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

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 »

Claude Goretta – L’invitation (1973)

Synopsis wrote:
After the death of his mother, middle-aged insurance employee inherits her small cottage surrounded by a garden. Selling the cottage which is situated on unexploited ground near the center of a big city makes him a rich man and he buys a big house in the countryside. He takes some time off and decides to throw a big garden party at the house and invite all his colleagues from the office. Aided by alcohol, the guests gradually lose all their inhibitions and reveal personality traits and frustrations that they normally keep hidden. Read More »

Claude Goretta – Le fou AKA The Madman (1970)

‘George takes care of his invalid wife and holds down a full-time job but is forced into retirement for health reasons. When an investment firm wipes out his life savings, George takes up a life of crime. He is soon driven to the brink of insanity over the unfortunate series of events that transpire.’ [Edited to correct inaccuracies.]– Dan Pavlides Read More »

Leopold Lindtberg – Die Missbrauchten Liebesbriefe AKA The Misused Love Letters (1940)

The Misused Love Letters was one of the most popular Swiss films in the 40s.

It tells the story of a merchant from the town of Seldwyla, called Viktor Störteler. He has a passion for literature and rather fancies himself as a poet, although his poetry is mediocre at best. While away on business, he asks his wife to send him a daily love letter. His wife Gritli however is not to keen on this idea and ask the young teacher Wilhelm to write her love letters instead. Wilhelm does so, but believes himself to be the addressee of the letters. Viktor comes to know of their little scheme when he returns and gets offended. As a result he takes a momentous decision, that will have consequences for all parties involved… Read More »

Georges Schwizgebel – Darwin’s Notebook (2021)

The return of three Anglicized native people to their country, or the beginning of an encounter with the modern world that will destroy them. Read More »

Jesús Franco – Die teuflischen Schwestern AKA Frenesie erotiche di una ninfomane AKA Sexy sisters (1977)

Countess Edna Luise Von Stein keeps her disturbed sister Milly prisoner. Confined to her bed, Milly suffers from a deep sexual trauma resulting from being raped as a child by a muscular gigolo after she had surprised him and her sister in bed. Is Milly incurable, or is that her sister left out of their father’s will and Molly will be the sole inheritor of his immense fortune on her 21st birthday? Edna and her accomplice Dr. Barrios have hatched a plot to have Milly declared insane. Over the years Barrios has been injecting Milly with a drug that has turned her into a nymphomaniac. Milly’s only hope is Joe, the only one of her numerous lovers to have ever succeeded in pleasuring her, who has fallen in love with her. Will he succeed in rescuing her from Edna and Barrios, and will Milly be able to live a normal life? Read More »

Emma Davie & Peter Mettler – Becoming Animal (2018)

Shot in Grand Teton National Park, this immersive film essay draws together the distinct sensibilities of filmmakers Peter Mettler and Emma Davie and philosopher David Abram to encounter the spaces where humans and animals meet. Images are overlaid with a soundscape of shivering leaves and animal murmurs, rushing rivers and electronic voices, insects and automobiles. In order to capture all this Becoming Animal embraces the sensory tools of cinema. Various tableaus of the wilderness and urbanity are set up: inquisitive antelope and digital billboards are seamlessly contrasted, Buffalo block traffic, moose clash antlers, and a snail’s body becomes a landscape of its own. Conscious of their own complicity with the animal world, the filmmakers invite us to explore this ‘more than human world’. The viewer is given permission to navigate this exquisitely intricate system in which everything is alive and expressive, humans, animals and landscapes are inextricably interdependent, and there is no such thing as empty space. Read More »