Luis García Berlanga – Plácido (1961)

In a small spanish town, a group of old ladies decide to celebrate Christmas Eve with a “Sit a poor man at your table” dinner: each wealthy household of the town will have a homeless person dining with them that night. The celebrations also include a parade, and in it we find Plácido, the humble owner of a three-wheeler, whose family is forced to live in a public lavatory because of the lack of money to pay the rent, and who has to pay the second bill of his vehicle before midnight or else he will lose Read More »

Sven Methling – Pigen og pressefotografen AKA The Girl and the Press Photographer (1963)

A male photographer and a female reporter meet at the newspaper they work for in Copenhagen and become friends. She helps him get an apartment with a marriage of convenience – or so he thinks. Read More »

Buichi Saito – Ai to shi o mitsumete AKA Gazing at Love and Death (1964)

Based on the moving true story of a senior high school student named Michiko (Sayuri Yoshinaga) who contracted a terminal illness and spent the following three years exchanging over 400 letters with her boyfriend Makoto (Mitsuo Hamada). Read More »

Ulrike Ottinger – Exil Shanghai AKA Exile Shanghai (1997)

Fascinating and rich with wry humor, Exile Shanghai is an extraordinary cultural odyssey that affectionately conjures up the lost Jewish world of Shanghai. In the dark days of the 1930s, the Chinese metropolis was the last refuge for Europe’s persecuted Jews—a place that did not demand a visa. Those who managed to find refuge there brought with them the social and gastronomic delights of Vienna and Berlin. Ottinger’s four-and-a-half-hour mosaic features interviews with former members of the Shanghai expatriate Jewish community (many of whom relocated to Northern California), and her ever-curious camera cruises the city in search of its lost synagogues, schools, and salons. Read More »

Arthur Cantrill & Corinne Cantrill – The Second Journey (To Uluru) (1981)

Filmed years after “At Uluru” (1978) in very different conditions, the film showcases the burnt landscape around a monolith in a land inhabited for millennia.
“As the camera moves gently from afar into the very heart of the monolith, the magic of the holiest site of the Aborigines unfolds in shimmering nuances of light.
Shot at different times of day, the close-up and panorama shots of this more than 500-million-year-old stone formation combine silence and acoustically altered birdsong to convey a feeling of timelessness into which a sense of loss is also inscribed. The somnambulistic moonrise in the great sky seems almost like an abstract painting and yet it is real. The areas of discolouration in the film material caused by problems in the developing process were deliberately left in the film as a metaphor for the looming threat to this natural environment through bushfires and tourism. Read More »

Yugantar – Tambaku Chaakila Oob Ali AKA Tobacco Embers (1982)

Tambaku Chaakila Oob Ali documents, re-enacts, and takes forward one of the largest movements of unorganized labor of its time and context, which sparked unionizing processes across India throughout the 1980s. In the spirit of mobilizing for the leftist labor and the women’s movements the Yugantar collective spent four months with female tobacco factory workers in Nipani, Karnataka in India, listening to their accounts of exploitative working conditions, discussing strategies for unionizing and steps to broaden solidarities for strike actions, and filming previously unseen circumstances inside the factories. Read More »

Andrzej Kondratiuk – Pelnia AKA Full Moon (1979)

Although neither his wife nor his friends can understand him, a Varsovian architect leaves the hustle bustle of Warsaw to find peace and make new friends while living in a small village.

Andrzej Kondratiuk made “Pełnia” ten years after his famous feature debut “A hole in the ground”. This intimate tale of escape from the big city, constant rush, empty friendships, refers to Kondratiuk’s cinematic debut both in its climate and paradoxical form. The action of both films takes place in a small rural community, which is about to come into contact with the big city civilization. For the time being, the life of the village dwellers is still flowing lazy, measured by the rhythm of nature, and the newcomer from the city brings only some revival. Read More »