Tag Archives: 1990s

Eric Khoo – Shier lou aka 12 Storeys (1997)

Synopsis:
In a high-rise, a young man jumps to his death. His ghost remains in the building, observing and consoling three households. San San, fat, silent, and alone, hears the ghost of her mother constantly upbraid her. She futilely seeks the friendship of a wealthy woman with whom she was raised. Ah Gu, a tofu soup vendor, is at odds with Lily, his materialistic wife, a Chinese immigrant who longs for something he cannot provide. Meng spouts every moralistic bromide of the striving middle class, wears a T-shirt reading “My block is the cleanest,” and is unhinged by his teenage sister May (“Trixie” to her boyfriend) who won’t study, parties all night, and seems doomed by youth culture. Read More »

Joe Berlinger & Bruce Sinofsky – Brother’s Keeper (1992)

The first feature-length effort by documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, Brother’s Keeper unfolds a strange-but-true story about a most unorthodox family. 59-year-old Delbert Ward lives with his brothers Bill, Roscoe, and Lyman on a dairy farm near the upstate New York village of Munnville. Barely able to function on an adult level, the Ward brothers keep to themselves, ignored and shunned by their neighbors. When older brother Bill dies on June 5, 1990, the authorities determine that his death was not from natural causes. Suspected of a mercy killing, Delbert is charged with second degree murder. Read More »

Susanne Ofteringer – Nico Icon (1995)

A documentary about the model, actress and singer, Nico. She is probably best known for her association with Andy Warhol and the Velvet Underground – and for her heroin addiction. However, this film is full of clips and interviews with those who knew her, we learn about her beginnings as a model and a bit part in La Dolce Vita, her affair with Jim Morrison, her son with Alain Delon, later living in the UK where smack was high grade and dirt cheap.

There’s plenty of archive footage and despite the above description, its not sensationalist, it does also focus on her music. Read More »

Aki Kaurismäki – Kauas pilvet karkaavat AKA Drifting Clouds (1996)

Synopsis:
A married couple struggles with the repercussions of unexpected unemployment in this wry comedy drama from Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki. Ilona, the wife, works as restaurant hostess and her husband Lauri drives a tram. Though the couple has recently lost a child, they both seem at peace and happy. One night Ilona comes home and finds that Lauri has purchased a beautiful television on credit. Shortly thereafter disaster strikes when Ilona’s workplace closes and Lauri gets caught in a maelstrom of downsizing. Neither is able to find suitable work right away and as time crawls by, they become humiliated and testy with each other. Read More »

Cheng-sheng Lin – Mei li zai chang ge AKA Murmur Of Youth (1997)

Quote:
Recent Taiwanese cinema has almost had a monopoly on the kind of angst that permeated so many European art films of the 1960’s. The anomie that envelops Lin Cheng-sheng’s ”Murmur of Youth” in a mist of melancholy has everything to do with the collision of traditional and modern values in a boom economy. The film follows two college-age girls, both named Mei-li, from different backgrounds, who end up working side by side as ticket takers in a movie theater in a teeming shopping arcade. Read More »

Marcel Ophüls – Veillées d’armes AKA The Troubles We’ve Seen: A History of Journalism in Wartime (1994)

Complete French Title: Veillées d’Armes: histoire du journalisme en temps de guerre
Complete English Title: The Troubles We’ve Seen: A History of Journalism in Wartime

Article:

None of Marcel Ophuls’ films have ever been very easy to see, but for many years The Troubles We’ve Seen (1994) has had a special mystique. To my knowledge it played only twice in North America (once at the 1994 New York Film Festival and once at Cinematheque Ontario in 1995) before vanishing more or less without a trace. Now, it’s been picked up by the intrepid distributor Milestone, who is showing it widely in anticipation of a planned DVD release. Their timing is ideal. Read More »

Godfrey Reggio – Anima Mundi (1991)

Quote:
This short is nothing short of mesmerizing! Reggio outdoes his “Koyaanisqatsi” and “Powaqqatsi” in this tribute to the wonders of the animal kingdom. The camera lingers, treks, enfolds and personifies these creatures in startlingly intimate detail, all the while accompanied by (yet another) haunting score by Philip Glass Read More »