Tag Archives: 2000s

Rafaël Ouellet – New Denmark (2009)

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Clara spent the summer of his 16 years seeking his missing sister. Local authorities do not move. The mother is bedridden. The adults in the village seem busy with other things. Between his summer job, take care of the family home and his little sister, Clara focuses his energies to find Margarete. Aided by her friends, she searched fields, rivers, edges of highways. For Clara, the body of his elder can be under any bridge, behind any door in any warehouse. When the mystery is solved, Clara finds himself more alone and helpless. Continues his research and focus far from home.

Through an initiatory quest where dialogues are reduced to their simplest expression in favor of suggestive images and some clues gleaned here and there, the girl (Clara Turcotte) in shock oscillates between dream and reality. Read More »

Richard Stanley – The White Darkness (2002)

In The White Darkness anthropologist and cult film-maker Richard Stanley documents the practice and the oppression of voudou in present-day Haiti. In the tradition of his descendent Henry Morton Stanley, explorer and journalist who found Livingstone, but with the advantage of the hand-held camera, he presents an unflinching look at the often shocking practices of voudou. Richard Stanley sees his journey to Haiti – the first colonised country to declare independence – as a ‘closing of the loop’ of imperialist practices within his own family history. In the course of this journey, modern Haiti reveals itself as critically divided between opposing religious beliefs and forces. What becomes apparent is the centrality of voudou to Haitian culture, history, and politics and its ongoing importance in fighting against everyday American military oppression. Read More »

Jean Painlevé – Science is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé (2009) (DVD)

The mesmerizing, utterly unclassifiable science films of Jean Painlevé (1902-89) must be seen to be believed: delightful, surrealist-influenced dream works that are also serious science. The French filmmaker-scientist-inventor had a decades-spanning career in which he created hundreds of short films on subjects ranging from astronomy to pigeons to, most famously, such marine-life marvels as the sea horse and the sea urchin. This definitive three-disc Criterion collection brings together the best of these, and includes more than two hours of interviews with the filmmaker, drawn from the eight-part French television series Jean Painlevé Through His Films, directed by Denis Derrien and Hélène Hazera. Also included is The Sounds of Science, an original score by Yo La Tengo to Jean Painlevé’s films, plus an interview with the band. Read More »

Dmytro Kolomoytsev & Anatoliy Lavrenishyn – Ukrayinska literatura AKA Ukrainian Literature: Guide for Assholes (2009)

It was a common habit in Soviet schools to draw the intimate organs on all portraits in textbooks. Read More »

Wisit Sasanatieng – Fah talai jone AKA Tears of the Black Tiger [Director’s cut] (2000)

Synopsis:
In the countryside of Thailand, a gang of outlaws makes the region unsafe. Among them is the handsome gun hero Dum, who became unwillingly involved in the bandit life. Handsome Dum made a promise to his upper-crust lover Rumpoey: despite the class difference, they will get married. When the moment of reunion arrives, Dum gets involved in a fire fight and cannot possibly reach Rumpoey in time. She is desperate: her father has married her off to a policeman. The taciturn Dum, called the ‘Black Tiger’ by his co-conspirators, has however not forgotten Rumpoey. Read More »

Hans-Christian Schmid – Lichter AKA Distant Lights (2003)

Quote:
This movie reflects on the situation around the border between Poland and Germany. The fate of many single characters creates a picture of life in this region: Some Ukrainians want to cross the border illegal to get into Germany, a company wants to build a new factory, a Polish taxi driver desperately needs money to buy his daughter a communion dress, and so on. Read More »

Lav Diaz – Melancholia (2008)

Crowned best film in Venice’s Horizons section, Lav Diaz’s latest madly uncommercial 7½-hour magnum opus, “Melancholia,” sets a trio of survivors wandering the country in a dirge to those lost to disaster. To reconcile themselves to the deaths of their leftist comrades and loved ones, two women and a man undertake a succession of role-changes as a radical form of grief therapy. But the alienation implied by their incarnations of a prostitute, pimp and nun, assumed at the pic’s opening, reads as anything but therapeutic. Read More »