Collection of short films the summaries of which include; a foreign man moving to Italy, getting married and having a child; a four split scene short involving plot-less images of old ... See full summary »
The artist, Antonio Lopez, tries to paint the quince tree he planted some time back in his garden. Throughout his life, he has worked on the same theme many times, almost as if it were a ... See full summary »
A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along... See full summary »
A mostly very recommendable collection of shorts by some of the most renowned arthouse directors. In DOGS HAVE NO HELL a man starts a new life with the woman he loves. Aki Kaurismäki delivers, as usual, grand melodrama in the most deadpan manner. Wonderful photography. Werner Herzog's documentary is his usual ethno-cliche crap: Modernization blows away the culture of a small hunter-gatherer group. Herzog mourns this but uses evolutionist-colonialist vocabulary like "tribe" and "stone age" - he obviously never realizes that his perspective overrates the power of Western culture in the same way as die-hard modernizers do. Embarrassing.
Jim Jarmusch's vignette about movie making combines a calm view of everyday situations with some subdued comedy. Quite unassuming and more complex and substantial in hindsight. Wim Wenders returns to his roots: 35 years after his early shorts we are once again in a car for almost the entire film and listen to rock music. Just this time we get an exciting plot, beautiful retro-psychedelic visuals and a poetic near-death moment: Wenders shows all his abilities.
Spike Lee reports irregularities of the last US-presidential election, quite frightening of course, beautifully shot, but a bit out of place here.
Chen Kaige's 100 FLOWERS HIDDEN DEEP gives us a little parable about the change of modern Beijing, which is a bit silly at first (and includes some awful computer animation), but has a further dimension: The worker's pantomime and the old man's effeminate gestures are stylistic devices from Peking Opera, an art form of the past, virtually surviving "hidden deep" in cinema.
But the one piece overshadowing all the others is Victor Erice's LIFELINE, a portrait of a peaceful afternoon in a Spanish village in 1940, with death and destruction always close at hand: Children play, farmhand reap dry grass, old men play cards, while a baby starts to bleed to death. The beauty and poetic power of the images and sounds is outstanding, only comparable to Tarkovsky (another director with a genuine feel for life on the countryside). Marvelous.
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