We’re terrifically excited about launching a retrospective of this auteur, an Austrian who is one of the most acclaimed contemporary experimental filmmakers. Tscherkassky re-appropriates found footage and twists and turns it (all analog, in this digital world!) to suit his own purposes. My personal favorite, Outer Space (1999), takes an American horror film and re-edits it to make it seem like the film itself is attacking the heroine. As Alexander Horwarth says, with Tscherkassky “the film theoretician meets the film buff in the darkroom.” These shorts show startling new things you can do with film. Must sees!
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Triangle(Johnnie To, Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam, Hong Kong)
One of the most unusual heist films ever created: three of Hong Kong’s best genre filmmakers decide to make a movie exquisite corpse style, with the film divided into one section per filmmaker, who would go on to shoot that section without seeing what his co-directors filmed! Besides for being a slick thriller, it is, as our own Ignatiy Vishnevetsky has written about, an illuminating study in the difference between directorial visions.
One of the most beloved classics of English cinema is this film by David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia), based on Noël Coward’s play “Still Life”. An intimate and melancholy romance is formed during a chance encounter at a train station between a married couple—married to people, that is. A doctor (Trevor Howard) finds his soul mate in a housewife (Celia Johnson), and the two carry on a impassioned but impossible love affair, famously scored to a piece by Rachmaninoff.
This prize-winner at Cannes is the most recent film by Belgian brothers and directorial duo the Dardennes. The brothers have a new film due at Cannes this year, a festival that has rewarded them time and again for this film, L’enfant, The Son and Rosetta—all masterpieces of startlingly visceral, verite-style cinema devoted to working class persons in Belgium. Lorna’s titular heroine is an Albanian woman trying to attain citizenship and live with a drug-addicted boyfriend. An intense and intimate portrait of struggling to live in a foreign country subtly evolves into a gripping story of survival, foregrounded by typically amazing performances elicited by the directors from new comer Arta Dobroshi and their regular lead, Jérémie Renier.
South Korean auteur Lee Chang-dong is currently making waves with his prize-winning Cannes favorite Poetry, so it seems a good time to highlight the director’s second film, which put him on the international stage. Told backwards, the film highlights the fact that Lee is a rare auteur who is also a terrific screenwriter. The story starts with a man threatening to kill himself, and as the film moves backwards pieces start falling into place to define just who this man is and how his life’s path has been interwoven into Korea’s recent history.
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