One of the first feminist movies, The Smiling Madame Beudet is the story of an intelligent woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband is used to playing a stupid practical joke in ... See full summary »
With King Ranjit visiting him, King Sohat sees an opportunity to kill his young cousin and take over his kingdom. One of Sohat's henchmen fells Ranjit with a poisoned arrow, making it look ... See full summary »
Produced at the height of the Vietnam War, Emile de Antonio's Oscar-nominated 1968 documentary chronicles the war's historical roots. With palpable outrage, De Antonio (Point of Order, ... See full summary »
Emile de Antonio
Harry S. Ashmore,
A poor family in the Northeast of Brazil (Fabiano, the father; Sinhá Vitória, the mother; their 2 children and a dog called Baleia) wander about the barren land searching for a better place... See full summary »
Native Americans in Los Angeles. For 12 hours one Friday night, from late afternoon until dawn, we follow a handful of urban Indians. Yvonne is pregnant, commenting on her life and dreams ... See full summary »
A schoolteacher (Miereveld or "field of ants") is entranced by one of his students (Fran). Not being able to have his love fulfilled he tries to escape it and moves house and job. Working ... See full summary »
Pollet and Schlöndorff imagine the Mediterranean as a supernal arena.
"Pays multiples faussement endormis" (A host of countries wrongfully put to sleep) - as the narration goes.
The calm of the Mediterranean is an illusion, as envisioned by the metaphor of dragons-teeth in a harbour ("both calm and disturbed"). There are moments of tender beauty such as Seurat-ian water, and scenes from a wedding. The rest of the movie shows ruins, including World War II detritus and the temple at Vassai/Bassae, extremely bloody bull-fights, and an otherworldly hospital.
Méditerranée is morbid, insect buzzing is as much the soundtrack as the composed one of Antoine Duhamel. It's not much of a surprise that it didn't really get distributed outside Europe. Pollet's movie l'Ordre, which is a documentary about a leper colony, is further evidence of his obsession. The cycle of life is turned into something macabre, with the idea being that an impostor is waiting to take over the reins from you.
The imagination of the directors is a huge conceit, an outmoded conceit. Viewers who think that Méditerranée quotations in Godard's recent Film Socialisme show otherwise, think again, Godard was always of the same cloth as Pollet, quoting TS Eliot in Eloge de l'Amour, seeing Roman soldiers march over the landscape. It's an imagination that I lost myself in though, but accepting a cultural narrative like this is going to be a tall order for most in a post-modern era.
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