11 items from 2013
Yann Gonzalez’s debut feature You and the Night was named Best Film at the 19th Athens International Film Festival (Aiff) which ran September 19-29.
It was chosen by a jury made up of film school students, aged 18-25.
The Best Director Award went to second timer American Sam Fleischner for Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors, a coming of age story about a 13 years-old autistic boy, son of an illegal Mexican immigrant mother in New York.
French debutant Antonin Peretjako picked up the Best Screenplay award for The Rendez-vous of Deja-Vu, about the adventures of a group of young Parisians »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Alexis Grivas)
Renowned film critic Yannis Bakogiannopoulos has chosen six masterpieces to screen in Carte Blanche section of the festival.
The films run the entire gamut of world cinema and are timeless and cross cultural: Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, John Ford’s The Searchers, Bernardo Bertolucci The Spider’s Stratagem, Krzysztof Zanussi The Illumination, Alain Resnais’ Night and Fog and Clair Denis’ Beau Travail.
In his directorial debut Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray “merges Neorealism with his own brand of poignant realism. His perspective may resemble non-fiction, but the director refuses to abide by western narrative structures – he would much rather observe events, capture the atmosphere and assimilate experiences in a quiet, natural succession. With an open-ended format that combines heavy drama with light-hearted moments and »
Hiroshima mon amour
Directed by Alain Resnais
Written by Marguerite Duras
Hiroshima mon amour was the first feature film of director Alain Resnais, whose only previous work had been a few short films. Most notably, Resnais had debuted Night and Fog at the Cannes Film Festival in 1955. The film was a documentary about Nazi concentration camps and was the direct catalyst to his involvement with Hiroshima mon amour. Resnais was approached to make a documentary about the atomic bomb. Wary of repeating his previous work, Resnais teamed with Marguerite Duras to create a wholly innovative fiction film that encapsulated Resnais’ struggles in making a film about the atomic bomb and the impossibility of coming to terms with such horrific events.
The film concerns a series of conversations, or one extended conversation, over a 36-hour period between a French actress only credited as She (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese architect, »
- Katherine Springer
Enter an art deco mansion. A caravan of France’s most beloved actors – past and present – enter one at a time. They gather together on pristine leather seats in front of a giant screen. On that screen, a beloved playwright with whom they all worked speaks to them beyond the grave, and declares eternal appreciation to his theater troupe. The butler then projects a video of one of the late playwright’s works performed by a young traveling company. The veteran actors are so moved by their recollections of collaboration that they begin reciting the lines and acting it out, with multiple performers playing the same role. Lines of reality blur, and actors enter spaces that may be part of the mansion or may be in their imagined space of the play, as we occasionally return to their bodies, remaining firmly seated on the leather chairs. About an hour in, any »
- Landon Palmer
Any list of the oldest living directors would feature some of the medium's finest artists. Manoel de Oliveira, at the ripe old age of 104, is still making films despite the fact that his career started before the Great Depression. With any luck, we still haven't seen the last documentary effort from legend D.A. Pennebaker, who turns 88 later this year. There's one director among that company whose inclusion should come as no surprise, since he's a man who has spent most of his career exploring our relationships with the past. Alain Resnais' filmography is filled with titles centered on the ideas of our memories and how the process of creating films helps us share those with one another. After a decade of directing short films, Resnais crafted what many consider to be one of his crowning achievements, 1955's "Night and Fog," a portrait of the horrors of World War II concentration camps. »
- Steve Greene
Odd List Aliya Whiteley Feb 19, 2013
Covering 85 years of cinema, Aliya provides her pick of 25 stylish, must-see French movies...
I’m going to kick this off in best New-Wave style by pointing out that we should be praising each great director’s body of work rather than showcasing favourite movies in a list format; after all, France came up with the concept of the auteur filmmaker, stamping their personality on a film, using the camera to portray their version of the world.
Yeah, well, personality is everything. So here’s a highly personal choice, arranged in chronological order, of 25 of the most individualistic French films. They may be long or short, old or new, but they all have one thing in common – they’ve got directorial style. And by that I don’t mean their shoes match their handbags.
The Passion Of Joan Of Arc (1928)
There are no stirring battle scenes, »
Nagisa Oshima movies: From Death by Hanging to Taboo [See previous post: "Nagisa Oshima: In the Realm of the Senses (Truly) Iconoclastic Filmmaker Dies."] Among Nagisa Oshima’s other seminal works are Death by Hanging (1968); and the Cannes Film Festival entries Empire of Passion (1978), Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983), Max Mon Amour (1986), and Taboo (1999), which turned out to be Oshima’s last effort. With the exception of Max Mon Amour, the Cannes titles were also nominated for multiple Japanese Academy Awards, including Best Picture. (Photo: Nagisa Oshima.) Much like In the Realm of the Senses, Death by Hanging was inspired by a real-life incident: the botched hanging of a young Korean man convicted of rape and murder. In Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, David Bowie plays a World War II prisoner of war who has a complex Billy Budd-like — desire/hate — relationship with a Japanese captain (played by rock star Ryuichi Sakamoto, who also composed the film’s score). Despite its title and the presence of Tatsuya Fuji, »
- Andre Soares
In a sense, it is unfortunate that the Japanese director Nagisa Oshima, who has died aged 80, was more infamous than famous, due to one film, In the Realm of the Senses (also known as Ai No Corrida, 1976). Although it was, for many, in the realms of pornography, the film was a serious treatment of the link between the political and the sexual, eroticism and death (previously dealt with in Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris), and a breakthrough in the representation of explicit sex in mainstream art cinema. Like Bertolucci, Oshima was held and acquitted on an obscenity charge.
Based on a true cause célèbre, In the Realm of the Senses tells of a married man and a geisha, who retreat from the militarist Japan of 1936 into a world of their own, »
- Ronald Bergan
Often referred to as Japan’s answer to Jean-Luc Godard—though he wanted Godard to be referred to as France’s answer to him—the great Japanese director Nagisa Oshima has died at age 80. As a thumbnail sketch of Oshima’s sensibility, the Godard comparison isn’t a bad one: Both men started making movies around 1960, and both were consummate outsiders whose work was marked by a political and aesthetic restlessness. Early films like Cruel Story Of Youth, a rough-hewn portrait of outlaw lovers, and Night And Fog In Japan, a political statement so incendiary that it got »
The renowned Japanese director, who died on 15 January, was best known for his explicit In the Realm of the Senses – but there was far more to his work than that. We take a look back at his career highlights
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After a short apprenticeship at the Shochiku film studio, Nagisa Oshima made his directorial debut aged 27 with A Town of Love and Hope in 1959, but it was his 1960 follow-up, Cruel Story of Youth, that propelled him to national attention. Drawing on techniques of the then-nascent European new waves, and striking a chord with its frustrated adolescent protagonists, Cruel Story hit a nerve in the roiling social mood of the early 60s.
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After his explicitly political Night and Fog in Japan (also 1960) was withdrawn by a nervous Shochiku, Oshima spent the next few years working in TV, »
- Andrew Pulver
Nagisa Ôshima, Kyoto-born screenwriter and director of Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence and the highly controversial In The Realm Of The Senses, has died. He was 80. As a young director, Ôshima rebelled against what he saw as conventional Japanese filmmaking. He left university in his hometown of Kyoto for the esteemed Shochiku production house in Ofuna, outside Toyko. There he shrugged off the influence of the studio's roster of fêted directors - Yasujirô Ozu, Kenji Mizoguchi and Akira Kurosawa among them - to spearhead a new wave in Japanese filmmaking with films like A Town Of Love And Hope, his 1959 feature debut, The Sun's Burial and Night And Fog In Japan.The latter showed the limits of the so-called Shochiku-Ofuna New Wave, with the studio pulling it from cinemas a mere three days after release when it was linked with the assassination of a socialist politician. Railing against the censorship, Ôshima claimed, »
11 items from 2013
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