Film Festivals and Retrospectives

Chasing the Truth: The Films of Mrinal Sen by John W. Hood

In the book Chasing the Truth: The Films of Mrinal Sen, author John W. Hood provides an insightful examination of the sociopolitical and cultural conditions that have shaped filmmaker Mrinal Sen’s personal and creative ideology. Born into a middle-class Bengali family in Faridpur in 1923, Hood provides a contextual frame of reference to the independence… read more »

Saratan, 2005

Inviting favorable comparison to Serik Aprimov’s Glastnost-era muted comedy The Last Stop (a film that ushered the Kazakh new wave), Kyrgyzstan filmmaker Ernest Abdyshaparov spins his own charming, infectious, and delightful pastoral tale on the doldrums of rural life in post Soviet-era central Asian republics in Saratan. Introducing an eclectic cast of characters – a… read more »

The Corporation, 2003

Appropriately presented with the sterile impersonality of a canned, droning informational video business presentation, Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott’s The Corporation is a wry and acerbic sprawling meditation on the psychology of a corporation as a human entity (as defined by the judicial system with respect to legal rights and responsibilities). Citing examples of blatant… read more »

Everyone Else, 2009

The title of Maren Ade’s quietly observed film is subtly conveyed in passing, a desire expressed by uninhibited rock publicist, Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) to her architect boyfriend, Chris (Lars Eidinger) that their relationship will not be reduced to the banal paradigm of being like “everyone else”. But romanticism soon collides with reality for the couple… read more »

Tomorrow We Move, 2003

In the film’s droll, double entendred opening sequence, a breathless woman, Catherine (Aurore ClĂ©ment), speaks off camera in dulcet, anxious tone as she provides a series of guiding, seemingly appetent directions against the image of a grand piano craned precariously overhead, culminating with a stray tear that falls from her cheek at the point of… read more »

From the Other Side, 2002

A young man stranded in a Mexican border town recounts the vivid and tragic story of his older brother who crossed the border with a group of illegal immigrants into the U.S. only to wander for days in the disorienting wilderness – each night piling together for warmth and protection, and each morning, fewer and… read more »

Falling, 2006

Something of a muted hybrid between a thirty-something version of the existential crossroads between the freedom of academic emancipation and the responsibilities of adulthood captured by Jae-eun Jeong in Take Care of My Cat crossed with Alain Tanner’s perceptive portrait of the May 68 generation in the aftermath of the failed cultural revolution in Jonah… read more »

Free Radicals, 2003

Ostensibly titled after highly reactive (and consequently, short-lived) molecules that contain unpaired electrons in their outer shells, Barbara Albert’s Free Radicals presents a series of fractured (and often sexually gratuitous) tales of coincidence and synchronicity. The film unfolds in an organic structure that reflects the conventional proverb on the consequential, unforeseen, long-reaching effects of the… read more »

Twilight’s Last Gleaming, 1977

Loosely adapted from novelist Walter Wager’s 1971 thriller, Viper Three, Twilight’s Last Gleaming is Robert Aldrich’s impassioned and provocative excoriation – and, perhaps implicitly, exorcism – of the American government’s administrative Cold War policy that sought to wage a representative, small-scale, protracted ideological war in Vietnam in order to reinforce a “doctrine of credibility” to… read more »

Chouchou, 2003

A patently offbeat and whimsical confection, Merzak Allouache’s Chouchou recalls the more predictably rocambolesque, light comedies of Francis Veber (particularly, La Cage aux Folles), as a displaced foreigner named Choukri (Gad Elmaleh), nicknamed Chouchou by his late mother, claiming to be a Chilean political exile (albeit anachronistically after the fall of Augusto Pinochet), finds refuge… read more »

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