Browsing: Conversations

They say it takes a village to raise a child. And Jeanne Herry’s sensitive second feature, In Safe Hands, illustrates how that proverb is all the more incisive when a newborn is separated from his mother at birth. A glimpse into the intricate anonymous-mother adoption system in France, the ensemble film follows two parallel story lines — that of little Théo, from his birth to finding a home three months later; and the agonizing process of one very determined prospective mother (magnificently portrayed by Elodie Bouchez). In between, the infant moves from hand to hand, through the astonishingly fine-tuned process…

Adapted from the acclaimed novel Neither Wolf Nor Dog by Kent Nerburn the story follows a white author who gets sucked into the heart of contemporary Native American life in the sparse lands of the Dakota’s by a 95 year old Lakota elder and his side-kick. First published in 1994 and winner of the Minnesota Book award in 1996, no other novel is seen to so successfully bridge the gap between white America and the Native American world. It still sells well aided by a wide readership through academic use. Two sequel novels followed to equal acclaim. Steven Lewis Simpson…

This is not Berlin happens in 1986, Mexico City. As the country prepares for the World Cup, a thriving underground of New Wave music and avant-garde art bubbles up. Seventeen-year-old Carlos feels like an outsider, but when his engineering know-how comes to the rescue of a synth-heavy music group in need of a keyboard technician, he’s ushered into a world much wilder than high school rivalries and his sheltered home life. Hitting the clubs puts Carlos closer to Rita, his older crush, who’s the sister of his best friend Gera, but as the two young men navigate this vibrant and revolutionary…

The Mountain a film by Rick Alverson happens in 1950s America. Since his mother‘s confinement to an institution, Andy (Tye Sheridan) has lived in the shadow of his stoic father. A family acquaintance, Dr. Wallace Fiennes (Jeff Goldblum), employs the introverted young man as a photographer to document an asylum tour advocating for his increasingly controversial lobotomy procedure. As the tour progresses and Andy witnesses the doctor’s career and life unravel, he begins to identify with the institutions’ patients. Arriving at a California mountain town, a growing center of the New Age movement, they encounter an unconventional French healer who requests a lobotomy…

Celebrating the life of rock star and activist Rita Guerrero, this intimate and music-fueled documentary by Arturo Diaz Santana captures the energy and artistry of a brilliant performer who was taken too soon. As the lead singer of famous band La Santa Sabina, Guerrero became a central figure in Mexico’s 90s rock scene and a fierce advocate for social justice who supported the Zapatista movement. Blending footage from her role as an entertainer that the audience came to love, with personal moments highlighting her off-stage personality, as well as interviews with those who were touched by her magic, the film…

Painter, writer, film director, Philippe Mora has forged an idiosyncratic path. His Mad Dog Morgan (1976), starring Dennis Hopper, is now considered a classic of Australian cinema. Mora subsequently directed, among other films; The Return of Captain Invincible (1983), A Breed Apart (1984), Howling II… Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985), Death of a Soldier (1986), Howling III: The Marsupials (1987), and Communion (1989). Over his long career, he has worked with actors Frank Thring, David Gulpilil, Jack Thompson, Alan Arkin, Christopher Lee, Rutger Hauer, Kathleen Turner, Christopher Walken and James Coburn. We spoke with the ebullient Mora from his…

Today, Monday April 15th 2019, is the 20th anniversary of the first release of HOME PAGE, a film by documentary filmmaker, Doug Block. In 1996 Doug fascinated by this new thing called the internet, trains his wry, analytical lens on the burgeoning home page (i.e. blogging) phenomenon. He soon falls under the spell of 21-year old cyber superstar Justin Hall, whose literally bare-all online diary spares no details about friends, family, lovers and, inevitably, Block himself. When Hall goads the filmmaker into keeping his own online diary, the story takes an unexpectedly personal turn, with hilarious and deeply affecting results. This…

The 20th Anniversary Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. (SFFLA) will be in residence at the Writers Guild Theater 135 S. Doheny in Beverly Hills January 5, 6, 19 20 with “top films from the top of Europe” featuring “Oscar” submissions and other current films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and with BalticFilmExpo@SFFLA–Baltic neighbors Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. To learn more about the festival we had an interview with festival’s director and founder James Koenig. James Koenig is someone whose voice is heard in various arts arenas. He graduated from Northwestern University with bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in voice continuing studies…

Shoplifters is about life on the margins of Tokyo, where a dysfunctional band of outsiders are united by fierce loyalty, a penchant for petty theft and playful grifting. When the young son is arrested, secrets are exposed that upend their tenuous, below-the-radar existence and test their quietly radical belief that it is love—not blood—that defines a family. Shoplifters is directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda and is in Oscar Shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film Award and also a nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Golden Globe Awards. https://youtu.be/9382rwoMiRc The following is Cinema Without Borders interview with…

The Marriage, directed by Blerta Zeqiri, is Kosovo’s Oscar entry. In The Marriage Their, Anita and Bekim, wedding in only two weeks, are adding the final touches to their big day. Despite expecting news of Anita’s parents, declared missing since the 1999 Kosovo War, and with Bekim’s controlling family in turn, the couple seem to manage somehow with the preparations. But when Bekim’s secret gay ex-lover, Nol, returns from abroad unexpectedly, the situation becomes complicated, especially when Bekim realizes that Nol is still in love with him. Inevitably, the wedding banquet becomes loaded with tension when the unusual love triangle starts…

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