Chantal Akerman, the Belgian filmmaker, lives in New York. Filmed images of the City are accompanied by the texts of Chantal Akerman's loving but manipulative mother back home in Brussels. ... See full summary »
He's the greatest fighter of all time. A sports icon that is loved throughout the world. A man driven by his ambition to be the best. Muhammad Ali is a name that to this day puts fear in ... See full summary »
Back home, Glauco, an industrial designer, finds his wife in bed with a serious headache. She has left him dinner but it is cold and Glauco decides to prepare himself a gourmet meal. While ... See full summary »
In this excoriating satire of the fashion industry, Polly Maggoo is a 20-year-old Brooklyn-born fashion model in Paris, on the runway at the big shows where magazine editor Ms. Maxwell is ... See full summary »
In winter in the south of France, a young woman is found frozen in a ditch. She's unkempt, a vagabond. Through flashbacks and brief interviews, we trace her final weeks as she camps alone ... See full summary »
On a film set there are two things missing, the film material and the director. So the actors and actresses as well as the crew try to make the best out of the situation. When the director ... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Mr. Freedom is a pro-American Right superhero who fights for God and country by beating, robbing, raping, and killing anyone who looks like they might disagree with him. When he hears that ... See full summary »
A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
A juvenile delinquent gets out of the pen and immediately embarks on a rampage of untethered anger, most of it directed at the girlfriend of the journalist who helped send him up. The ... See full summary »
Jean-Michael and Claudine are the "78% normal" couple chosen to be analysed/manipulated through a series of tests in a monitored household for a French national experiment. The couple are only too happy, at first, to comply with the scientists who regularly interrogate them, seeing the whole set-up as little more than the chance to be the star exponents of a new game show. Occasionally (in the film's stronger sequences) a television announcer comments on their goings-on and chairs group discussions with "experts" who argue the meaning and validity of what they're watching.
The couple are at first bemused by the abundance of goods and possessions given to them by the state, but this soon palls as they are increasingly asked to define why they choose to do what they do. When the "Minister of the Future" comes to visit (with Godard and Fassbinder favourite Eddie Constantine in tow), Claudine is more interested in seeing an example of the Minister's ability to bend spoons - Uri Geller style than discerning what his policies or intention behind the whole project might be. Meanwhile, Jean-Michael becomes more argumentative, but no more enlightened, than his wife. Towards the end, their childish rebellion (involving the wanton destruction of their goods) leads to them being taken hostage by child revolutionaries who are just as unfocused as they are.
Expatriate American photographer William Klein's little known film presents a presciently topical subject for our Reality TV/'Big Brother' saturated times. However, as a piece of cinematic art, it falls short of the mark. Displaying little of the flair of his earlier (if strident and still flawed) 'Mr. Freedom', the film suffers from low rent production values and sloppy camera-work. The use of annoyingly cheesy songs (which occasionally comment on the action) and Goodies/Benny Hill style sped-up camera tricks also contribute to weakening its bite.
Although the viewer is privy to the ruminations and manipulations of the two interlocutor scientists (who are a couple themselves) we are never let much further into their motivations, other than an interest in behavioural psychology and a desire to "change" things. Possibly a more concerted interest in contrasting the two couples would have provided a richer experience. The film also lacks any real discernible shape. It's as if Klein had written it piecemeal, filming each new set-up as he devised them. In the hands of someone much more assured, like Jean-Luc Godard (who is a pervasive influence on Klein's film work), this could be a lean and fearsome beast. The end result, while intriguing, remains flabby. Regardless of these shortcomings however, there are still glimmers of elucidation to be found in the quagmire.
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