Secret défense
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2 items from 2010

Sfiff Review: Around a Small Mountain

25 April 2010 7:02 AM, PDT | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

Note: This is our first review in a smaller series of coverage from the 2010 San Francisco International Film Festival.

One of my favorite living film directors is Jacques Rivette. Rivette was once part of the original "French New Wave," a group of film critics for Cahiers du Cinema that decided to turn director and make their own films. The group also included Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Eric Rohmer and Claude Chabrol. The other four achieved some measure of fame, but Rivette was always the "outcast" of the group. He was the most "experimental." He completed three "New Wave" style films in the 1960s, the latter of which, L'amour fou (1968), ran over four hours. and followed them with his monumental Out 1 (1971), which ran nearly 13 hours. (The film has rarely been shown, and I keep hoping for a DVD box set someday soon.)

After that came arguably his most beloved film, though »

- Jeffrey M. Anderson

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Rotterdam 2010: Asian Excitement

29 January 2010 3:29 PM, PST | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »


I saw in the news the other day that China is producing the second most scientific research the world right now.  As a source of national pride and a new cadre and class of workers, I wonder why these scientists aren't the subject of more films, if at least in the crypto-thriller model of Rivette's Secret défense.  I don't much travel the festival circuit, but I assume the genre of feckless, barely employed, malaise-ing youth such as those featured in Heng Yang's second feature Sun Spots are a convention well past its expiration date, and perhaps relevancy.  Yet few films so precisely and deliberately, almost stubbornly and most certainly stunningly frame their youthful clichés in as stoic and minimal a grandeur as Yang's epic digital theater.  Actors and objects are mostly stuck in Sun Spots' foreground, with the world, flat and looming, nearly overpowering the three-dimensional aspect, minute in comparison, »

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