• Spiritual Voices

    Spiritual Voices

    ★★★★★

    "War is hideous, from the very first shot to the last. There is nothing but dust, the smell of burning, stones, hot shrapnel, blood, and hint of fear. No room for aesthetics."

    — Alexander Sokurov, Spiritual Voices

    Spiritual Voices (1995) is a haunting and meditative war documentary directed by Alexander Sokurov. The film is divided into five parts, and the total screen time is over five hours. The film begins with an extremely long shot as a camera sits still,…

  • Evolution of a Filipino Family

    Evolution of a Filipino Family

    ★★★★★

    Lav Diaz's Evolution of a Filipino Family is a 10-hour poetic and meditative portrayal of a poor family that merges fiction, documentary, and surreality together and thoroughly and profoundly explores its themes of politics, class inequality, and as well as an inseparable relationship between past and present. The film is deeply emotionally and psychologically exhausting as the endless pain is relentlessly presented to us, and the long shots strongly express the exhaustion of farming all day under the hot and…

  • Army of Shadows

    Army of Shadows

    ★★★★★

    Army of Shadows is a 1969 war drama film based on the book of the same name by Joseph Kessel and loosely based on the true story of French Resistance members who fought against the Nazis in World War II. Both Joseph Kessel and Jean-Pierre Melville joined the French Resistance during World War II, so this film is more like Jean-Pierre Melville expressing his views and feelings about being in the French Resistance during World War II through this film…

  • Faust Sonnengesang

    Faust Sonnengesang

    ★★★★★

    "I want to create only one work, Faust Sonnengesang"

    Faust Sonnengesang (2011) is a 180-minute Faustian experimental meditative dream-like epic essay film directed by Werner Fritsch, a German playwright and filmmaker. This film takes us on a dream-like, metaphysical, cultural journey exploring themes of faith, dreams, reality, the history of mankind, and the creation of the world as Mephisto and Mephista appear in numerous disguses, creating dreams and nightmares. This is truly the masterpiece of modern experimental cinema. Werner Fritsch,…

  • Faust

    Faust

    ★★★★½

    "All things in heaven and on earth are wonderful! But the greatest wonder is man's freedom to choose between good and evil!"

    Faust (1926) is a gothic silent German expressionist film directed by F. W. Murnau based on German folk legend as well as on the works of Goethe, Gounod, and Marlowe. The plot of the film is simple and tragic, beginning with Mephisto wagering to an archangel that he can corrupt the soul of an elderly alchemist, Faust. Faust…

  • Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow?

    Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow?

    ★★★★★

    Why Is Yellow the Middle of the Rainbow?, Is an experimental documentary film directed by Kidlat Tahimik. Watching this film, I feel like I'm travelling through time and exploring important events in the Philippines during the 80s and 90s. The film took 10 years to make, as Kidlat Tahimik began filming the film in 1980 and it was completed and released in 1994. In this film, Kidlat really invested in adding political elements to the film as it is set…

  • Europa

    Europa

    ★★★★½

    After a long loss of more than eighty years and believed to have been looted by the Nazis from Vitfer Film Laboratories, Paris in 1940, Europa (1932) was discovered by chance by the Pilecki Institute in 2019 from Germany's national archives, Bundesarchiv, Berlin. It was later donated to the BFI National Archive, in which the film was originally a silent film, but after its restoration, the soundtrack by Lodewijk Muns, a Dutch composer, was added to the film.

    Europa (1932)…

  • Gondola

    Gondola

    ★★★★

    Gondola, or ゴンドラ (1987) is a Japanese experimental film directed by Chisho Ito. The film tells the story of two people who seem incompatible, but as 11-year-old Kagari, who lives with a careless mother, and Ryo, a lonely window cleaner, meet, they develop a cool friendship and decide to go on a little adventure in Aomori. The film is so outstanding for its surreal and dream-like sequences that occur occasionally in the movie. The editing and cinematography are probably the best elements in this film; there are many gorgeous superimpositions of footage that emerge from a blurry, diaphanous haze and slowly take form, creating hypnotic imagery.

  • She Was Like a Wild Chrysanthemum

    She Was Like a Wild Chrysanthemum

    ★★★★½

    "late autumn and the fields are lonesome, only crickets sing by her grave"

    She Was Like a Wild Chrysanthemum (Nogiku no gotoki kimi nariki) is a 1955 Japanese drama film directed by Keisuke Kinoshita. A 73-year-old man named Masao is sitting on a boat along the river bank, heading towards the village where he grew up. He sees a field of chrysanthemums, which reminds him of his childhood, when he was still with her, his first love, Tamiko. This film…

  • Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert

    Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert

    ★★★★★

    Son nom de Venise dans Calcutta désert is a French experimental film directed by Marguerite Duras about the life of Anne-Marie Stretter, the wife of a French diplomat in 1930s India. The soundtrack of this film is the same as her previous film, "India Song," but the images in the movie are completely replaced with astonishing images of places. The film has no character, yet it is still fascinatingly moving and intriguing. Duras creates the atmosphere by using the images…

  • Drive My Car

    Drive My Car

    ★★★★

    Based on Haruki Murakami's short story of the same name, Drive My Car is a Japanese drama film about a stage director, Yusuke Kafuku, who lost his wife due to a cerebral hemorrhage, and his driver, Misaki. Both have gone through an emotional loss, as Yusuke lost his wife and Misaki lost her mother.

    The film is nearly 3 hours long, and the story is told at a very slow pace, but surprisingly, the film is never boring. It's so…

  • Dog Star Man

    Dog Star Man

    ★★★★

    Stan Brakhage's experimental film Dog Star Man is broken into four parts: a prelude, Parts One through Four. It was released between 1961 and 1964. The film is plotless; there's no story, just a compilation of images. These abstract images exist primarily on their own and are put together and edited not for the sake of entertainment or drama, but more for the psychological impact on viewers as they interpret and comprehend those images with their own analytical skills.