Mystery

Claude Goretta – La Mort de Mario Ricci AKA The Death of Mario Ricci (1983)

Quote:
A country road glimpsed through a dirty windscreen… a mangled car wreck on a garage forecourt…Volonté blowing up an inflatable coat hanger and reminding his assistant that ‘it’s the details that count’. And so they clearly do in Goretta’s film, although quite what they add up to is never sharply defined. A crippled TV journalist (Volonté) arrives in a Swiss village to interview a specialist in world food shortages disillusioned by the non-application of his theories. But he soon becomes embroiled in a web of local intrigue resulting from the death of a young immigrant worker. Goretta counterpoints his two stories with deft assurance, letting them strike subdued ironies off one another; there are thematic strands galore here, clearly signposted but seemingly left deliberately smudged. Yet there is no shortage of delights either: fine atmospherics, immaculately fluid camerawork, and a towering performance from Volonté, sympathy and disdain flickering back and forth across those marvellously expressive features. Read More »

Dario Argento – Occhiali neri AKA Dark Glasses (2022)

A serial killer who preys on prostitutes sets his sights on Diana. As he pursues her, he causes a car crash in which she is blinded and 10-year-old Chin’s entire family dies. Despite her blindness, Diane resolves to take the boy in. But the killer is still on the loose… Read More »

Wayne Wang – Chan Is Missing (1982)

Two cabbies search San Francisco’s Chinatown for a mysterious character who has disappeared with their $4000. Their quest leads them on a humorous, if mundane, journey which illuminates the many problems experienced by Chinese-Americans trying to assimilate into contemporary American society. Read More »

Jacques Doniol-Valcroze – Le Viol AKA A Question of Rape (1967)

A young wife stays alone in her opulent apartment after her husband and her maid leave. Suddenly the doorbell rings. She opens it to find a strange gun-toting man who bursts in and chloroforms her. She later awakens and finds herself tied to the couch. The stranger warns her not to scream. They begin talking and the man implies that her husband is in danger. Very soon between the two begins a very strange attraction… Read More »

Billy Hin-Shing Tang – Woo dung saai yan si gin AKA Interactive Murders (2002)

Pop star Anna has been kidnapped. Kidnapper Jash uploads the video clip of Anna being tortured onto the internet, which instantly becomes the talk of Hong Kong. A week later, Jash contacts the police, asking not for a ransom but for retired police inspector Mo to be his police contact. Inspector Mo eventually discovers through a tabloid magazine that a self-proclaimed psychic named Shana had phoned a radio program on the day of the kidnapping to warn of the incident. Read More »

Scott Barley – Sleep Has Her House (2017)

The shadows of screams climb beyond the hills. It has happened before. But this will be the last time. The last few sense it, withdrawing deep into the forest. They cry out into the black, as the shadows pass away, into the ground.

Note from the director:
This film is intended to be viewed only in complete darkness, with either headphones or a quality sound system.
Read More »

Steven Soderbergh – Kafka (1991)

Quote:
It seems the lives of writers are hot movie properties these days. First Barton Fink, then Naked Lunch, and now Kafka. Whoever could have imagined such a thing? After the meteoric commercial success of Soderbergh’s debut feature sex, lies, and videotape, the director chose for his second effort this hypothetical presentation of the life of Franz Kafka. The movie is not so much a biography but rather, a speculative depiction of Kafka’s daily circumstances. While not untrue to the specific facts of Kafka’s life, the movie focuses more on the environment of 1919 Prague that so influenced the author. In large part, the things at which the movie excels are precisely the things that also make Kafka’s work so enduringly vivid — the absurdity anchored by an exacting realism, the incomprehensibility coupled with utmost lucidity, the looming sense of paradox, futility, labyrinthine logic and impenetrable pressures. Read More »