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'Normal': Film Review | Berlin 2019

Gender as a construct is explored to unsettling effect in the ironically titled documentary Normal, directed by Italian academic-turned-filmmaker Adele Tulli (365 Without 377). This startling and confrontational work of non-fiction cinema is really in full-on observational mode — a la Nikolaus Geyrhalter and his Our Daily Bread — serving up scene after scene of mundane events and tasks carried out by John (or should that be Giovanni?) Does and Jane Does in different parts of Italy. The cumulative effect is that an idea emerges of the frightening extent to which our daily lives in the West are informed by ...
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Berlinale 2019: Uncovering

  • MUBI
After watching numerous televisual streaming shows whose cameras frequently get so close as to kiss their actors, it was refreshing to be immersed in the gargantuan images of Earth, Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s latest wide-widescreen landscape documentary. No mere glorification of nature’s ambiance, it is instead a distressing dispatch of violent upheaval, capturing the magnitude of the displacement of earth on a massive scale in such places as a San Fernando Valley real estate development, Italian marble quarry, and Hungarian strip mine. For those who have seen Geyrhalter’s other highly politicized landscape films, like Our Daily Bread (2005) and Homo Sapiens (2016), the scope of Earth’s images may seem familiar: an immense image canvas so filled with detail as to surpass the maximalism of any Hollywood epic, yet a framing of the land that is inextricable from understanding its use and exploitation by man. Earth opens with title cards explaining
See full article at MUBI »

‘Okja’: How One Visit to a Slaughterhouse Turned Bong Joon Ho Into a Vegan

‘Okja’: How One Visit to a Slaughterhouse Turned Bong Joon Ho Into a Vegan
In “Okja,” Korean director Bong Joon Ho takes the excitement of a family-friendly sci-fi adventure and turns it into a nightmarish look at the fast food industry. The movie, which premiered in competition last month at the Cannes Film Festival, surrounds the efforts of a multi-national company to mass-produce mutant pigs for slaughter. When one of them bonds with a young girl in the mountainside, she risks her life to save the titular being from decimation — a fast, fun journey that culminates in a horrific sequence set in the confines of a slaughterhouse.

While the shocking imagery involves the death of imaginary animals, it has clear parallels with the grotesque images of vivisected cows and other livestock that meet grisly ends in real meathouses around the world. To prepare for the sequence, Bong and producer Dooho Choi visited a slaughterhouse in Colorado — and the experience turned both of them into temporary vegans.
See full article at Indiewire »

Homo Sapiens review – extraordinary vision of a post-human world

Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s post-apocalyptic meditation, showing at Amsterdam’s documentary film festival, is as gripping as any sci-fi thriller

If the spirit of Stanley Kubrick lives in any current film-maker, it is surely the Austrian director Nikolaus Geyrhalter, whose 2008 documentary Our Daily Bread was a chilling study of mechanised food production and animal slaughter. Now he has created a visually extraordinary film composed simply of long, static shots of abandoned human constructions: theatres, hospitals, swimming pools, malls, railway stations, entire apartment complexes. He has found images from all over the world, including Fukushima and Nagasaki in Japan.

This simple, eerie succession of images is as gripping as any of the sci-fi thrillers or post-apocalyptic dramas that would normally use scenes like these as establishing shots. At first, I almost expected to see a group of armed YAs blunder into the wrecked streetscape of mossy, overgrown buildings.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Movie Review: The beautiful and eerie Homo Sapiens probes Earth’s abandoned places

Here’s the joke—if you can call it that—of Homo Sapiens, the eerie and post-apocalyptic new documentary piece by Austria’s Nikolaus Geyrhalter: It’s got no people in it. Shot all over the world, the film offers a breathtaking array of abandoned places. None of them are identified (no narration, no text, no trace of human presence), though some are well-known: the Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria, which resembles a massive Communist spaceship that sustained a crash landing; Japan’s Hashima Island, a nightmarish maze of concrete apartment blocks and stairways that was abandoned in the 1970s; the streets and shops of the Fukushima exclusion zone; the so-called Cavern Of The Lost Souls, a subterranean lake in Wales used to dump old cars. One almost wishes that Geyrhalter (Our Daily Bread) had come up with a less on-the-nose title. But then, what else could he call it?
See full article at The AV Club »

The 2016 Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival: New World Disorder

As the main topic of this year’s festival, Docaviv will feature a select group of thought-provoking films about a world that is changing with the collapse of physical and social boundaries, growing economic disparities, the waves of refugees and immigrants, civil wars, international terrorism, and the ultimate undoing of social solidarity.

Within the framework of this theme the program does not only include documentaries about terror and refugees, but also about a fragmented society which is losing its solidarity. Both in Israel and elsewhere the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening, and so are the frustrations and the unrest. Israeli and international titles correlating to these themes can be found throughout the entire festival program:

“Death in the terminal” - Directors Tali Shemesh (“The Cemetery Club”) and Assaf Surd

A tense, minute-by-minute, Rashomon-style account of a tragic day. On October 18, 2015, a terrorist armed with a gun and a knife entered Beersheba’s bus terminal. Within 18 minutes Omri Levy, a soldier was killed and Abtum Zarhum, Eritrean immigrant asylum seeker, was lynched after being mistaken for a terrorist.

The Settlers” - Premiered in Sundance, Director Shimon Dotan.

A far-reaching, comprehensive look at the Jewish settlement enterprise in the West Bank. It examines the origins of the settlement movement and the religious and ideological visions that propelled it, while providing an intimate look at the people at the center of the greatest geopolitical challenge now facing Israel and the international community. (Isa Contact: Cinephil)

“Town on a Wire” - premiered at Cph: Dox Dir: Uri Rosenwaks

While Tel Aviv is thriving, just ten minutes away lies the town of Lod, right in the backyard of Israel’s bustling urban center. Unlike its affluent neighbor, Lod is a city that suffers from the blight of racism, crime, and sheer desperation. Can it be saved? Is there some way to bring hope to Lod’s Arab and Jewish residents?

“Foucoammare”/ “Fire at Sea” - by Gianfranco Rosi - winner of Golden Bear, Berlinale 2016 -every day the inhabitants of the Italian Island Lampedusa are confronted with the flight of refugees to Europe . These people long for peace and freedom and often only their dead bodies are pulled out of the water. (Contact Isa: Doc & Film Int’l. U.S.: Kino Lorber)

“Between fences” – by Avi Mograbi -. In an Israeli detention center asylum-seekers from Eritrea and Sudan can’t be sent back to their own countries, but have no prospects in Israel either thanks to the country’s policies. Chen Alon and Avi Mograbi, initiate a theatre workshop to give these people the opportunity to address their own experiences of forced migration and discrimination and to confront an Israeli society that views them as dangerous infiltrators.

A Syrian Love Story” – by Sean McAllister -You can’t be Che Guevara and a mother Amer tells Raghda, but maybe she can't do it any other way. After years of struggle, life without her homeland and the revolution has no meaning for her. It is hard to determine what is more demanding in this bold film: the revolution, or the search for inner peace. (Contact Isa: Cat & Docs)

Homo Sapiens” – by Nikolaus Geyrhalter - what does humanity leave behind when its gone? It sometimes seems as if the mark that humans leave on this planet will last forever. The truth is that the iron, bricks, cement, and steel – the human traces everywhere abandoned and forgotten – are erased by the forces of nature. This unusually beautiful film may lack people and words, but that leaves even more room for thought.(Contact Isa: Autlook)

“Land of the Enlightened” – Premiered at Sundance Ff 2016. Shot over seven years on evocative 16mm footage, first-time director Pieter-Jan De Pue paints a whimsical yet haunting look at the condition of Afghanistan left for the next generation. As American soldiers prepare to leave, we follow De Pue deep into this hidden land where young boys form wild gangs to control trade routes, sell explosives from mines left over from war, making the new rules of war based on the harsh landscape left to them. (Contact Isa: Films Boutique)

“Flickering Truth” - Premiered at Toronto Ff 2015. Director Pietra Brettkelly (The Art Star and the Sudanese Twins) directs this harrowing, compelling film about the power of cinema to preserve our history and in so doing potentially change our futures. (Contact Isa: Film Sales Company)

Requiem for the American Dream” - Directed by Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, Jared P. Scott. In ten chilling but lucid chapters, Noam Chomsky, one of the great intellectuals of our time, analyzes the “system,” which allows wealthy capitalists to seize the reins of government and turn those without wealth into a passive herd, willing to forego power, solidarity, and democracy itself. (U.S.: Gravitas. Contact Isa: Films Transit)

The festival will open with a first film by Israeli director Roman Shumunov

“Babylon Dreamers” Directed by Roman Somonob. An intimate report about a troupe of immigrants from the former Soviet Union, from one of Ashdod’s poorest neighborhoods; they struggle to survive facing harsh conditions - poverty, mental illness, and broken families. They channel their anger and cling to their dream of attending and winning the International Breakdance Championship.

Israeli Competition

Some 70 Israeli films produced over the last year were submitted out of which 13 films have been selected for the Israeli Competition. They will be competing for the largest cash prize for documentary filmmaking in Israel 70,000 Nis (Us$ 15,000). Other awards in the competition include the Mayor’s Prize for the Most Promising Filmmaker, the Prize for Editing, the Prize for Cinematography, the Prize for Research, and the Prize for Original Score.

"The Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Alaev," directors Tal Barda, Noam Pinchas -Tajikistan’s answer to the Jackson Family. A modern-day Shakespearean tale about a famous Tajik musical family, controlled by their charismatic patriarch-grandfather - Papa Alaev.

"A Tale of Two Balloons" by Zohar Wagner - The tale of a women who thought a pair of perfect breasts would help her find true love. But when that love came along, those perfect breasts had to go.

"Aida's Secrets," director Alon Schwarz - At 68, Izak learns he has a brother he never knew about. As part of the discoveries about the family, the film uncovers the story of the Displaced Persons camps- the vibrant and often wild social life that flourished immediately after WW2.

"Child Mother" by Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky - The story of elderly women born in Morocco and Yemen, who were married off when they were still little girls. Only now, as they enter the final chapter of their lives, do they openly face their past and the ways it still affects them and their families.

"The Last Shaman" directed by Raz Degan - Inspired by an article he read, James decides to travel to the Amazon rainforests, in search of a shaman whom he thinks can save him from a clinical depression that haunts him.

"The Patriarch's Room" by Danae Elon -The bizarre imprisonment of the former head of the Greek Orthodox Church in a tiny monastic cell in Jerusalem’s Old City leads to a fascinating journey in search of the truth, penetrating the remote world of the priesthood. The complex and unfamiliar picture that emerges is revealed here, on camera, for the very first time.

"Poetics of the Brain" by Nurith Aviv –weaving associative links between her personal biographical stories and neuroscientists’ accounts of their work. They discuss topics such as memory, bilingualism, reading, mirror neurons, smell, traces of experience.

"Shalom Italia," by Tamar Tal Anati (winner of Docaviv for Life in Stills) -Three Italian Jewish brothers set off on a journey through Tuscany, in search of a cave where they hid as children to escape the Nazis. Their quest, full of humor, food and Tuscan landscapes, straddles the boundary between history and myth, both of which really, truly happened.

"Week 23" by Ohad Milstein - Rahel, the daughter of a Swiss bishop, is coping with a difficult pregnancy in Israel. One of the identical twins she is carrying has died in utero, and now poses an almost certain threat to its sibling. The doctors are unequivocal about it. They tell Rahel that she should abort the surviving fetus and end her pregnancy.

"The Settlers" by Shimon Dotan; Town On A Wire directed by Uri Rosenwaksand Eyal Blachson; Death in the Terminal by Tali Shemesh and Asaf Sudry, and Babylon Dreamers by Roman Shumunov.

The Members of the selection committee included Sinai Abt, artistic director of the Docaviv Film Festival; director Reuven Brodsky, winner of Docaviv in 2012 for his film Home Movie and of Honorable Mention at Docaviv in 2015 and film editor Ayelet Ofarim.

Twelve films have been selected for the International Competition, which will open with the The Happy Film by Stefan Seigmeister. Also competing are Jerzy Sladkowski’s Don Juan, winner of the Idfa Award; Author: The J.T. LeRoy Story about the imaginary cult figure who became the darling of New York society and nightlife, picked up by Amazon at Sundance as its first doc title. Another festival favorite is A Flickering Truth and Sean McAllister's daring award winning documentary A Syrian Love Story.

The Depth of Field Competition will open with LoveTrue by director Alma Har’el, who will be a juror for the Israeli Film Competition. This is the Competition’s third year, held in conjunction with the Film Critics’ Forum that will award films for an outstanding and daring artistic vision. Other films that will be screened as part of the competition include Sundance winners Kate Plays Christine by Robert Greene, and Pieter-Jan De Pue’s hybrid documentary The Land of the Enlightened; other titles that will be shown are Hotel Dallas by wife and husband artist duo Livia Ungur and Sherng-Lee Huang, The Hong Kong Trilogy by noted cinematographer Christopher Doyle , and the musical- turned into documentary London Road by Rufus Norris and Alecky Blythe.

The Masters Section, a new category in the festival, highlighting new films by world renowned directors will be opened by Fire at Sea by director Gianfranco Rosi, winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlinale. Avi Mograbi’s Between Fences will be accompanied by a play by the Holot Legislative Theater, with a cast of actors that includes Israelis and African asylum seekers.

Other films in this section include amongst others Junun, Paul Thomas Anderson’s portrayal of a musical project involving Shye Ben-Tzur and Jonny Greenwood, Homo Sapiens by director Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine by director Alex Gibney, To the Desert by director Judd Neeman, Unlocking the Cage by directors D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, De Palma by co-director Noah Baumbach and He Named Me Malala by David Guggenheim.

The Panorama selection of films will include amongst others the moving Strike a Pose, by Ester Gould and Reijer Zwaan about the dancers who accompanied Madonna on her “Blond Ambition” tour, Roger Ross Williams ‘Life, Animated depicting the remarkable story of an autistic boy, who learned how to communicate with his surroundings through Disney films, Those Who Jump about an African refugee who films attempts by other refugees to jump the barbed wire border fence in North Africa and Louis Theroux: My Scientology Film.

This year’s Arts Section will include Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble by Academy Award winner Morgan Neville; I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman, which was produced shortly before her tragic death, Listen to Me, Marlon, which tells the story of Marlon Brando through the audio recordings he made throughout his life, Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, the salacious story of art collector Peggy Guggenheim, Koudelka Shooting Holy Land, Gilad Baram’s film about famous Czech photographer Josef Koudelka’s travels along the Separation Fence, and more.

Seven films produced by the top film schools in Israel were selected to compete in the annual Student Film Competition. The prize for the competition was donated by the Gottesman family in memory of Ruti Gottesman, a leading supporter of Docaviv and of documentary.

The Members of the selection committee included Karin Ryvind Segal, programming director for Docaviv, Hila Avraham, curator and expert on film and audiovisual media preservation and screenwriter Danny Rosenberg, whose work includes the films My Father’s House , Susia and the television series Johnny and the Knights of the Galilee.

Special Guests attending the Festival:

Award winning Director Ondi Timoner, will be attending the Israeli premiere of her film Russell Brand: A Second Coming. Her Sundance-winning film Dig! will be among the music documentaries screened at the Tel Aviv Port. In conjunction with the Film Department of Beit Berl College, Timoner will also be conducting a special master class for students, professionals, and amateurs.

This year’s festival will include a special tribute to acclaimed director Nikolaus Geyrhalter who will be attending the festival with his recent Homo Sapiens. This year’s festival will also include two previous films of his, Our Daily Bread and Abendland,.

International jury members attending the festival include:

Adriek van Nieuwenhuyzen, Director of the Idfa industry office; Gary Kam, producer of Planet of Snail; film director Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach; LoveTrue) ; Nilotpal, Director of Docedge Kolkata, Sascha Lara Bleuler, Director of the Human Rights Film Festival in Zurich, and film director Tatiana Brandrup.

The Israeli jurors include:

Director Dror Moreh, director and producer Barak Heymann, director Robby Elmaliah, producer Elinor Kowarsky, photographer David Adika, and film editor Tal Rabiner.

Around town. A record number of twelve screening venues spread out across Tel Aviv will offer free screenings. These are: Habima Square, the Beit Danny Community Center, the Hatikvah neighborhood, the Arab-Jewish Community Center in Jaffa, the rooftop of Tel Aviv City Hall, WeWork, Levinsky Park, Bar Kayma, Beit Romano, the Nalaga’at Center, Picnic Little Italy-Sarona Tel Aviv, and Artport.

Outdoors. The Tel Aviv Port will continue to host the festival this year, with outdoor screenings of music films with guest deejays from KZRadio. Films to be screened at the port include Janis: Little Girl Blue, The Reflektor Tapes about the band Arcade Fire, P.T Andersoan’s Junun about the musical collaboration between Shye Ben Tzur, ‎Jonny Greenwood, Nigel Godrich, and a dozen Indian musicians.

Festival Firsts. DocaviVR: a collaboration between Docaviv and Steamer, Israel’s first Interactive and Virtual Reality Film Festival, presents original documentary projects from Israel and around the world, created especially for viewing with Vr gear. The event will take place at Beit Romano. A cinema will pop up in one of Tel Aviv’s trendy hubs, with 25 stations equipped with Vr gear.

The Docommunity conference aims to promote dcomentary across the country by bringing together cultural coordinators and artistic directors from across the country to introduce them to the latest documentary films from Israel and around the world.

The Platform for Alternative Documentation at Artport art space: A performative piece that brings together film artists, social activists, and researchers studying the various aesthetic, social, and philosophical aspects of documentation. Curated by Laliv Melamed and Gilad Reich.

Young audiences. For the first time, films from The Next Doc will be screened, a special initiative of Docaviv, the Second Channel, and the New Fund for Film and Television, which led to the production of three films created especially for a teenage audience.

Docaviv will also be hosting the final event of Docu Young, at which films by students in residential schools, who participated in film workshops , will be screened.

The Docyouth Competition will feature the best documentary films produced by students in high school film programs throughout the country. For the first time, voting for this year’s competition will be held online and open to high school students across the country.

Among the Screenings of docs for kids are Victor Kosakovsky’s “Varicella”, and “Landfilharmonic”.

Over the course of the festival, 110 films will be screened.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

The Southerner

Looking to discover a top-quality film that honors lasting values? Jean Renoir gives Zachary Scott and Betty Field as Texas sharecroppers trying to survive a rough first year. It's beautifully written by Hugo Butler, with given realistic, earthy touches not found in Hollywood pix. And the transfer is a new UCLA restoration. With two impressive short subjects in equal good quality. The Southerner Blu-ray Kino Classics 1945 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 92 min. / Street Date February 9, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Betty Field, Beulah Bondi, Carol Naish, Norman Lloyd, Zachary Scott, Percy Kilbride, Charles Kemper, Blanche Yurka, Estelle Taylor, Paul Harvey, Noreen Nash, Nestor Paiva, Almira Sessions. Cinematography Lucien Andriot Film Editor Gregg C. Tallas Production Designer Eugène Lourié Assistant Director Robert Aldrich Original Music Werner Janssen Written by Hugo Butler, Jean Renoir from a novel by George Sessions Perry Produced by Robert Hakim, David L. Loew Directed by Jean Renoir
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Our Daily Bread #9

  • MUBI
Philippe Garrel’s In The Shadow of Women is his Jacques Rivette film: a work of masks, intrigues, labyrinthine deceptions and power games...but applied to the most intimate of relationships. So too is it thus a 69 minute long miracle of economy: We will see the meanings of these frames later. As Garrel says in his press conference: "For me, In The Shadow of Women is a film about the equality of men and women in as far as cinema can achieve this."And insofar as it is a meditation on equality between men and women, it too is also in dialogue with cinema itself.“...a history of cinema as communication between man and woman.” – Garrel, New York 2015 A good alternate title would be: Now, how do we get from point A to point B? “I also use images from my dreams. I am looking for a form of oneirism
See full article at MUBI »

Ghostbusters, L.A. Confidential, The Shawshank Redemption and Top Gun among 25 films added to the National Film Registry

The Library of Congress has announced that twenty-five titles set to be added to the National Film Registry for 2015, with a list that includes Ghostbusters, L.A. Confidential, The Shawshank Redemption and Top Gun. Check out the full list of 25 films here:

Being There (1979)

Black and Tan (1929)

Dracula (Spanish language version) (1931)

Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906)

Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1974)

Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894)

A Fool There Was (1915)

Ghostbusters (1984)

Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)

Humoresque (1920)

Imitation of Life (1959)

The Inner World of Aphasia (1968)

John Henry and the Inky-Poo (1946)

L.A. Confidential (1997)

The Mark of Zorro (1920)

The Old Mill (1937)

Our Daily Bread (1934)

Portrait of Jason (1967)

Seconds (1966)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Sink or Swim (1990)

The Story of Menstruation (1946)

Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968)

Top Gun (1986)

Winchester ’73 (1950)
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

National Film Registry Adds 'Ghostbusters,' 'Top Gun,' 'Shawshank Redemption'

  • Moviefone
The National Film Registry announced this week its annual selection of 25 films and recordings to add to the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, and among them are old Hollywood classics, recent Oscar winners, and beloved '80s favorites.

Highlights of this year's inductees include comedy classic "Ghostbusters" and Tom Cruise's iconic flick "Top Gun." Awards bait fare "Shawshank Redemption" (which nabbed seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture) and "L.A. Confidential" (which took home the Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay trophies) also made the 2015 cut.

There are always a few quirky additions, too, and this year's crop is no different. A recording that Thomas Edison made of a sneeze in 1894 is a new inductee, as is a short animated film from Disney called "The Story of Menstruation," which was shown in American schools as part of health education classes in the 1940s (and was
See full article at Moviefone »

Noir Takes a Holiday: Close-Up on Jules Dassin's "The Law"

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Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. The Law is playing on Mubi in the Us through January 21, 2016.For those who like nice touches, keep your eye on the bird. In Jules Dassin's The Law (1959), it's the first character we meet, where, in a town square under the hot Mediterranean sun, a group of men are watching a pigeon. The men are out of work and squarely at the bottom of the socioeconomic totem pole. The pigeon is an idiot, one man says—why would anything that could fly choose to stay here? Because sometimes people throw it crumbs, a man answers. And if you had any doubts what this all symbolizes, another of the men hastily adds: just like us. This is a film very much about hierarchy, and the forces or illusions that keep everyone in their place. The air is soon
See full article at MUBI »

National Film Registry: A Sirk, Some Ghostbusters, and Zorro

Nooooo. I almost forgot to share the National Film Registries new titles. Each year they add 25 pictures  that are deemed historically, culturally or aesthetically important. Each year I suggest that we should watch all the titles together. Well, the ones we can find at least. Perhaps we'll actually do that for 2016 -- you never know! Getting a spot on the National Film Registry is more symbolic than active. It does not guarantee preservation or restorations but it does suggest that these films should all be preserved and/or restored.

The 2015 additions are:

 

Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze (1894) - watch it now. it's six seconds long... the earliest surviving copyrighted film Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) -watch it now. (7 minutes) from a short Winsor McCay comic strip A Fool There Was (1915) -watch it now. (66 minutes) Theda Bara tempts a married man! It's always the woman's fault, don't you know  Humoresque
See full article at FilmExperience »

‘Imitation of Life,’ ‘Being There,’ ‘Ghostbusters,’ and More Added to National Film Registry

Since 1989, the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress has been accomplishing the important task of preserving films that “represent important cultural, artistic and historic achievements in filmmaking.” From films way back in 1897 all the way up to 2004, they’ve now reached 675 films that celebrate our heritage and encapsulate our film history.

Today they’ve unveiled their 2015 list, which includes classics such as Douglas Sirk‘s melodrama Imitation of Life, Hal Ashby‘s Being There, and John Frankenheimer‘s Seconds. Perhaps the most popular picks, The Shawshank Redemption, Ghostbusters, Top Gun, and L.A. Confidential were also added. Check out the full list below.

Being There (1979)

Chance, a simple-minded gardener (Peter Sellers) whose only contact with the outside world is through television, becomes the toast of the town following a series of misunderstandings. Forced outside his protected environment by the death of his wealthy boss, Chance subsumes his late employer’s persona,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Our Daily Bread #8

  • MUBI
"Glory, something some men chase and others find themselves stumbling upon, not expecting to find them. Either way it is a noble gesture that one finds bestowed upon them. My question is when does glory fade away and become a wrongful crusade, or an unjustified means by which consumes one completely?"Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper is a movie about men who salute the country that betrayed and mutilated them.Like in Manoel de Oliveria’s No, or the Vain Glory of Command, where men, their arms cut off, struggle to hold uphold the flag of their country. As Mr. Lewis says:“We live in a democracy, gentlemen! And in a democracy, it’s every mans right to be killed fighting for his country!” Some men can be changed. It is possible to find a new consciousness:“Those machine guns are in position. It would mean needless slaughter to oppose us now!
See full article at MUBI »

Ever Wonder What Orson Welles' Top Ten Favorite Films Arec Well, Here You Go...

Orson Welles indisputably made a huge impact on the film industry, both in terms of technical proficiency and storytelling sophistication. However, Welles was never the biggest fan of films themselves. He just saw it as a way to tell stories he wanted to. That makes sense to me of how he approached filmmaking. Had he been a movie fan, I don't know if he would have thought so much outside of the box about to make them than he did. That isn't to say he didn't like all movies. In the early 1950s, Welles managed to cobble together a list of his ten favorite films for Sound on Sight (via Open Culture). As he had only been exposed to a couple of decades of cinema, I think this is a very interesting list, and one that makes a lot of sense for someone like Welles. City Lights (dir. Charles Chaplin) Greed (dir.
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Our Daily Bread #6

  • MUBI
Not one approach, but two...

Documentary:

And melodrama:

Surrounding these lovers in longing are people in movement, pilgrims in search of a new place to call home.

Dreamers working day and night to make their dreams come true:

And there are horses:

And herds of other animals:

All trudging forward to an uncertain future with nothing to lose:

Even when a primary villain dies—

—it’s back to work; life must go on.

Some stay behind:

But everyone else has to keep moving on. Individuals propel history forward.

In the meantime, a man can still sit and brood over his fate, and a woman can still suddenly pop into a frame and become a miracle:

Six years later, Raoul Walsh would begin his own odyssey set even earlier in history.

Melodrama returns too:

And it’s still possible for lovers to reunite in the midst of an unbroken movement forward:
See full article at MUBI »

Our Daily Bread #5

  • MUBI
The Moon, the opposite of the sun, hovers over us by night, the opposite of day. 

In F.W. Murnau’s Tabu (1931), Reri, the sacred maiden of the small island of Bora Bora, writes this to her lover Matahi: 

And indeed, when Matahi chases after her, the moon spreads its path on the sea.

He runs and swims after her, moving faster than a normal human being, defying the laws of gravity. 

Miraculously, he catches up to the boat. 

Thus, he must die, sinking back into a void…

…while ghost ships linger on in the distance…

…carrying another hopeless romantic, and a moving corpse—A second Nosferatu.

The moon is absent in Murnau’s earlier film, made nearly ten years before Tabu, but it is in the one he made nearly five years after Nosferatu, when George O’Brien leaves his wife for a midnight rendezvous with another woman. 

And indeed,
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Our Daily Bread #4

  • MUBI
Two films from the conclusion of the 20th Century. A city and a tree. Day and Night. Color and black & white. From right to left and from left to right. The future and the past.

New Rose Hotel (Abel Ferrara, 1998)

Sicilia! (Daniele Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, 1999)

Our Daily Bread is a column on not necessarily beautiful images, nor similar images, but images that when brought together interact in meaningful ways.
See full article at MUBI »

Our Daily Bread #3

  • MUBI
In Year of the Dragon, King of New York, and Heat: we see the backs of heads, we see men with obsessive drives, propelled, driven by force.

The camera has no choice but to follow them.

In fact, Year of the Dragon gives us men who are not just propelled by force, but are force.

—but at the expense of their personal lives, destroying the relationships with those closest to them.

So too, then, does Heat, 10 years later.

Friends and loved ones all die, thus accidental Pietàs are formed.

—foreshadowed by existing Pietàs.

All three films are romantic films, because color is no longer an outward physical phenomenon, but rather an internal representation, a mood. An emotion.

The camera sweeps.

“In the words of my friend Bernardo Bertolucci, you’re creating a nostalgia for a past that never existed.” —Michael Cimino

The camera is in constant activity,
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Our Daily Bread #1

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Our Daily Bread is a column on not necessarily beautiful images, nor similar images, but images, that when brought together, interact in meaningful ways.

Nearly 70 years passed between John Ford's Straight Shooting (1917) and Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate (1980), during which sound had been added, color had been added, and the dimensions of the screen had changed. Yet, within those years, the central idea stayed the same; America as a vast landscape, but where trespassers are not allowed refuge. Killers turn to look at us, and then ride off into the river, the footsteps of their steeds corrupting nature as they leave. Therefore, a man from 1980 shoots a man from 1917, and a man from 1917 shoots a man from 1980.
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