Right from the arresting and profound opening sequence - a cycle of clean cut, gender-indeterminable bodily closeups, pale slices of entangled porcelain skin seen in high contrast black and white, abstracted from their owners, made sensual and pure - Toshio Matsumoto’s Funeral Parade of Roses sets out to disrupt proceedings. A genuinely underground film, much discussed but rarely seen, it is difficult to describe, a constantly collapsing series of sequences - most fictional but some resembling something closer to documentary…
Humberto Solas’ near three hour epic triptych Lucia tells a tale of Cuba in three parts, through three girls named Lucia living in three disparate eras (1895, 1933 and 196-), each a juncture of national political significance. Each is different in style and in tone, but with an arc as grand and sprawling as the last. The first adopts a high melodramatic silent-cinema mode to tell the tale of an aristocrat who falls for a mysterious foreigner amidst Cuba’s Spanish…
"i want to stay in your arms
because you are the only one for me
winter has gone and spring is here"
Might be my favourite Tsai so far. Also my favourite film title ever.
A hot, languid and contrastingly (or perhaps not-so) sensual/revolting Malaysia-set story about two disadvantaged and beleagured men (both played by Lee Kang-sheng), one who is paralyzed and cared for by his mother, and another a homeless man who is nursed to health in a squat…
A film about loss, specifically of vision but also in a wider sense, Notes on Blindness uses the audio diaries of blind theologist John Hull to make a sensory collage on what it means to see, and then to not. What it might mean to be deprived optic stimulation after having spent a lifetime seeing, to have to adjust your entire way of living and approach to thinking after the onset of such radical change.
The filmmakers are well set…