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EXTREME PRIVATE EROS LOVE SONG BY KAZUO HARA

By John A. Riley

This film documents the complex relationship between Kazuo Hara and his ex-wife Takeda Miyuki. He and his current partner (the sound recorder and producer of the documentary) follow Miyuki as she flouts the conventions of Japanese society with a mercurial zeal; a lesbian affair, conceiving a child with an African-American GI, setting up a refuge for women and challenging local gangsters, resulting in her being assaulted.

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BRANDED TO KILL BY SEIJUN SUZUKI

by John A. Riley

At almost exactly the same time that Sean Connery’s crass, bloated 007 was undergoing plastic surgery to look more Japanese, Seijun Sujuki’s Branded to Kill debuted on Japanese screens, featuring Goro Hanada, an assassin whose licence to kill was entirely of his own making and who seemed determined to prove Fritz Lang right and Ian Fleming wrong.

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BODY, MIND AND PIECES

By Lorena Cancela

In Greek civilisation, the citizen had to take care of body as well as mind (1). According to Plato, Socrates says in Laws: “Those who worship the gods through dance are also the best in combat.” I will not dwell on Greek culture (Western people know a little about it; at least in my country, Argentina, there are manuals that explain the Ancient Greek origins of Western History), but I will take this idea of “harmony” (2) from the Greeks, the unit of body and mind, to see if and how it works in films and in certain contemporary trends.

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HOW STRANGE THE CHANGE FROM MAJOR TO MINOR: (THE FIRST THIRTY MINUTES OF) KIRA MURATOVA’S PASSIONS (1994)

By Adrian Martin

The chaos of Passions, knowingly or not, evokes Federico Fellini. But Fellini without a centre: without ‘the crisis of the artist’ or ‘the loss of time, history and memory’ or ‘the world as it changes from one era to another’. All enthusiasms in Muratova are small, minute, obsessive, even microscopic. They spin their web wonderfully, but don’t take up so much space. This is why she uses the hinge-overlap method: it’s a lapidary style, the webs join up and combine, extending in every direction. Every which way and loose. Manny Farber used to scoff slyly at people who claimed to know what a film is about.

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VIEWS AND THOUGHTS OF THE CINEMATIC WITH LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN

By Claudia Siefen

In 1926-28, together with Paul Engelmann (architect, 1891-1965), Ludwig Wittgenstein designed and built a now world-famous residence for his sister Margaret Wittgenstein Stonborough (1882-1958), located in the 3rd District of Vienna. Today it houses the Bulgarian Cultural Institute. Of the usual Monday dinner hosted by Moritz Schlick (physicist, 1882-1932) during that period and the related inspirational talks, renowned as “The Vienna Circle”, there is probably no record…

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A MOVIE FOR YOUR EARS: FRANK ZAPPA AND CINEMA

By John A. Riley

Frank Zappa, author of more than fifty albums ranging from raucous rock to jazz and classical. Satirist and outspoken political commentator who loathed the encroachment of the moral majority onto civic life and their subsequent interference with constitutional right to free speech. Enemy of hypocrisy and self-importance. Enthusiast of quotidian vulgarity and champion of the dense, maximalist aesthetic of composers Pierre Boulez and Edgard Varese. Forward looking futurist who envisaged a world of electronic music and internet downloads. Chauvinist, conservative and tight-fisted small businessman. Filmmaker?

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RED(ISH) IS THE COLOR: ON PINKU EIGA (FIRST WAVE) AND MARXISM

By José Sarmiento Hinojosa

Linking Marx with Japanese soft-core pornography may be a long stretch, enclosed in a single framed space of mind, where class social revolts have nothing to do with the human experience of sexuality. But there was a point of intersection between Marx’s ideas and the socialist feminist discussions of the era, and the further exploration of sexuality by obscure Pinku Eiga filmmakers, an equivalent of the American sexploitation film genre, which was in itself a response to decades of repression: The uncovered flesh as an analogy of class uprising. If Marx himself never explained per se the concepts of sexual alienation, he was clear on what “exploitation of the capitalist society” was, and how it operated in the sexual lives and attitudes of people.

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PANORAMA: JIVE BY STEVE COSSMAN

By Sarah Nichols

With Jive, Steve Cossman takes an ordinary photograph (according to the information on vimeo, it was found, and so wasn’t a family memento) of a girl sitting in a chair in what looks to be a basement, and proceeds to jam the brain’s frequencies. A carpet begins to look like a lost television channel, full of dirty snow.

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