rarefilmm | The Cave of Forgotten Films Posts

February 11, 2024 / Silent
February 11, 2024 / Biography

Between October 11 and November 5 of 1968, teenager Norio Nagayama murdered four people in a killing spree across Japan with a shotgun stolen from a U.S. Army base. Adachi Masao, together with cultural theorist Matsuda Masao, scriptwriter Sasaki Mamoru and other collaborators, set out to trace the young man’s footsteps with a camera in hand. The result is an experimental documentary comprised purely of landscape shots, each of which shows scenery that Nagayama may or may not have seen during his upbringing and journey. Seeking an alternative to the sensationalism found in the media’s depiction of serial killers (which continues to this day), Adachi’s sparse voice-over provides only the hard facts while the increasing number of billboards in the landscapes slowly reveal the hegemony of capitalism in contemporary Japan.

February 11, 2024 / Documentary

This television essay from 1985 was written by Leonard Bernstein to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Gustav Mahler’s birth. Recorded in Israel, Vienna and later in London, it is punctuated by biographical interludes and illustrated by musical examples drawn from the cycle of Mahler’s works recorded by Bernstein. Bernstein talks, plays and conducts various orchestras (Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker) and soloists (Janet Baker, Christa Ludwig, Edith Mathis, Lucia Popp, Walton Groenroos) in performances spanning 17 years.

February 11, 2024 / Arthouse

Renowned Egyptian director Youssef Chahine established his international reputation with Cairo Station after it screened at the Berlin Film Festival. Focusing on a group of marginalised luggage carriers and soft-drink sellers who live in abandoned traincars, Chahine posits Cairo’s main railroad station as a microcosm of Egyptian society. A crippled newspaper dealer (played powerfully by Chahine himself), falls in love with a beautiful but indifferent lemonade seller who is engaged to the muscular and virile leader of the luggage-carriers. Swept away by his obsessive desire, the crippled man kidnaps the object of his passion, with terrible consequences.

February 11, 2024 / Drama

Amidst the wreckage beneath the ruined statue of the Buddha, thousands of families struggle to survive. Baktay, a six-year-old Afghan girl is challenged to go to school by her neighbour’s son who reads in front of their cave. Having found the money to buy a precious notebook, and taking her mother’s lipstick for a pencil, Baktay sets out. On her way, she is harassed by boys playing games that mimic the terrible violence they have witnessed, that has always surrounded them. The boys want to stone the little girl, to blow her up as the Taliban blew up the Buddha, to shoot her like Americans. Will Baktay be able to escape these violent war games and reach the school?

February 11, 2024 / Comedy

Melvin Van Peebles, director of the landmark independent film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song, embraces the new age of digital filmmaking with his picaresque comedy, shot using DV equipment and taking full advantage of its creative possibilities. Van Peebles plays a fanciful version of himself, growing tired of life at home when he’s only ten years old and deciding he’d rather see the world than read about it in books or hear about it from his mother. Melvin runs away from home and hitches a ride from a friendly truck driver, but things take an unexpected turn when gangsters kill the trucker and the boy is tossed into the river with just an inner-tube for company.

February 11, 2024 / Mystery

Using almost no dialogue, the film follows a number of residents (both human and animal) of a small rural community in Hungary – an old man with hiccups, a shepherdess and her sheep, an old woman who may or may not be up to no good, some folk-singers at a wedding, etc. While most of the film is a series of vignettes, there is a sinister and often barely perceptible subplot involving murder.

February 11, 2024 / Comedy

This impressionist film is set in the period of “sweet peace”, at the turn of the century. Jeno Kelepei, a bohemain student, decides to move into Mutter’s brothel after a dissipated night, for food and accomodation. When the young man’s anxious mother arrives unexpectedly from the countryside, the Mutter quickly transforms the house into a boarding house for damsels.