Main Articles

Featured pieces on different film subjects.

PANORAMA: ONCE THERE WAS BRASILIA BY ADIRLEY QUEIRÓS

By José Sarmiento Hinojosa

To the point: Adirley Queirós is helping reinvent the “Sci-fi” genre with Once There Was Brasilia. This is by no means, however, a  statement that gives Queirós film the qualification of a “masterpiece”: some scenes feel overly long, and one gets the sense that an equally powerful work could’ve been made in approximately 70 minutes of duration, against the 100 minutes which drag a little bit too much, even for the most seasoned, slow-cinema cinephile lovers. But there is a significant gesture in the political realm that the Brazilian filmmaker articulates perfectly, in this universe of post-apocalyptic intergalactic time travelers which fail to assassinate president Kubitschek, landing in 2016 Ceilandia. 

PANORAMA: THIRST STREET BY NATHAN SILVER

By José Sarmiento-Hinojosa

If maybe more contrived and less risky than his previous affairs, Thirst Street is Silver appropriate salute to amour-fou. Burdge is never out of control, or portrayed like a neurotic women; her attitude of naivete and obliviousness is exemplary awkward but also shows an unrestricted frailty. Silver never uses one-dimensional characters and here is no exception: even Bonnard, at his most deceptive, is just an aimless man, discouraged and adrift. The construction of this narrative, along the use of a particular atmospheric use of photography and camera, elevates this tragic comedy to a realm of the almost oneiric, something like a fever dream, or a wild fantasy.

PANORAMA: ZAMA, BY LUCRECIA MARTEL

By Mónica Delgado

The frame that illustrates this text, and that is also the first to appear in the film, reveals Zama’s nature in itself, the character on Antonio di Benedetto’s novel, that Lucrecia Martel adopts, transforms to cinema and returns it from its most visceral side, like an entity thrown away into the world and forever stopped in this liminal state, in the edge, the border, the shore.

YOU CAN RING THOSE BLOODY BELLS – COUNTRY DANCE AKA BROTHERLY LOVE (1970)

By Claudia Siefen

It was in 1961 when Bristol-born scriptwriter and director John Lee Thompson achieved international fame with The Guns of Navarone, exemplifying his visual style and his use of suspenseful narrative. The film brought him to the attention of Hollywood, as he was nominated for an Academy Award, finally leading Thompson to his first Hollywood production, Cape Fear, which got its release one year later.

ARCHIVE-FOOTAGE TREASURE FLOATING IN THE AEGEAN SEA

By Pamela Biénzobas

The 19th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (March 3-12), in northern Greece, made a case for the rich and wonderfully diverse possibilities that archive footage has to offer, showcasing some true gems within its different programs, including a tribute to Italian artists Angela Ricci Lucchi and Yervant Gianikian.

APPROACHING THE CINEMA OF PRIVACY OF SUZUKI SHIROUYASU

By Claudia Siefen

That concept of “phenomenon” exists inside the work of Susuki. Some things don’t appear as a phenomenon, but they get recognized as such once they unfold in a definite way. Of course Suzuki deals with his own self as a phenomenon. His interest in the “extremely private” originates from the idea that universality can be obtained, depending on the approach he takes in developing himself as that phenomenon.

SURREALISM AND TWIN PEAKS: THE ORIGIN OF DAVID LYNCH AND MARK FROST´S GREAT WORK

By Karla Loncar

David Lynch has been particularly responsible for the lasting allure of the show. In other words, the series would be inconceivable without the content-based and formal characteristics typical of Lynch’s films: his love for the contrast between the eerie and the comical, light and dark, popular and exquisite; the preoccupation with the motif of evil (in a seemingly idyllic American small town); the fascination with the subconscious turmoil of characters; the richness of varying, often disturbing, sounds; and modern methods of filmmaking, particularly visible in the series’ pilot and the individual episodes directed by Lynch himself.

ON MATÍAS PIÑEIRO’S HERMIA & HELENA

by Mónica Delgado

In Hermia & Helena, Matías Piñeiro deals with his fascination for the Shakespearian characters of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a different way than his two previous films: La Princesa de Francia or Rosalinda. Here the tale is divided by chapters, chapters that search for answers in flashbacks or by insinuating that what we see of the future (or present) is possibly part of a dream.

A SLOW ARTIST?: THE QUINCE TREE SUN BY VICTOR ERICE AND ANTONIO LOPEZ GARCIA

By Vica Smirnova

As with Antonio López Garcia, who follows nature, Victor Erice creates a palimpsest of times, or, rather, of traces of their presence, insisting on conventionality of end and beginning. In the end the camera, which for a long time shared a place with the artist, is left in solitude. Different mediums will create a semblance of finality; of something that doesn’t finish or, on the contrary, finishes in every moment of painting and filming.

ON LAB LABA LABA (SPIDER LAB) AND THE PLAYFUL REINCARNATION OF THE PROPAGANDA FILMS OF NEW ORDER ERA INDONESIA

By Lauren Bliss*

In early 2015, the Indonesian experimental film co-operative Lab laba laba (Spider Lab) restored for exhibition a large number of propaganda films that had been produced in the abandoned film studios of the State Production Film Centre (PFN) in Jakarta. Having been left to the elements for nearly 12 years, the PFN was once the central film production house of New-Order era Indonesia.

GOD’S LEFT INDEX FINGER: ON JONATHAN DEMME’S “THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS”

By Victor Bruno

Over the last few months—starting with the release of Ricki and the Flash (2015) on home video—I developed an interest in Jonathan Demme’s cinema. As I watched his films, I developed a few ideas and scratched some notes on them about his ideas, interests and general style. That, by coincidence, happened to coincide with shifts on ideas of my own. Some of these notes were abbreviated and became my entry on MUBI’s Notebook fantasy double-feature pool.