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Mara Eibl-Eibesfeldt – Im Spinnwebhaus (2015)

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Jonas is already head of the family at just 12 years of age. He has been helping his two younger siblings and supporting his mother, Sabine, since his father left. Sabine is very loving towards her children but she often loses her patience and disappears into her room for the day. Mysterious demons drive her to spend a weekend away to relax in the “sunny valley”. But the weekend grows into weeks in which the three children hear nothing from their mother. Food and money have long since run out, the house has become more and more like a haunted castle: a spiderweb house. Jonas tries his best to maintain the appearance of an intact family. On the hunt for something to eat, he meets a young man, Felix Count of Gütersloh, who speaks in rhymes and declares himself to be not quite right in the head. Rather like a guardian angel, he takes Jonas under his wing and shows him how to get by in a world without adults. The film is less a social drama than a modern-day fairy tale shot in black and white. The audience is immersed in the eerily beautiful world of the children which unfolds its own particular magic. Read More »

István Szabó – Bizalom aka Confidence (1980)

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In WW2 Hungary, hard-bitten resistance fighter János and naive young mother Kata are thrown together in an attempt to escape the Nazis. Compelled to pose as husband and wife, they are forced into a strange intimacy. Terrified of discovery, the couple are wary of all those around them, and even of each other. As their individual loyalties are challenged, their relationship begins to change – calling into question the emotional certainties of their normal lives, and forcing them to re-assess who they really trust. Read More »

Gudie Lawaetz – Mai 68 (1974)

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40 years on: Mai 68
This movie was made by Uk journalist Gudie Lawaetz only 4 years after the events took place. It was not much publicized at the time and was released in VHS a decade later.
In addition to the interviews the movie uses the largest archival footage never gathered on May 68, including the famous scene “la reprise du travail aux usines Wonder” .

interviews of: Pierre Viansson-Ponte, Pierre Mendes France, Jacques Sauvageot, Alfred Kastler, Daniel Cohn Bendit, Maurice Grimaud, Alain Peyrefitte, Jacques Sauvageot, Alain Geismar, Gerard Monate, Pierre Mendes France, Georges Seguy, Alain Krivine, Maurice Clavel, Christian Fouchet, Edmond Maire, Anne Wiazemsky Read More »

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 »

Heinz Emigholz – Streetscapes [Dialogue] AKA Streetscapes – Chapter 3 (2017)

A film director confides in his interlocutor. He talks about the working process, about creative blocks, about artistic crises and expressive forces. At some point, the idea takes hold that this conversation could be turned into a film. And this is the very film we’re watching the two of them in. Read More »

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 »

Muzaffer Özdemir – Yurt aka Home (2011)

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The first feature to be written and directed by actor Muzaffer Ozdemir, best known for his
roles in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Small Town, Clouds Of May and Distant (for which he won
the Cannes Best Actor Award) Home (Yurt) is a beautifully composed meditation on
memories and a changing world. Dogan, a pessimistic and neurotic architect, longing for his
homeland, revisits the countryside of his childhood for the first time in many years. His
search for the familiar, however, is an elusive one and in this modern technological age he
quickly discovers that time which once stood still is now fleeting, and that the tranquillity of
familiar landscapes is fading. Poetic and resonant, Home (Yurt) is a serene depiction of one
man’s journey to find his own sense of peace amidst the conflict between nature and the
ever intrusive modern age. Read More »