The impact of the decline of heavy industry on workers and their families in the Tiexi district of Shenyang, China, at the turn of the 21st century, documented unflinchingly by a fly-on-the-wall camera.
In a 360° circular panoramic shot the camera slowly pans an entire apartment (or house). When it first passes the bedroom there is nobody there but each time it shows the room again Chantal... See full summary »
The last collaboration of Artavazd Peleshian and cinematographer Mikhail Vartanov is a film-essay about Armenia's shepherds, about the contradiction and the harmony between man and nature, scored to Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
A man returns to visit his native Sicily after living in New York for a long time. He learns about the Sicilian way of life from stylized conversations with an orange picker, his fellow ... See full summary »
WELFARE shows the nature and complexity of the welfare system in sequences illustrating the staggering diversity of problems that constitute welfare: housing, unemployment, divorce, medical... See full summary »
Divided into three segments, namely 1 Neocolonialism, 2 Act for liberation, 3 Violence and liberation, the documentary lasts more than 4 hours this deals with the defense of the revolution ... See full summary »
Fernando E. Solanas
María de la Paz,
Fernando E. Solanas,
A surrealistic documentary portrait of the region of Las Hurdes, a remote region of Spain where civilisation has barely developed, showing how the local peasants try to survive without even the most basic utilities and skills.
Fascinating experimental documentary capturing a unique moment in recent history
This 1993 film by Chantal Akerman resembles some of her best early experimental work from the 1970s, especially 'Hotel Monterey'. This is a truly non-narrative film. Just a series of images from across Russia; often slow, amazingly long tracking shots (probably made from a car, but somehow rock steady), intercut with some long stationary wide angle shots, and shots of people in rooms, clearly staged. There's no dialogue and almost no music, only the incidental sounds of the place being photographed.
The film is clearly a comment on how lost Russia was at that moment in history after communism fell a lifetime of one ideology was suddenly gone, and nothing new had yet taking it's place. We see it in the faces
every person looks like they're waiting for something. The only
problem for me was the length. At 110 minutes both images and ideas, terrific though they were, started to feel repetitive. That said, I'd gladly re-visit and see if a second viewing, knowing now what the style of the film is, would be easier to settle into, and get lost in.
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