8 items from 2015
With the shimmering waters of Lake Maggiore beckoning mere blocks from Locarno's cinemas and the heat here wilting and cruel, how teasing for Athina Rachel Tsangari to set her much-anticipated third film, Chevalier, entirely on a luxury yacht bobbing in the Aegean. I believe many of us have high hopes for Tsangari, a Greek filmmaker who rose to prominence producing Yorgos Lanthimos's Dogtooth and Alps and directing Attenburg, which was far superior to Lanthimos's Greek films, and similarly in this nouveau Greek cinema style of blending art cinema with conceptual art. I wondered, as many no doubt did, at Chevalier's absence from Cannes (whose competition included Lanthimos's leap to English production, The Lobster) and Venice, which had previously supported this new, provocative Greek cinema. Was the film too daring for these wary red carpet competitions? The answer is no; in fact, Chevalier is a far more approachable film—slyly so—than Attenberg, »
- Daniel Kasman
I'm not interested in The Bible, I'm interested in death.
So, you think you're an art house movie buff? Good for you, buddy, because I don't know if I can handle it. My ambitions are entertainment with literacy with a wide definition for both. Alain Resnais is surely an opaque dividing line between my sort of dilettantism and the hard core, high art snob/hippie with Last Year at Marienbad (1961) being a classic example of unwatchable inner-rectal filmmaking to your mainstream audience. The Cohen Collection has put together two of his films, from the early 1980's, written by Jean Gruault, Life is a Bed of Roses (1983) and Love Unto Death (1984) one presumes because Criterion already has the rights to Last Year at Marienbad, Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), and Night and Fog (1955). Still, given Resnais's stature in film history, he is criminally underrepresented in home video and these are odd enough to »
- Jason Ratigan
Written by Marguerite Duras
Directed by Alain Resnais
The first thing we see is a textured image of ash covered bodies. Indistinctly illuminated limbs are entwined in what appears to be a passionate embrace. Glistening particles of dust sprinkle down like snowfall. Then comes the dialogue. A woman recalls the devastating effects of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima Aug. 6, 1945. She says she saw it all. A man says she didn’t see a thing. “How could I not have seen it?” she questions. We see images of it, but some of it is staged, presented for the camera, possibly from her point of view. That is, if she’s telling the truth. There is a graphically unsettling montage of photographs, reconstructions, and Japanese films, all chronicling the attack; there is a morbid museum containing artifacts of that fateful day, haunting reminders of the physical and material destruction. »
- Jeremy Carr
Upon first impression, the stark, angular and abstract constructions of Hiroshima mon amour (released in a new upgraded edition earlier this month by the Criterion Collection) serve as a kind of filter that separates viewers who find themselves bored or baffled by what they see from those who emerge from the viewing with a distinct affinity for the pair of anguished lovers at the heart of the film. The gist of the story is fairly simple: a French actress, on assignment in Hiroshima to play a part in an antiwar film, has a brief but emotionally intense affair with a Japanese man who lives there. Both are married, and even though they recognize a real temptation for them to prolong their time together to more fully enjoy this rush of passion, there’s no practical possibility of the relationship extending beyond a fling. But over the course of the weekend they spend together, »
- David Blakeslee
“He Said/She Said—Reflections On Love, Unreliable Memories, And The Atomic Bomb”
Director Alain Resnais achieved worldwide acclaim with his documentary short, Night and Fog (1955), which revealed to the world the true horrors of what went on in the Nazi concentration camps. For his first feature film, Resnais turned to fiction; and yet, he maintained a somewhat documentary approach in showing the world the true horrors of what occurred in Hiroshima, Japan when the first atomic bomb was dropped. Beyond that, Hiroshima mon amour (“Hiroshima, My Love”) is an art film that not only signaled the beginning of the French New Wave (although many film historians do not count it as an example of that movement), it also established Resnais’ singular, enigmatic and ambiguous style as an auteur. The director would go on to make even more thematically-mysterious pictures (namely Last Year at Marienbad) and become »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Paris-based Other Angle is launching the project, formerly titled Night and Fog, in Cannes.
After the war, Atkins made it her personal mission to ascertain the fate of all the female agents she lost. The film revolves around her interrogation of Gestapo officer Hans Kieffer about what happened to a young Muslim spy. »
German Concentration Camps Factual Survey
Directed by Sidney Bernstein
An official documentary about German atrocities and the concentration camps compiled with footage shot by combat and newsreel cameramen accompanying troops as they liberated occupied Europe
Last year, Night Will Fall was released. Directed by André Singer, it documented the making of the film German Concentration Camps Factual Survey. While Night Will Fall looks back at the collection, editing and history of the footage, this is the film itself, as it was intended to be seen. Produced by Sidney Bernstein, Gccfs was intended to be screened in Germany after World War II to ensure the atrocities committed, in their name, was never forgotten. Though the vast majority of the film was completed (five out of six reels edited, narration scripted, etc) it was decided that, »
- Simon Columb
Paris-based Other Angle Pictures, headed by Olivier Albou and Laurence Schonberg, has acquired international sales rights to four new films – Safy Nebbou’s “In the Forests of Siberia,” Lucien Jean Baptiste’s “DieuMerci,” Benjamin Weill’s “West Coast” and “Machin, Machine,”helmed by and starring Clovis Cornillac.
Shooting from Feb. 12, and the latest title in Nebbou’s building body of distinguished stage or literary makeovers (“Mark of a Angel,” “Dumas,” “Bad Seeds”), “In the Forests of Siberia” is inspired by Sylvain Tesson’s novel, translated into English as “The Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin on the Siberian Taiga,” which won the 2014 Dolman Best Travel Book Award.
Written by Nebbou and David Oelhoffen, now a director of repute after his directorial debut, “Far From Men,” with Viggo Mortensen, “Forests of Siberia” stars Raphael Personnaz (“The French Minister,” “Anna Karenina”). It relates the friendship between a man looking for peace, »
- John Hopewell
8 items from 2015
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