. Byrne has described the film as, “A project with songs based on true stories from tabloid newspapers. It’s like 60 Minutes on acid.”

True Stories was released by Warner Bros. in the United States, Canada, Italy, and Sweden in 1986, with limited release elsewhere the following year. Byrne was given much creative control over the motion picture’s direction, largely due to the mainstream success of Talking Heads’ 1984 concert film, Stop Making Sense. Read More »

Stephen Quay & Timothy Quay & Keith Griffiths – The Eternal Day of Michel De Ghelderode (1981)

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Quote:
Using the tricks of the Flemish playwright’s own trade–puppetry, masks, and a Breughelesque sense of bizarre carnival, the collaborators succeeded in bringing about a rich and sardonic humor lurking at the edge of the playwright’s macabre, death-obsessed imagination in an allusive homage. Read More »