[archiving an old post at another site]
(To get more info about the films visit the Internet Movie Database)
Fall 2009 Bluegrass Film Society schedule
Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Wednesdays: 7:30pm, Main Auditorium, Oswald Building, Free
August 19 (Special showing at Al’s Bar on 6th and Limestone at 7PM)
Repo Man (USA: Alex Cox, 1984: 92 mins)
The second film from iconoclastic British filmmaker Alex Cox has been claimed by many to be the greatest punk film. Cox, who would later make other punk classics like Sid and Nancy (1986) and Straight to Hell (1987), fully embraces the “punk” ethos in Repo Man with “no-future” youths, desolate Los Angeles landscapes, dangerous science running amok, and a morally bankrupt consumer society.
August 26: The Castle (Austria: Michael Haneke, 1997: 123 mins)
Austrian director Haneke’s adaption of Franz Kafka’s classic novel of bureaucratic absurdities and human alienation. The film was originally produced for Austrian TV.
September 2: The Taste of Tea (Japan: Katsuhito Ishii, 2004: 143 mins)
A surreal comedic look at the daily experiences of the Haruno family. As one character says: “We were all watching the sunset, at the edge of the universe.”
September 9: Sans Soleil (France: Chris Marker, 1983: 100 mins)
Chris Marker is revered as a seminal documentary filmmaker and a visionary artist. Although he is best known in the USA for his short film La Jetee (an homage to Hitchcock’s Vertigo and inspiration for Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys), many critics consider Sans Soleil, a documentary meditation on time, history, travel and images, to be his true masterpiece.
September 16: Dracula: Pages From a Virgin’s Diary (Canada: Guy Maddin, 2003: 75 mins)
A true original, no one makes films like Guy Maddin. This is Maddin’s film version of the Winnipeg Royal Ballet’s production of the classic horror mythos of Dracula. This visually stunning, silent film was originally made for Canadian TV (CBC), but critical acclaim led to an American theatrical release.
September 23: The Drummer (Hong Kong/Taiwan: Kenneth Bi, 2007: 118 mins)
The rebellious son a Triad boss has to hide in the countryside from a rival boss’ vengeance. While in hiding he is introduced to the rigorous life and practices of Zen drummers and he develops a new sense of the world. His new life eventually comes into conflict with his old life. A Film Movement selection.
September 30: Pusher (Denmark: Nicolas Winding Refn, 1996: 105 mins)
Pusher is notable for launching director Nicolas Winding Refn’s career, but even more importantly, for me, it brought the great Danish actor Mads Mikkelson (star of Susanne Bier’s After the Wedding) onto the international scene. A dark, naturalistic exploration of Copenhagen’s drug underworld; it was a huge success in Denmark and internationally.
October 14: Battles Without Honor & Humanity (Japan: Kinji Fukasaku, 1973: 99 mins)
Fukasaku is probably best known in the USA as the director of the controversial dystopian Battle Royale (2000). In Japan though he is revered for his crime film epic Battles Without Honor & Humanity (released in the USA as the 5 DVD set The Yakuza Papers). This stand alone first film in the series is shot documentary style and explores the criminal organization of ex-soldiers in post-War Hiroshima. The film was based upon a series of journalistic articles by Kōichi Iiboshi.
October 21: 24 Hour Party People (United Kingdom: Michael Winterbottom, 2002: 117 mins)
Winterbottom is a jack-of-all-genres in the film world. From film to film, his style changes and perhaps this is why he is not as celebrated as some of his British peers. In this film he struck gold with an exploration of the creative madness of the Manchester music explosion (1976 – 1992) unleashed in the aftermath of the 1976 Sex Pistols concert in the Lesser Free Trade Hall.
October 28: Bab’Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul (Tunisia: Nacer Khemir, 2005: 96 mins)
A true feast for the senses, this film takes us into the stories and culture of Tunisia. A blind dervish grandfather and his curious granddaughter wander the stunning desert landscape seeking out a grand reunion of dervishes that happens only once every 30 years. To occupy their time the grandfather tells his granddaughter a magical story and as more people join them they add stories of their own.
November 4: Pixote (Brazil: Hector Babenco, 1981: 128 mins)
Realistic film that powerfully explores the life of a street kid in Sao Paolo. Babenco uses a documentary style, with non-professional actors (many of them street kids), and a naturalistic tone, to portray the struggle of these street kids to build a semblance of family in a world set on eliminating them one way or another.
November 11: The City (USA: David Riker, 1998: 88 mins)
A black and white, multi-thread narrative, about four different immigrants in New York City. Filmed over a period of years and developed with the actors playing the roles, this is a true American independent film. David Riker is the writer of the recently released Sleep Dealer (Alex Rivera: 2008) which has been getting attention for its science fictional exploration of globalization and trade.
November 18: Sex and Lucia (Spain: Julio Medem, 2001: 128 mins)
Acclaimed director Julio Medem’s visually stunning exploration of sex, relationships and eroticism. Medem constructs a complex metanarrative that challenges the viewer to bring their own understanding into play with the film’s structure in order to make sense of the imaginative, dreamlike, erotic events.
November 25: The Quiet Family (South Korea: Ji-woon Kim, 1998: 105 mins)
Ji-Woon Kim has received considerable attention for his suggestive, moody horror flick A Tale of Two Sisters (2003). His first film The Quiet Family is also playing in the horror genre, but unlike the darkly sinister A Tale of Two Sisters, The Quiet Family is a darkly comic extravaganza.
December 2: The Edge of Heaven (Germany/Turkey: Fatih Akin, 2007: 122 min)
One of my favorite discoveries last year was Fatih Akin’s unconventional romance Head-On (2004). The film was also a favorite of my students and I have been looking forward to seeing his next film. As a treat I saved this one for last!