In her brother’s apartment where he died, Yuki finds a vacuum cleaner with its cord still hooked up to the outlet. She discovers that the circumstances surrounding her brother’s supposed suicide are sketchy at best, yet no one has any answers. When she starts having hallucinations involving his ghost, however, she seeks some psychological help, eventually uncovering some things that she may have wished she’d left covered.
A thoughtful and emotionally challenging look at the lives of two children living in modern day Afghanistan, STRAY DOGS lifts the lid on what it is like living in the country, post-Taliban. The film focuses on a young brother and sister who are forced to share their incarcerated mother’s prison cell by night, but roam the streets during the day. For they are homeless; only allowed to stay within the prison’s confines after dark, the children are not permitted there during the day. Fed up with having to fend for themselves, and in a desperate bid to get locked up on a more permanent basis, the siblings concoct a cunning plan; using American cinema as a guide, they begin to perform robberies on the streets of Kabul.
Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore reunite in their first acting performance together since “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-66), the classic comedy series for which both stars earned multiple Emmy Awards. This powerfully bittersweet comedy follows the relationship that develops between nursing home residents Fonsia Dorsey and Weller Martin during a series of gin games in which their ailments, misfortunes and losses are exposed in funny, honest and increasingly heated moments.
The hero is Toshio Kanbe, a middle-aged salaryman with a typical family (wife, two teenage children), living quietly in a provincial city (Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture), who wakes up one morning in the summer of 1994 to find himself the prime suspect in the biggest mass-murder case of the decade. Someone, somehow, released clouds of poison gas that killed seven and sickened nearly 600 people in his apartment building and neighborhood.
In its sixty-five minutes, Paz Encina’s first film, carries Ramón and Cándida, an aging couple living in the deep country, from sunrise, when they hang their old hammock between two trees in a clearing, to sunset, when they take it in. Settled in its tenuous grasp, they talk about the heat, the rain, the dog that won’t stop barking, the war, and their son, Máximo, who is doing his military service and hasn’t been heard from lately. The father lives in hope, the mother in fear, and scenes of their daily rounds of labor and rest—images of a contemplative pictorial exaltation—are joined by voice-over flashbacks revealing the story of their son’s departure and the rumors that followed.
Ultimately stunning in its revelations, Lutz Dammbeck’s The Net explores the incredibly complex backstory of Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber. This exquisitely crafted inquiry into the rationale of this mythic figure situates him within a late 20th Century web of technology—a system that he grew to oppose. A marvelously subversive approach to the history of the Internet, this insightful documentary combines speculative travelogue and investigative journalism to trace contrasting countercultural responses to the cybernetic revolution.
Eerie, erotic and touching, Soulmate is a complex study of alienation and obsession. Told from the perspective of a middle-aged woman, the film explores longing and objectification through the story of a landlady and her young male tenant.
The Magicians were a rock band. The guitarist of the band committed suicide three years ago. Several other members of the band that has meanwhile split up meet each other on a cold New Year’s Eve. It’s snowing. They hang around in a bar. Thinking of better times. The film was made in one shot. A filmic bravura piece. Maker Song Il-gon profited from the freedom of his commission to experiment with making a film without editing. This resulted in a beautiful play with the unity of place and action, as in the theatre, and a reflection on the time past of the story.