Monday, February 28, 2022

rituals in transfigured time

(some women filmmakers)

Maren Ade

German producer, screenwriter, and director mostly known for her 2016 film Toni Erdmann. Ade also produced Valeska Grisebach's stunning film Western (2017).

Chantal Akerman

Belgian director whom many will claim as their favorite director (myself included). Akerman transformed time so beautifully with her 1975 film Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, that it was impossible to not look at any other film without referencing it. Other essential films are Les Années 80 (1983), Les Rendez-vous d'Anna (1978), Je Tu Il Elle (1974), Saute ma Ville (1968), and News from Home (1977). Sadly in 2015 Akerman took her life at the age of 65.

Allison Anders

American independent director known for her 90s films Gas Food Lodging (1992), Mi Vida Loca (1993), and Grace of My Heart (1996). She was also a production assistant on Paris, Texas.

Kamila Andini

Indonesian director known for her debut film The Mirror Never Lies (2011).

Maya Angelou

The poet's one feature film: Down in the Delta (1998) on motherhood and dipsomania.

Gillian Armstrong

Australian director, known for My Brilliant Career (1979), Little Women (1994), and Oscar and Lucinda (1997).

Andrea Arnold

Brilliant English filmmaker and former actor Andrea Arnold, her immensely impressive filmography includes the films Wasp (2003), Red Road (2006), Fish Tank (2009), Wuthering Heights (2011), American Honey (2016), episodes of I Love Dick (2017), and the 2021 documentary Cow which is a portrait of a dairy-farm cow’s life span.

Dorothy Arzner

American Hollywood director making films from the 1920s into the early 1940s.

Lila Avilés

Mexican director, screenwriter, and producer known for her 2018 film The Chambermaid.

Ilisa Barbash

Barbash is the curator of visual anthropology at Harvard’s Peabody Museum. She co-directed and co-produced In and Out of Africa (1992), P.O.V. (2011) and the documentary masterpiece Sweetgrass (2009) that follows modern-day shepherds leading their sheep up into Montana's Absaroka-Beartooth mountains.

Corinna Belz

German filmmaker who directed the wonderful portrait of the artists Gerhard Richter Painting (2011), and Peter Handke: In the Woods, Might be Late (2016).

Sadie Benning

Born 1973 in Milwaukee, and daughter of James Benning. Benning is known for experimenting with the moving image as a child with a Fisher-Price Pixelvision PXL-2000 toy camera. She also co founded the band Le Tigre.

Ann Biderman

American film and television writer known for the intense portrait of Los Angeles police officers Southland (2009-2013).

Susanne Bier

Danish film director, screenwriter, and producer. Bier directed After the Wedding (2006) with Mads Mikkelsen, and The Night Manager (2016) with Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie.

Kathryn Bigelow

Hugely talented American director, responsible for many classics such as the outlaw biker film The Loveless (1981) with Willem Dafoe and musician Robert Gordon, the uncomfortable neo-western/vampire film Near Dark (1987) with Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton, and the gritty 90s classic surf/bank robbery film Point Break (1991). Not without interest are Strange Days (1995), and The Hurt Locker (2008).

Lizzie Borden

Not the tried and acquitted axe murderer, but the American filmmaker who directed Working Girls (1986) focussing on the life of several prostitutes in a Manhattan brothel, and the documentary-style feminist fiction film Born in Flames (1983).

Catherine Breillat

Not for everyone, the French director who's 2001 film Fat Girl is an alternative coming-of-age film with two sisters Anaïs Pingot and Elena Pingot, perhaps inspired by Anaïs Nin?

Mary Ellen Bute

Pioneer American animator mastering the concept of visual music. The Houston born filmmaker made fourteen abstract films between the 1930s to the 1950s set to classical music. I was fortunate to be initiated to her work at the 1995 Harvard Film Archive show Articulated Light: The Emergence of Abstract Film in America curated by Bruce Posner and presented by Cecile Starr.

Jane Campion

New Zealand director, screenwriter, and producer, and the first female filmmaker to receive the Palme d'Or for her 1993 film The Piano. As a high school kid seeing The Piano on the big screen was completely overwhelming and still resonates within me. Her films Sweetie (1989), An Angel at My Table (1990), Holy Smoke! (1998), In the Cut (2003), Bright Star (2009), the television show Top of the Lake (2013), and Power of the Dog (2021), are all monumental works.

Niki Caro

New Zealand director and screenwriter responsible for the 2002 film Whale Rider.

Xan (Alexandra) Cassavetes

Daughter of Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes. Her 2002 film Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession is essential to anyone interested in the history of film as art and its reception in the United States.

Liliana Cavani

Italian director who made the insane 1974 film The Night Porter.

Lisa Cholodenko

American screenwriter and director. Cholodenko wrote and directed the films High Art (1998), Laurel Canyon (2002), The Kids Are All Right (2010), the HBO four-part mini-series Olive Kitteridge, the first three episodes of Netflix's Unbelievable (2019), and several episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street and Six Feet Under.

Chinonye Chukwu

Nigerian-American film director best known for the 2019 film Clemency with Alfre Woodard.

Christina Choe

American director, made Nancy in  2018 starring Andrea Riseborough.

Věra Chytilová

Avant-garde Czech film director best known for her 1966 Czech New Wave film Daisies.

Shirley Clarke

Seeing Shirley Clarke's 1963 film The Cool World in college was a huge event for this film enthusiast, and it is strange to have never heard mention of the masterpiece since then. The film follows the Royal Pythons, a youth gang in Harlem, specifically a 15 year-old gangster Duke (Hampton Clanton), and a racketeer named Priest (Carl Lee). The music is by Mal Waldron and The Dizzy Gillespie quintet. Clarke also made the film version of the 1959 New York City's Living Theater group play The Connection by Jack Gelber, initially with Jackie McLean, Freddie Redd, Cecil Taylor, Warren Finnerty, and Carl Lee, many of whom appear in Clarke's film. She also directed Skyscraper (1959), Portrait of Jason (1967), and Ornette: Made in America (1985).

Maya Daren

Towering figure in the early New York City avant'garde film scene, hanging out with Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, John Cage, and Anaïs Nin, Deren influenced countless filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage, Curtis Harrington, Kenneth Anger, and Carolee Schneemann. She had creative partnerships with two husbands Alexander Hammid (Meshes in the Afternoon and Ritual in Transfigured Time, The Private Life of a Cat) and later Teiji Itō whom did music for Meshes of the Afternoon and Meditation on Violence. Other essential films include At Land (1944), A Study in Choreography for Camera (1945), and Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. Her contributions to the history of experimental/avant'garde cinema are beyond essential.

Julie Dash

One of the filmmakers in the L.A. Rebellion group, known for her films Four Women (1975), Illusions (1982), and Daughters of the Dust (1991).

Storm de Hirsch

Pioneer 1960s New York City avant'garde filmmaker and poet, one of the founding members of the Film-Makers' Cooperative and early editor of Film Culture magazine; Storm de Hirsch is known for her frame-by-frame etching and painting and metadiagetic editing.

Claire Denis

French filmmaker known for her films I Can't Sleep (1994), Beau Travail (1999), Trouble Every Day (2001), Friday Night (2002), 35 Shots of Rum (2008), White Material (2009), Les Salauds (2013), High Life (2018) and Fire (2022). Memorably scored by the English band Tindersticks.

Mati Diop

French/Senegalese filmmaker and actress who starred in Claire Denis' film 35 Shots of Rum (2008). Diop went on to direct the stunning 2019 supernatural romantic drama Atlantics (Atlantique) which competed for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Evelina Domnitch

Along with Dmitry Gelfand, Evelina Domnitch explores visual and invisible phenomena through the moving image and installations.

Julia Ducournau

French film director and screenwriter. Her crazy as f*ck virtuosic, sensitive, and deranged film Titane won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Germaine Dulac

French filmmaker, film theorist, journalist and critic known for the 1928 film The Seashell and the Clergyman.

Cheryl Dunye

Dunye's The Watermelon Woman was the first gay African-American female filmmaker's feature film.

Ava DuVernay

California filmmaker, directed Middle of Nowhere (2012), Selma (2014) and When They See Us (2019).

Nora Ephron

NYC Romcom director known for writing Silkwood (1983), Heartburn (1986), When Harry Met Sally... (1989) and directing Sleepless in Seattle (1993) and You've Got Mail (1998). Growing up hating the genre, they are actually not bad films when you watch them.

Valie Export

I still remember as a college student the pain and transcendence experienced while watching Export's 1973 film Remote, Remote, where she cuts her cuticles and dips her bloodied hand in a bowl of milk. The Austrian artist and filmmaker is best known for her public performances, expanded cinema work, video installations, computer animations, photography, and sculpture. Memorable is Export's TAP and TOUCH Cinema where her naked chest is obscured with a mini makeshift ‘movie theatre’, and passers by are challenged to engage with her cinema.

Valerie Faris

Music video director team Valerie Faris and her husband Jonathan Dayton co-directed the 2006 feature film Little Miss Sunshine.

Sophie Fiennes

English film director and producer, the sister of actors Ralph and Joseph Fiennes. Fiennes produced and directed the documentary The Pervert's Guide to Cinema and The Pervert's Guide to Ideology with the philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek. Her 2010 documentary on Anselm Kiefer Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow focuses on Kiefer's site specific work at his abandoned factory complex outside Barjac France.

Greta Gerwig

American actress and director from Sacramento California, after starring in Noah Baumbach's Greenberg (2010) and Frances Ha (2012), Gerwig directed the lovely film Lady Bird (2017) on growing up in the early aughts in Sacramento.

Bette Gordon

American director, made the gritty film Variety (1983), and the experimental film I-94 (1974) with James Benning.

Marleen Gorris

Dutch writer and director, her 1995 film Antonia's Line won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Debra Granik

Cambridge Massachusetts born director best known for her films Down to the Bone (2004) and Winter's Bone (2010).

Nancy Graves

American sculptor, painter, printmaker, and filmmaker. Her 1970 film Izy Boukir documents camels in the Sahara. The 1973 film Aves: Magnificent Frigate Bird, Great Flamingo is a multilayered motion study of overlapping forms in flight. The 1974 Reflections on the Moon is a black and white abstraction showing the passage of a camera over a static surface comprised of 200 stills of lunar surface.

Valeska Grisebach

German director and part of the Berlin School of filmmaking, who's film Western (2017) is shockingly original and has a kick like a mule.

Alice Guy-Blaché

French pioneer filmmaker working from 1896 to 1920.

Lucile Hadžihalilović

French writer and director whom grew up in Morocco. Her films include the 2004 mystery drama Innocence, the 2015 water focused horror/thriller Evolution, and editing for many films including Gaspar Noé's I Stand Alone (1998).

Mary Harron

Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter, directed the indie hits I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and American Psycho (2000).

Amy Heckerling

American filmmaker known for the classic 80s films Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985), and the 1995 film Clueless.

Marielle Heller

American writer, director, and actress best known for directing the films The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015), Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018), and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019). Her acting in The Queen’s Gambit (2020) really gives an extra push to an already solid show.

Eliza Hittman

New York City screenwriter, film director, and producer. The Brooklyn based film Beach Rats (2017) about a high school boy dangerously hooking up with older men via the internet was definitely interesting, but the 2020 film Never Rarely Sometimes Always about a young girl traveling to the big city (Manhattan and Brooklyn) to get an abortion is a modern day classic worthy of many rewatches and close study.

Joanna Hogg

British film director and screenwriter. In the late 1970s Hogg worked as a photographer and made experimental super-8 films after borrowing a camera from her mentor Derek Jarman. Her feature films include her debut Unrelated (2007), Archipelago (2010), Exhibition (2013), and the sublime duo The Souvenir (2019) and The Souvenir Part II (2021).

Amy Holden Jones

American screenwriter, editor and film director. In addition to directing the memorable film Love Letters (1983) starring Jamie Lee Curtis and James Keach, Jones edited American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince (1978), and wrote Mystic Pizza (1988).

Agnieszka Holland

Polish film and television director and screenwriter. Holland was initially an assistant to directors Krzysztof Zanussi and Andrzej Wajda, and then emigrated to France. Her works include the historic war drama Europa Europa (1990), the fantasy drama The Secret Garden (1993), three episodes of the heaviest of television shows The Wire (2004, 2006, and 2008), three episodes of the Seattle crime drama The Killing (2011 and 2012), three episodes of House of Cards (2015 and 2017), and the truly strange and mysterious 2017 Polish crime film Spoor, which is a film that has not left my head since seeing it.

Nancy Holt

American artist whom made films related to Land Art, her own and work by Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer. The films include Mono Lake (1968), East Coast, West Coast (1969), Swamp (1971), Sun Tunnels (1978), and was the cinematographer for Robert Smithson's film Spiral Jetty (1970).

Ágnes Hranitzky

Hungarian film editor and director whom co-directed The Man From London and The Turin Horse with her spouse Béla Tarr.

Sophie Huber

Swiss actress and director, known for her documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction (2012).

Ann Hui

Hong Kong New Wave film director, producer, screenwriter and actress. Known for her Vietnam Trilogy including Below the Lion Rock (1978), The Story of Woo Viet (1981), and Boat People (1983).

Courtney Hunt

American director and screenwriter who directed the stunning debut feature film Frozen River 2008 starring Melissa Leo.

Patty Jenkins

American film director, screenwriter, and producer who's debut film Monster (2003) on serial killer Aileen Wuornos stars Charlize Theron and Christina Ricci.

Tamara Jenkins

American filmmaker known for her feature films The Savages (2007) with Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Private Life (2018) with Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn.

Gloria Katz

American director, screenwriter and film producer. Most notably Katz co-directed the 1973 supernatural horror film Messiah of Evil with her husband Willard Huyck. The film takes place in the California beach town of Point Dume, same place where Treehorn’s beach party in The Big Lebowski was filmed, and many scenes from Planet of the Apes. Katz also wrote the screenplays for American Graffiti (1973) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). Katz and Huyck were also script doctors for Lucas, including his film Star Wars.

Marjorie Keller

New York experimental filmmaker, activist, author, and film scholar. Keller was a student of Stan Brakhage, and wrote the book The Untutored Eye: Childhood in the Films of Cocteau, Cornell and Brakhage, published in 1986. Her many films include Misconception (1977), Daughters of Chaos (1980), and Herein (1991).

Jennifer Kent

Australian actress, writer and director. Her debut film The Babadook (2014) and her second film The Nightingale (2018) are truly disturbing and one doesn't come away unscathed.

So Yong Kim

Korean American filmmaker known for In Between Days (2006), Treeless Mountain (2008), For Ellen (2012), and Lovesong (2016).

Barbara Kopple

American filmmaker known for her documentary Harlan County, USA (1976) on the 1973 Brookside Strike of 180 coal miners and their wives against the Duke Power Company-owned Eastover Coal Company's Brookside Mine and Prep Plant in Harlan County, southeast Kentucky.

Tamara Kotevska

Macedonian filmmaker, co-directed the 2019 documentary Honeyland with Ljubomir Stefanov which portrays the life of Hatidže Muratova, a beekeeper of wild bees who lives in the remote mountain village of Bekirlija.

Kasi Lemmons

American film director, screenwriter, and actress, known for Eve's Bayou (1997)

Helen Levitt

New York City photographer, director, editor and cinematographer. Levitt made the documentary In the Street (1948) with Janice Loeb and James Agee, a document of life on the streets of Spanish Harlem  made with hidden 16mm film cameras.

Jeanne Liotta

American experimental filmmaker, born in Brooklyn in 1960.

Jennie Livingston

American director best known for the 1990 documentary Paris is Burning, which chronicles NYC Ball Culture.

Barbara Loden

American actress and director. Loden wrote, starred in, produced and director the 1970 masterpiece Wanda, a portrait of a wanderer who's actions veer toward the out of control. Loden left a strong mark as an actress in Splendor in the Grass (1961). Her scenes with Burt Lancaster in Frank Perry's The Swimmer (1968) were replaced by Janice Rule.

Rose Lowder

French-Peruvian avant-garde filmmaker, her films mostly deal with abstracting nature.

Mary Lucier

Pioneer video artist. Of particular note in Lucier's oeuvre is the video works from the 1970s where she focused the camera on the sun and burned the recording tube, seen in such works as Dawn Burn (1975), Paris Dawn Burn (1977) and Equinox (1979).

Ida Lupino

English-American actress, singer, director, and producer.  Lupina worked in the periphery of 1950s Hollywood directing the film noir The Hitch-Hiker (1953) with Edmond O'Brien, William Talman and Frank Lovejoy. Also Not Wanted (1948), Never Fear (1950), Outrage (1950),  The Bigamist (1953), and and  uncredited on On Dangerous Ground 1951. As an actress, Lupina is most memorable in High Sierra (1941) with Humphrey Bogart.

Babette Mangolte

French cinematographer, film director, and photographer best known for her work with Chantal Akerman: Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) and News from Home (1977). Mangolte also documented performance works of choreographers like Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, David Gordon, and Yvonne Rainer. Mangold directed many films from 1973 to 2013.

Elaine May

American comedian, film director, screenwriter, playwright, and actress. In the 1950s May was in the influential improv comedy due with Mike Nichols; Nichols and May. Her directorial efforts include A New Leaf (1971) The Heartbreak Kid (1972) Mikey and Nicky (1976) and Ishtar (1987) with A New Leaf being one of the best films of the 1970s. In addition to her directed films, May wrote the screenplay for The Birdcage (1996), Heaven Can Wait (1978) and uncredited contribution to Tootsie (1982). As an actress May made quite an impression in Small Time Crooks (2000) and her own A New Leaf (1971).

Marie Menken

New York City experimental filmmaker and painter. Menken and her husband Willard Maas lived in a Brooklyn Heights apartment where they had an avant'garde circle of filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage, Kenneth Anger, and Andy Warhol. Menken was a huge influence on these artists. It is said that Menken and Maas' drunken fights were an influence on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. All of Menken's films are just stunning, perhaps a good place to start is Arabesque for Kenneth Anger (1961).

Rebecca Miller

American filmmaker and novelist. Her 2002 indie film Personal Velocity: Three Portraits focuses on three women who have reached a turning point in their lives, starring Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey, and Fairuza Balk.

Trinh T. Minh-ha

Born in Hanoi. Her first 16mm film, Reassemblage from 1983 was filmed in Senegal, picturing the dwellings and everyday life of the Sereer people and is a non-linear  montage of sounds and visuals.

Jocelyn Moorhouse

Australian screenwriter, producer, and film director. Her 1991 debut film Proof stars Hugo Weaving, Geneviève Picot and Russell Crowe with Weaving as a blind photographer adverse to romance. Moorhouse also produced her husband P.J. Hogan's film Muriel's Wedding (1994) starring Toni Collette.

Mira Nair

Indian-American director known for Mississippi Masala (1991) and Monsoon Wedding (2001).

Gunvor Nelson

Swedish pioneer experimental filmmaker, most of her better known films made while she lived in the Bay Area in the mid 1960s and early 1970s. Some works include Schmeerguntz (1965 with Dorothy Wiley), the audiovisual masterpiece My Name Is Oona (1969), Take Off (1972), and the portrait of her dying mother Time Being (1991).

Marie Nyreröd

Swedish filmmaker know for her portrait of Ingmar Bergman and his home Bergman Island (2004).

Yoko Ono

Japanese Fluxus artist and singer/songwriter who made a number of Fluxfilms (aka Fluxus films) including One (1966), Eye Blink (1966), Four (1966), as well as other films, the most well known being Fly (1970).

Véréna Paravel

French anthropologist, filmmaker, and photographer. She works in the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University in Cambridge, USA, and in Paris, France. She co-directed Leviathan (2012), with Lucien Castaing-Taylor, the highly abstract film about the North American fishing industry.

Kimberly Peirce

American director known for her debut film Boys Don't Cry (1999) and the The Conceptual Fuck episode of I Love Dick (2017).

Sally Potter

English film director and screenwriter best known for directing Orlando (1992) with Tilda Swinton.

Charlotte Pryce

London born experimental filmmaker. I took an history of experimental film class with Pryce at SFAI that uncovered an alternative history of structural film focusing on lesser known artist investigating representations of nature interacting with a camera.

Yvonne Rainer

American minimalist dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker. Rainer made a number of films starting in the 70s that were part autobiography, fiction, soundworks and political.

Lynne Ramsay

Scottish film director, writer, producer, and cinematographer. Ramsay arrived on the scene with the gritty and sublime Ratcatcher (1999), followed by Morvern Callar (2002) with Samantha Morton exploring the darkness. Her abstraction Swimmer (2012), the abstract neo-noir psychological thriller film You Were Never Really Here (2017) with Joaquin Phoenix is clearly one of the best films of the decade.

Dee Rees

American screenwriter and director. Rees is known for her films Pariah (2011), Bessie (2015), Mudbound (2017), and The Last Thing He Wanted (2020). Pariah follows a 17-year-old Black teenager embracing her identity as a lesbian.

Kelly Reichardt

American director and screenwriter, born and raised in Miami Florida. Reichardt received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Her films are described as part of a minimalist movement in film, but that doesn't quite come across to this viewer, her cinematic style is more a subtle relationship between a non-fiction vérité quality and good old fashioned story telling, low key but profound in a quiet way. Inspired by Todd Haynes' move to Portland OR, Reichardt started making films in Oregon like Old Joy (2006), Wendy and Lucy (2008), Meek's Cutoff (2010), Night Moves (2013), and First Cow (2019). Her film Certain Women (2016) was shot in Montana. One truly profound narrative from Reichardt appears in Certain Women with "the rancher" played by Lily Gladstone, making humble attempts at a relationship with the rather detached Kristen Stewart character by attending her lackluster classes and going to dinner with her. The unrequited love narrative sort of shocked this viewer in how something so quiet could have such an emotional effect.

Lotte Reiniger

German pioneer of silhouette animation.

Alice Rohrwacher

Italian film director, editor and screenwriter. Her film Happy as Lazzaro won the 2018 Best Screenplay Award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Barbara Rubin

New York City underground filmmaker Barbara Rubin's 1963/64 masterpiece Christmas on Earth is as important as any film Jack Smith or Jonas Mekas made. The orgiastic ritual film was inspired by Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell and made when Rubin was 17 years old. Rubin died at age 35 in 1980 after giving birth to her fifth child. She had left the avant'garde life of NYC to become an Hasidic Jew.

Joanna Sarsby

Director of David Attenborough's 1998 masterpiece The Life of Birds.

Nancy Savoca

New York City director initially a production assistant to John Sayles on his film The Brother From Another Planet, and as an assistant auditor for Jonathan Demme for his films Something Wild (1986), and Married to the Mob (1988). Her 1991 coming-of-age film Dogfight with Lili Taylor and River Phoenix starts as a tasteless game where Marines compete to score the ugliest date, and shifts into a beautiful love story.

Carolee Schneemann

Schneemann's 1967 film Fuses is a transcendent erotic masterpiece conceived as a cinematic experience shot through the eyes of her cat Kitch, memorably showing emotional love making between Schneemann and her partner James Tenney, nature abstractions and light moving through and shifting time. The 16mm film was then stained, burned, and directly drawing on for an experience that is as moving as it is sexual.

Céline Sciamma

French screenwriter and film director best known for her 2019 film Portrait of a Lady on Fire. Even more inspiring is her 2014 coming-of-age film Girlhood about Marieme (Karidja Touré), a teenage girl who lives in a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris surrounded by a world full of intimidation and theft.

Susan Seidelman

American film director, producer, and writer. Seidelman directed Smithereens (1982) and Desperately Seeking Susan (1985).

Adrienne Shelly

American actress, film director and screenwriter. She made a big impact on the film scene through Hal Hartley's films The Unbelievable Truth (1989) and Trust (1990). Shelly directed, wrote, and starred in the 2007 film Waitress which was released a year after she was tragically murdered by a 19-year-old construction worker in her West Village apartment.

Larisa Shepitko

Ukrainian Soviet film director, screenwriter and actress. Larisa Shepitko's film The Ascent (1977) is a big film in the art film community. In 1979 Shepitko was tragically killed in a car accident at the age of forty.

Joan Micklin Silver

Omaha Nebraska born filmmaker who moved to New York City in 1967 and became a writer for The Village Voice. Her 1979 film Chilly Scenes of Winter with Mary Beth Hurt, John Heard, Peter Riegert and Gloria Grahame is a brilliant film I watch once a year.

Penelope Spheeris

American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Besides her well-known music trilogy The Decline of Western Civilization, Spheeris' 1984 film Suburbia is a truly profound portrait of the punk lifestyle and 80s counter culture, American dystopianism, parental sexual abuse, and life on the streets of California.

Jill Sprecher

American director, producer and writer. Directed Clockwatchers (1997) starring Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow, Toni Collette and Alanna Ubach.

Chick Strand

American experimental filmmaker from Northern California. Strand studied anthropology at Berkeley and organized film happenings with Bruce Baillie, whom she founded Canyon Cinema with in 1961. In the early 60s, and started making personal films at age 34 which spanned three decades.

Barbra Streisand

American singer and actress whom directed Yentl (1983) and The Prince of Tides (1991).

Ann Turner

Australian writer and director mostly known for her distinctive 1989 film Celia, the horror coming-of-age film about a young girl in the 1950s who's imagination blurs reality through fantasy and a touch of grimness.

Agnès Varda

French director whom help define the French New Wave, and really went into uncharted territories with films like Vagabond (1985), The Gleaners and I (2000), Ydessa, the Bears etc. (2004), and The Beaches of Agnès (2008).

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

British actress and writer known for her television comedy Fleabag (2016/2019) which really stands out as a great show in a period with so much to watch and so much not worth watching.

Lois Weber

Weber was an American silent film actress, screenwriter, producer and director.

Lina Wertmüller

Italian film director and screenwriter best known for her 1970s art house films The Seduction of Mimi (1972), Love and Anarchy (1973), Swept Away (1974), and Seven Beauties (1975).

Joyce Wieland

Canadian experimental filmmaker, Weiland started out as a painter and shifted into filmmaking when she moved to New York City in the early sixties.

Claudia Weill

NYC director known for her stunning 1978 film Girlfriends, starring Melanie Mayron, Christopher Guest, Bob Balaban and Eli Wallach. Had never heard of the film before Criterion issued a blu ray, and the film quickly became a favorite at the offices of the art of memory.

Chloé Zhao

Seeing Zhao's 2017 film The Rider was one of those rare film experiences where a new world of experience through film opens up.  Her Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015) and Nomadland (2020) are equally breathtaking and inspiring works worthy of close attention and rewatches. Zhao was born in Beijing and later went to graduate studies at NYU, she quotes Wong Kar-wai's Happy Together as a major influence, and the work of Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Werner Herzog and Terrence Malick.

Sunday, February 13, 2022

a record of consumption, part three (being a new film journal)

Chang Cheh Chinatown Kid 1977

From Arrow's ShawScope Volume One box set. Starring the matchless Sheng Fu, whom tragically died at age 28 in a car crash. Very nice San Francisco footage, also faked SF footage of street scenes which were quite charming.

Peter Tscherkassky Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine 2005

Tscherkassky reinterpretation of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Sound work by Dirk Schaefer.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul Ashes 2012 & Blue 2018

Tsui Hark Once Upon a Time in China 1991

Visually stunning martial arts film by Hong Kong New Wave director Tsui Hark, has a Wong Kar-wai quality. Music by Romeo Díaz and James Wong is very low key through much of the fights, sort of heard way under everything else, has s strange quality, especially when action is in slow motion or rain is obscuring our view of the action.

Martin Scorsese The King of Comedy 1982

Wonderful moment when Robert De Niro and Sandra Bernhard are having an argument in the street and passers by are all staring at the movie being made. Also the strange restaurant scene when De Niro is being mocked by out of focus man as he talks with real life wife Diahnne Abbott. The actor mocking De Niro is Chuck Low,  whom played Morrie Kessler in Goodfellas.

Chang Cheh The Five Venoms 1978 & Crippled Avengers 1978

From Arrow's ShawScope Volume One box set. Both have disturbing moments, good films.

Liu Chia-Liang Heroes of the East 1978

From Arrow's ShawScope Volume One box set.

Jane Campion The Piano 1993

Essential 4k viewing via Criterion Collection.

Liu Chia-Liang Dirty Ho 1979

From Arrow's ShawScope Volume One box set.

Lynne Ramsay Morvern Callar 2002

Fun City Editions blu ray. Have always watched this on some crap DVD or bad stream, really made me get much closer to the masterpiece, tuning in to all the vivid shiftings of light and darkness, and hearing the surround sound immersion, great film.

Manfred Kirchheimer Stations of the Elevated 1981

Trains and Mingus. In college I dated a girl who's father was a jazz guitarist. I was heavily into Mingus at the time, he asked me what I listened to and I said "Charlie Mingus". He was pissed and corrected me "Its Charles Mingus", and never spoke to me again.

James Benning Landscape Suicide 1987

Jane Campion Holy Smoke 1999

Planning on going through the Campion filmography after seeing this and The Piano. Like the classics An Angel at My Table, Bright Star, In the Cut, Sweetie, Power of the Dog, Top of the Lake, The Portrait of a Lady, and perhaps some shorts.

Kenneth Lonergan Manchester by the Sea 2016

Essential 4K rewatch. Fifth time seeing this classic, gets better each time. Heavy film with some great comedy bits.

King Hu A Touch of Zen  1971

Essential in the martial arts genre.

Behind the Scenes With Jane Campion  2022

Making of The Power of the Dog.

Tsai Ming-liang Goodbye, Dragon Inn 2003

Last night in a run down rain infested movie theater, showing King Hu's Dragon Inn, with much nonsense, rain, (failed) pickups, and limping around. Great film.

Bernardo Bertolucci Stealing Beauty 1996

Always enjoyed this film, but this time around all the swines trying to get into Liv Tyler's pants sort of annoyed me. She is great in it, as is Jeremy Irons.

Toshiya Fujita Lady Snowblood 1973 & Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance 1974

Marlon Riggs The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs

Criterion edition of the works of Marlon Riggs, especially good is Tongues Untied from 1989, about being a black homosexual male in racist America, with stunning sound work, like Brother to Brother moving from speaker to speaker and later in the film, Idris Ackamoor on sax. Most films masterly edited by Christiane Badgley.

Mike Leigh Life Is Sweet 1990

Essential Criterion rewatch. Includes 5 minute films as extras: Probation, Afternoon, A Light Snack, Old Chums, The Birth of the Goalie of the 2001 F.A. Cup Final.

Stéphane Brizé The Measure of a Man 2015

Ken Loach like film but from France. My wife and I on a Vincent Lindon kick after watching Titane. One hell, hell I say, of an actor.

Stanley Kubrick The Killing 1956

Essential Criterion rewatch. Written by Kubrick and Jim Thompson and based on the novel Clean Break by Lionel White. Good supplements on blu ray discusses the role of Thompson in the film. After seeing this film about 20 times, I still get so blown away by it, and the bizarre acting of Timothy Carey.

Jane Campion Sweetie 1989

Very strange film with unusual atmosphere and narrative, no other film quite like it. Stars Geneviève Lemon and Karen Colston. Great first feature film.

Tommy Lee Wallace Halloween III: Season of the Witch 1982

Essential 4K rewatch courtesy of Shout!. Almost enjoy this more than the first film, yet still has heavy Carpenter feel with his soundtrack made with Alan Howarth, and Carpenter assistance on screenplay. Strong performances by Tom Atkins (love how he always plays a ladies' man), Stacey Nelkin, and Dan O'Herlihy. Moments like the town drunk Starker played by Jonathan Terry really give the film an uncomfortable quality that is jarring in many ways.

Allan Moyle Pump Up the Volume 1990

Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis. Contrast in Slater's two characters in this film is interesting on a rewatch, reminds me of Mark Ruffalo in I Know This Much Is True.

Brian Robbins Varsity Blues 1999

Texas high school football and sex.

Derek Cianfrance I Know This Much Is True 2020

Shot around where I am living currently, outside of Kingtson NY. One HELL of a show, why in the heck does HBO not have it up in 4K? since it was shot on 35mm. Lovely to look at, and the Budd music is overwhelming. Cianfrance said about shooting it: "It’s two-perf 35mm film because the story takes place in the ‘90s, ‘80s, ‘70s, ‘60s, ‘50s, ‘40s, ‘30s, ‘20s and ‘10s, I needed a format that was gonna unify it, and digital HD format didn’t exist, during any of those times. If I was gonna shoot video, the only thing I could have shot, that would have been authentic, would have been SD video from the ‘90s. But then, you have that whole challenge of, what do you shoot the grandpa’s story in then? I just thought that film would immediately unify our story and unify our world. Film has been around throughout the whole 20th century, so I felt like this was a choice for film. That’s it, on an aesthetic level. It’s feels warmer, there’s more grain, and it’s just more alive."

John Sturges Last Train from Gun Hill 1959

Nice edition from Imprint Films. Underrated director, responsible for Bad Day at Black Rock, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Joe Kidd, The Magnificent Seven, and The Great Escape.

Alan J. Pakula The Parallax View 1974

Imprint Films blu ray edition, watched film with commentary by film historian Kevin Lyons. Also interviews and history of conspiracies by Kim Newman and Matthew Sweet. Wonderful disc. Some things to take note of: Robert Towne did a rewrite of the screenplay by David Giler and Lorenzo Semple Jr., based on the 1970 novel by Loren Singer.

Bong Joon-ho Parasite 2019

Essential 4K rewatch.

Guillaume Canet Blood Ties 2013

Billy Crudup, Clive Owen, Zoe Saldana, James Caan, Lili Taylor, Jamie Hector, John Ventimiglia, and Marion Cotillard. Good acting, film is okay.

Jonathan Lynn My Cousin Vinny 1992

Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci essential rewatch.

David Mackenzie Hell or High Water 2016

Essential 4K rewatch. Heavy ending.

George Lucas THX 1138 1971

TXH 1138 and American Graffiti from 1973 - two essential Lucas films worth many rewatches.

Clint Eastwood Unforgiven 1992

Essential 4K rewatch. David Webb Peoples' script portrays Bill Munny's (Clint Eastwood) progression as a character from bad (pre-film narrative) to decent to bad again. Intense ending has Eastwood return to his ways with vacant nihilist eyes, or snake eyes like the Angel of Death mentioned mid film by Easwood. Release includes many informative special features.

Andrew Davis The Fugitive 1993

Not familiar with Andrew Davis, but he sure make a great film with The Fugitive.

Woody Allen A Rainy Day in New York 2019

Burt Reynolds Sharky’s Machine 1981

Reynolds as a cop going after the pimps of high class prostitutes. Stars John (Winnie the Pooh) Fiedler as a forensic police officer, Charles Durning, Bernie Casey, Henry Silva, and one of the strangest Val Avery roles.

John D. Hancock Let’s Scare Jessica to Death 1971

Fourth time watching this the last 5 years or so after having it recommended by Colin Elevator Bath Sheffield. Overwhelmingly beautiful film, with photography by Robert M. Baldwin that somehow has an extreme bite yet low-key and under the radar, mixed with music by Orville Stoeber and Walter Sear of a similar nature. Watching the [Imprint] films blu ray, with great special features including Kim Newman whom describes the film as "Re-imagining the Vampire Myth".

Jack Hill Switchblade Sisters 1975

Gang of girls wreaking havoc.

Harold Ramis Groundhog Day 1993

Essential 4K rewatch. So strange to see Michael Shannon in this film.

Avery Crounse Eyes of Fire 1983

From Severin's boxset All The Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium Of Folk Horror.

Đorđe Kadijević Leptirica 1973

AKA The She-Butterfly, from Severin's boxset All The Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium Of Folk Horror. Yugoslav/Serbian Vampire Shapeshifter film with one of the best endings with the She-Butterfly torturing her victim by riding him like a bull in slow motion (image above).

Sean Baker Red Rocket 2021

Could take it or leave it.

Zhang Yimou Red Sorghum 1987

Directorial debut of Zhang Yimou. From the [imprint] boxset Collaborations: The Cinema of Zhang Yimou & Gong Li. Intense violence at the end with Japanese versus Chinese, was quite shocking.