Nostalghia

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Three starsTwo stars

Smoke-made men, shadows in the steam, God’s orphaned bastards abandon child and country.  Besieged by earth.  Buried in water.  Engulfed in flames.  A father chases his little wonder towards apocalypse.  At the edge of the steps is the cliff and the valley and the far-off castle.  Did you do the candle magic?  Do emo kids read Pushkin?  The sounds are raindrops and footfalls.  Songbirds live in the cathedral, in the blouse, in the womb, of the Madonna.  There’s a white horse by a lake.  This is Tuscany.  This is Moscow.  Nobody beats Tarkovsky.

D & W by: Andrei Tarkovsky, More W: Tonino Guerra, P by: Giuseppe Lanci, E by: Erminia Marini & Amedeo Salfa, w/Oleg Yankovskiy, Domiziana Giordano, Erland Josephson, Patrizia Terreno, Laura De Marchi, Delia Boccardo, Milena Vukotic, Raffaele Di Mario, etc…, 125 min, Italy, 1983

Blind Chance

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Three stars

This is east bloc Sliding Doors.  The colors are moss, wood and jaundice.  Our protagonist has three different shitty lives depending on whether he chooses, rejects, or is indifferent to communism.  No matter what he gets laid.  He finds a message in a bottle, he stands in line for hours for bread.  The sun peeks sickly out of clouds in train stations and airports.  We are all the mutable results of fate and action.

D & W by: Krzysztof Kieślowski, P by: Krzysztof Pakulski, E by: Elżbieta Kurkowska, M by Wojciech Kilar, w/Bogusław Linda, Bogusława Paweler, Tadeusz Łomnicki, Marzena Trybala, Jacek Borkowski, Adam Ferency, Monika Gozdzik, Zygmunt Hubner, etc.., 114 min, Poland, 1981

Sweet Movie

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Four stars

Nazis exhume secret soldier corpses in the Kharkiv forest.  Gretel’s witch turns gingerbread into boat and floats down the Amstel seducing little boys.  There’s a joke about how Americans can’t tell Marx from Lenin.  There’s a lot of fucking & shitting, some stabbing.  Sweet Movie is really gross and acrid and fun.  Here’s an essay by Lorraine Mortimer.

D & W by: Dušan Makavejev, More W by: France Gallagher & Martin Malina, P by: Pierre Lhomme, E by: Yann Dedet, M by: Manos Hatzidakis, w/Carol Laure, Anna Prucnal, Pierre Clémenti, John Vernon, Roy Callender, Marpessa Dawn, Otto Muehl, Roland Topor, etc…, 98 min, Yugoslavia, 1974

White God

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Two stars

Asshole Dad slicing up steer haunches and dogs take Budapest.  The picture aches.  There’s a lot of cool rampaging mutts footage and a lot of boring music recital stuff.  A dog is a wolf is a man.  I remember renting Frankenweenie (the live action one) in ’87, Tambo was fresh in the ground and my heart was bleeding.  Now here I am, dirty 30, passing rescue Obi off to a more stable home.  Seems I’m always picking inopportune times to watch weird dog movies.

D & W by: Kornél Mundruczó, More W by: Viktória Petrányi & Kata Wéber, P by: Marcell Rév, E by: Dávid Janscó, M by: Asher Goldschmidt w/Zsófia Psotta, Luke, Body, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Lili Monori, Gergely Bánki, etc… 121 min, Hungary, 2014