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Rolando Klein – Chac: Dios de la lluvia aka Chac the Rain God (1975)

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A very unique and incredible film, Rolando Klein made it in 1974 after spending two years living among the Tzeltal Indians of Chiapas, collecting stories, events, and anecdotes from their culture. A graduate of UCLA film school and of Chilean birth, Klein “returned to his Hispanic roots” at the urging of director and mentor Jules Dassin in 1972. A village is experiencing a drought detrimental to their crops and, resultantly, their survival. After only failure comes from consultation with their usual shaman, they attempt to gain aid from a mysterious diviner living in the mountains, who is said to practice the ancient ways forgotten by all else in the village. After securing his help, the diviner leads twelve tribesmen on a long journey as part of the rain-bringing ceremony. Eventually they return to the village to enact the ceremony proper, and incredible events ensue. In the meantime, there is always skepticism of the diviner’s abilities; indeed, he might be merely bewitching the village for his own purposes. Or is he…? Read More »

Jirí Menzel – Na samote u lesa AKA Seclusion Near a Forest (1976)

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Synopsis:
Fed up with the daily hassle in the urban Prague, Oldrich Lavička, his wife and their children Zuzana and Petr decide to buy a summerhouse in a rural place, for the weekends. They reach an agreement with the 70-year old owner of the house, Komárek, to rent the place while he is suppose to move away and live with his son. The Lavička family encounters the rural life: a goat eats their cakes, villagers all wonder how can they sleep for so long while they encounter a flea plague. In the end, however, Komárek decides to stay in the house. 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 »

Anucha Boonyawatana – Malila: The Farewell Flower (2017)

Quote:
The the visually stunning new Thai relationship drama Malila: The Farewell Flower, former gay lovers Shane and Pitch reunite after years apart and try to heal the wounds of their past. Shane is haunted by the tragic death of his daughter, while Pitch suffers a grave illness, rejecting medical treatment as painful and ineffective.

A talented artist, Pitch creates beautiful structures made out of flowers and banana leaves as a way to cope with his deteriorating health. Meanwhile, Shane trains to become a Buddhist monk, in an effort to build karma for Pitch… to either keep him alive or to help him along in his afterlife. 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 »

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang – Invisible Waves (2006)

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SYNOPSIS

By RUSSELL EDWARDS (Variety)

Bad karma does a slow fade, but gives the occasional wink, in “Invisible Waves,” Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s highly anticipated followup to “Last Life in the Universe.” Thai helmer, Japanese heartthrob Asano Tadanobu and Oz lenser Christopher Doyle form a pleasing combination of malevolence supported by dry wit. English-lingo limitations of the thesps will hamper sales in some territories, but the pic should go gangbusters throughout Asia and on the festival circuit.

In film noir tradition, the pic opens with Macau-residing Japanese assassin-cum-chef Kyoji (Asano Tadanobu) holding a man at gunpoint. Seiko (Tomono Kuga), the Japanese wife of Kyoji’s boss, arrives at Kyoji’s apartment to continue their steamy affair. Instead, Kyoji poisons her dinner. The next day, the newly widowed Wiwat (Toon Hiranyasup) has closed the up-market Hong Kong restaurant in which Kyoji works his day job. Read More »

Roy Andersson – Du Levande aka You, the Living (2007)

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Quote:
Or, you, the living dead. The motley bunch of sad-looking characters that inhabit this series of vaguely-connected episodes of modern Stockholm life that sit somewhere between Kaurismäki, Buñuel and the Far Side cartoons all look as if they died days ago: their skins are white and drooping and their eyes look dead in their sockets. That’s life, though, Swedish director Roy Andersson seems to be saying in this most maudlin of feature-length comedy sketch shows which recalls the gallows humour of his ‘Songs from the Second Floor’ (2000). Read More »