Main Articles

Featured pieces on different film subjects.

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.

EDWARD HOPPER: THE MIRROR EFFECT

By Vica Smirnova

Since the 1930s Hopper has been quoted endlessly: De Mille and Siodmak, Hitchcock and Lynch. Hopper’s infinite stylizations reproduced the same effect of subtraction of the human, priority of space over its character. In his Victorian cottages, deserted cafes and hotels, a character was present only to point out his own insignificance. Hopper invented an absent America, and having fallen in love with its own reflection, it forgot about the author, as if this landscape had materialized out of thin air and had existed from the start.

BERTOLUCCI’S “FAKE OPHELIA”

By Luke Scerri

It is an unfortunate undeniable occurrence that in film criticism, the importance of the musical contribution to the transformation of the art form is quite often overlooked, or underestimated because of several other factors that seem to strike the viewer at first glance. Bertolucci’s Last Tango In Paris is certainly no exception.

ABOUT “JE M’APPELLE HMMM… “

By Claudia Siefen
In all this passivity, ignorance and awkwardness wrapped up in cotton wool, Céline (Lou-Lelia Demerliac) is such a strong character almost inappropriate for a child. The camera and framing (Jean-Philippe Bouyer) stays close to the protagonists that you literally feel the cramped confines. Here the so called grown up world means not to mention certain things, to play the game of not talking.

THE WRECKAGE OF MEMORY: NOTES ON KENJI ONISHI

By Claudia Siefen

Onishi Kenji was born in 1973 in Mie Prefecture, located on the biggest japanese island of Honsh. He began making films with a second-hand 8mm camera, which he obtained during his high school days. In 1995 he founded the filmmaking group “Cinema Train” in Tokyo, a company that distributes films by young Japanese filmmakers and screens underground and avant-garde work from overseas. Here the filmmakers are invited and also united for the individual expression and a desire for a space to share their ideas. In 2007 Onishi worked as a cinematographer for Oguchi Yoko’s Real Access Discommunication. Onishi has made more than 100 films since 1990, ranging from Super-8 studies of light to full-length features filled with drugs and violence. I will be introducing some of them here, brought together on his DVD collection “Selected Works Of Kenji Onishi“.

CAN’T GET ENOUGH ARYAN KAGANOF

by Tanner Tafelski

Born Ian Kerkhof in 1964, the filmmaker changed his name to Aryan Kaganof in 1999, when he discovered who his actual father was. Kaganof grew up in Johannesburg, specifically Yeoville, a neighborhood once toted as an area where black and white people lived in harmony during apartheid.