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6 items from 2011

Madwomen (and Men) in the Jungle: A Conversation with Chantal Akerman

23 October 2011 1:49 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

When discussing Almayer’s Folly, Chantal Akerman actively resists crediting the source material. Joseph Conrad’s first novel is set in Malaysia at the end of the 19th century and is a grotesque portrait of a young Dutch trader driven to madness by his own foolishness and avarice. A contemporary, sympathetic reading of the novel might commend it for its critique of the dehumanizing tendencies of colonialism, both on the colonized and the colonizer, but Akerman goes a few steps further. The film is less an adaptation than a loose, dream-like reimagining of its central conflict between a European man, his Asian wife, and their mixed-race daughter. Like Jean Rhys’s novel, Wide Sargasso Sea, which foregrounds the racist assumptions in Jane Eyre by giving life and a history to Charlotte Bronte’s exotic “madwoman in the attic,” Akerman rebalances the weight of Conrad’s narrative and in doing so finds—surprisingly, »

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Chantal Akerman, Joseph Cedar, Béla Tarr, Nuri Bilge Ceylan: AFI Fest 2011

22 October 2011 8:25 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Chantal Akerman (center), Almayer's Folly World Cinema Selections Almayer's Folly: Chantal Akerman loosely adapts Joseph Conrad’s novel set in Malaysia, the tragic tale of a failed European trader and his "mixed blood" daughter. Dir Chantal Akerman. Cast Stanislas Merhar, Marc Barbé, Aurora Marion, Zac Andrianasolo. Belgium/France. U.S. Premiere. Alps: Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos returns with a tale of a group offering an unusual service for grieving families: They inhabit the role of the recently deceased. Dir Yorgos Lanthimos. Scr Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou. Cast Aggeliki Papoulia, Aris Servetalis, Ariane Labed, Johnny Vekris. Greece/France. U.S. Premiere. CARRÉ Blanc: One of the strongest debuts in years, CARRÉ Blanc is a dystopian sci-fi vision of a world with limited resources and limitless cruelty. Dir/Scr Jean-Baptiste Léonetti. Cast Sami Bouajila, Julie Gayet, Jean-Pierre Andreani, Fejria Deliba, Valerie Bodson. France/Luxembourg/Russia/Belgium/Switzerland. The Day He Arrives: »

- Andre Soares

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Toronto 2011. Days Seven and Eight

16 September 2011 5:13 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

The highlight of my recent Toronto screenings was Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne's The Kid with a Bike, which Danny Kasman covered extensively for Mubi when it premiered at Cannes. Tiff attendees were divided on whether the film's final section was difficult to assimilate, or whether it was the film's high point; I'm in the latter camp, and in fact was suspending judgment on the movie until the last scenes fired my enthusiasm.

Terence Davies' long-awaited The Deep Blue Sea, his first fiction feature since 2000's The House of Mirth, had its world premiere at Toronto this week. Davies has once again adapted a literary property, Terence Rattigan's play about a young woman who finds her fulfillment and her sorrow in physical love, much to society's discomfort. Despite my pleasure in Davies' stately rhythms and his loving attention to the material, The Deep Blue Sea made me wonder »

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Venice and Toronto 2011. Chantal Akerman's "Almayer's Folly"

9 September 2011 1:17 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

"Liberally adapted from Joseph Conrad's first novel, Almayer's Folly is Chantal Akerman's most satisfying fictional feature since La captive," writes Gabe Klinger in Cinema Scope. "Like that earlier film, which mined from Proust, it boils down its richly detailed source to a few austere gestures that balance the cross-cultural impulse of her recent documentary work (De l'autre côté comes to mind) with her better-known European narratives. There's not much in the way of plot, but rather a lot of emotive intensity in the mise en scène that suggests, while at the same time eluding, the deeper literary structure of Conrad's story."

"The film's prologue is deceptively thriller-like," writes Neil Young in the Hollywood Reporter. "A man wanders through an unidentified southeast Asian waterfront town until he pulls a knife and kills an outdoor music bar entertainer, leaving one of the accompanying dance troupe alone on stage. This »

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25 Alternative 2011 Tiff Picks: Must See Films Flying Low on the Radar

2 September 2011 12:20 PM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Single tickets for films showing at Tiff officially go on sale tomorrow and before you consider paying for an overpriced, over-hyped, red carpet Gala screening of a film that will be out in theatres week later, we suggest you mix it up a bit and consider the alternative. Joined by our own Toronto based critic Blake Williams (who is also presenting his latest short entitled Coorow-Latham Road in Wavelengths 4 this year), we've complied a 25-list of invigorating films from pioneering master filmmakers who still don't get enough cred to visionaries making their first contributions to cinema. We begin the countdown with..:  #1. Almayers Folly Director: Chantal Akerman Cast: Stanislas Merhar, Marc Barbé, Aurora Marion, Zac Andrianasolo Distributor: Rights Available Buzz: Akerman is at once a key figure in structural filmmaking, 60's & 70's world cinema, and women's filmmaking in general. Producing some of the most contemplative and soaring masterpieces of the last few decades (Jeanne Dielman, »

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Out of the Past: Five Old Flames

11 January 2011 8:52 PM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

We at Mubi think that celebrating the films of 2010 should be a celebration of film viewing in 2010.  Since all film and video is "old" one way or another, we present Out of a Past, a small (re-) collection of some of our favorite of 2010's retrospective viewings.


Something of a preferential order.

A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang, Taiwan, 1991)

I was ready to be let down after hearing so much praise for so long, but this film’s reputation doesn’t do it justice. For one, you cannot summarize or condense the growing rings of significance that accrue as the four hours tick past, no matter how simple a story we have here. But it’s not just the “modern novel” structure that so impressed me (though it did) as much as how the film was shot, and lit. It’s not flashy, it’s not even as outright gorgeous »

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6 items from 2011

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