Thursday, July 21, 2016

Blackboards. Samira Makhmalbaf. 2000. The absurdity of...





















Blackboards. Samira Makhmalbaf. 2000.
The absurdity of mathematics, language, learning in a landscape of absurdities, where children are miles carrying contraband across the border hunched down like goats in a herd, where marriages are formed in makeshift ceremonies and are also easily broken, where old men can’t piss and young boys have lost their way, blackboards are dowry, casts, stretchers, and shelter from the falling bombs. The metaphor is the film, almost diagrammatically.



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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Francophonia. Alexander Sokurov. 2015. The Louvre is France is...





















Francophonia. Alexander Sokurov. 2015.
The Louvre is France is Europe is culture and this Russian filmmaker loves it- as did the German officer and the French civil servant who protected it during the German occupation. Reconstructed found footage of the occupation, worrying about art drowning in the ocean while being transported, and some gorgeous aerial sepia tinted drone shots of Paris- sometimes with added effects.



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Monday, July 18, 2016

A little life. Hanya Yanagihara. Perpetually tragic.



A little life. Hanya Yanagihara.
Perpetually tragic.



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Hum Hindustani. Ram Mukherjee. 1960. The only way for the new...





















Hum Hindustani. Ram Mukherjee. 1960.
The only way for the new India to be happy is for people to behave like they are supposed to - the servants should serve their masters even when the masters have lost their property, the industrialists should be benevolent patriarchs, the women compliant and devoted and stand by their men no matter what, the mill workers must be honest and faithful. A Bombay film with marine drive romances and mill worker strikes.



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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Tere Ghar Ke Samne. Vijay Anand. 1963. A year after the China...





















Tere Ghar Ke Samne. Vijay Anand. 1963.
A year after the China war the migrant brothers from what became Pakistan make a film about the Partition and finding love among enemies, going beyond the past into a modern future in curvilinear buildings in the new suburbs of Delhi designed by architects who return from America and are inspired by women in whiskey glasses and on top of the Qutb Minar.



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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sultan. 2016. Salman Charm.



Sultan. 2016. Salman Charm.



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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hey Ram. Kamalhasan. 1999. Pull out all the stops in melodrama...





















Hey Ram. Kamalhasan. 1999.
Pull out all the stops in melodrama with the strings on the soundtrack, the sexual tragic women, the conflicted central character whose masculinity is challenged when he can’t protect his wife, ghosts that haunt him, his confusion in the labyrinth of inner city Delhi where he can’t decide between friends and enemies, crying children, the insecurity and shame that leads to right wing bigotry, the last scene with a cameo from Tushar Gandhi as they open the windows through his grandfather to the world. Rage and revenge in turbulent times in a turbulent film.



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