May 10 2004:
THE PORNOGRAPHER (Jinruigaku nyumon)
Shomei Imamura/Japan/1966/128 min/b&w
Ogata purveys sex aids in the committed belief he is spreading happiness, When Haru, the window with whom he lives, kills
herself, he is devastated and retreats to a houseboat, determined to be independent of women. A riveting film played and shot
in a matter-of-fact style, which despite being depressing and discomforting, is never prurient or judgemental in tone.
DIVINE INTERVENTION (Yadon Ilaheyya)
Elia Sulaiman/Palestine-France/2002/92 min
A succession of odd incidents occur in Nazareth, the central piece revolving around ES (played by the director) who meets
his lady love in a carpark at an Israeli checkpoint, where they act out their respective fantasies against the Israelis. "By
turns lyrical, comic and passionate, this depiction of life in the Occupied Territories enhances our understanding of one
of the greatest tragedies of our time. "Jury Prize and International Critics' Prize, Cannes 2002.
Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman/US-Germany/2000/80 min
Between 1933 and 1945 over 100,000 homosexual men were arrested by the Nazis. By the war's end, only about 4,000 survived.
This film examines the impact of the Holoucast on Germany's once-thriving gay community, through bitter and painful recollections
by survivors and archive footage. Winner of Best Director Award, Sundance 2000 and FIPRESCI Prize, Berlin 2000.
Abbas Kiarostami/France-Iran/2002/92 min
An unnamed attractive young woman makes ten car journeys through contemporary Tehran with different characters, each sequence
containing a conversation between the driver and her passenger, from which cumulatively we pick up hints about her life and
state of contemporary Iranian society. "If anyone were to ask what I did as director on this film, I'd say 'Nothing and
yet if I didn't exist, this film wouldn't have existed.' " (Kiarostami).
BOY MEETS GIRL
Leos Carax/France/1984/100 min/b&w
After breaking up with his girlfriend, a rootless youth, Alex, obsessed with a need for romantic fulfilment, falls in
love with Mireille, but their attachment is doomed to fail. With this, his first feature, the precocious 22-year old Carax
emerged as one of French cinema's brightest hopes. Shot in dazzling B&w in nocturnal Paris, the film shows great promise,
bearing a simple title that connotes a minimalist plot and reveals a nice sense of irony.
WARM WATER UNDER A RED BRIDGE (Akai hashi no shita no nurui mizu)
Shohei Imamura/Japan/2001/119 min.
After hearing about a stolen Buddhist statue hidden near a red bridge, Yosuke goes in search of it and ends up on a different
trajectory when he meets the kleptomaniac Saeko who has the power to make flowers bloom off-season and draw fish to the river
from the sea. Veteran director Imamura's film is ruchly laden with symbolic and magical elements but grounded on the most
concrete themes: that of seeking companionship and love in a landscape of isolation, loneliness and social failure.
Hitler's Filmmaker: Leni Riefenstahl (1902-2003)
Leni Riefenstahl, who dies last year aged 101, was the 20th century's most controversial filmmaker. Her negative reputation,
which derives from her work as a filmmaker for the Nazis, has tended to obscure her artistry and craftsmanship as an innovative
director. This programme aims to showcase her filmmaking talent as well as contextualise her politics and aesthetic against
the larger canvas of German fascism. Presented in cooperation with Goethe-Institut KL.
Alan Clarke/Great Britain/1979/97 min
A remake of Roy Minton's teleplay about Borstal life and its vicious circle of violence, after it was banned by the BBC.
"A toughened docudrama that carries the same force as the improvised weapons Ray Winstone uses to bludgeon his way through
the Borstal power structure ... this is potentially knife-edge filmmaking." (Time Out).
UNKNOWN PLEASURES (Ren xiao yao)
Jia Zhangke/China/2002/113 min
Jia established himself as the leader of the indie pack in China with films like XIAO WU and PLATFORM. In this sequel
of sorts to the first film, he anchors his portrait of a fast-changing China on two jobless 19-year old youths in Datong,
once an indistrial hub, who are joined by Xiao Wu himself, now a loan shark. Together the boys drift about, doing nothing
of consequence. This is Jia's first DV film, and its loose, improvisational style accompanies its mood perfectly.
Marc Singer/USA/2002/82 min/b&w
A unique social document in which novice documentarist Singer mizes with the permanent inhabitants of Manhattan's train
tunnels, recording their way of life and their outlook, producing a Hadean vision of the city's genuine underground. The film
derives much of its power from its derefence to its subjects' reality, eschewing drama and style, relying more instead on
a spare to-camera intimacy.
The latest round of our popular series once again showcases new work by independent filmmakers, students and animators.
Many of the directors will be present for Q&A sessions, and three Audience Choice Awards will be given out. If you would
like to submit a short, please contact us.
Kiyoshi Kurosawa/Japan/1997/115 min
Rumples cop Takabe investigates a rash of inexplicable murders in which every victim has a large X carved on the body.
When the suspect, a drop out from medical school and a helpless drifter, is brought in for questioning, Takabe seems in line
to fall under his malign spell. "An accomplished dark thriller which advances Kurosawa's claim to be taken as an important
new voice in Japanese cinema." (Time Out).
THE SON (Le Fils)
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne/Belgium/2002/103 min
Olivier (Olivier Gourmet), a carpentry teacher to troubled teens, refuses to take on 16-year old Francis, but later stalks
him obsessively. Olivier's intense, troubled relationship with his ex-wife is gradually revealed, as are segments of the painful
history shared by the three of them. A deliberate, muted film in which the intensity is cranked up by a spare style, sans
background music. Gourmet won the Best Actor award at Cannes for his performance and the directors received a Special Mention
from the Ecumenical Jury.