Year: 2021

December 15, 2021 / Television

Broadcast on A&E on January 12, 1995, this special is a recording of the presentation of the Algur H. Meadows Award for Excellence in the Arts presented by Southern Methodist University in 1994. The performance, by students at the school and guest artists Bernadette Peters, Chip Zien and Debra Monk, is intercut with interviews with Sondheim, Hal Prince, James Lapine and videotaped testimonials from Angela Lansbury and Jason Alexander. The less said about the student performances, the better, but the professional Sondheim veterans more than deliver, and the whole evening is worth seeing Sondheim himself at the piano accompanying Peters on “Send in the Clowns.”

December 15, 2021 / Television
December 14, 2021 / Epic

Four arduous years in the making, Ardak Amirkulov’s 1990 historical epic about the intrigue and turmoil preceding Genghis Khan’s systematic destruction of the lost East Asian civilization of Otrar is a one-of-a-kind experience. Amirkulov’s film, shot in sepia-toned black-and-white, is at once hallucinatory, visually resplendent, and ferociously energetic, packed with eye-catching (and gouging) detail and B-movie fervor, and traversing an endless variety of parched, epic landscapes and ornate palaces.

December 14, 2021 / Animation
December 14, 2021 / Animation

This animated film paints a vivid portrait of two strangers intimately linked by the shared ceilings, floors and plumbing of their apartments. When an unexpected problem arises, these comfortable connections are compromised. Wendy Tilby uses a painstaking animation process involving painting on glass and stop-action filming.

December 14, 2021 / Drama

Smith, the deaf and dumb son of a rural black preacher, refuses to accept the menial labour on offer in the small farming community where he’s grown up. He tries to earn a living in the city, but this ends in assault, and his return home sparks off a cycle of vengeful violence. What Roodt’s film lacks in subtlety, it makes up for in dirty authenticity. A hard-hitting independent venture (the director went on to make Sarafina!), completed and released against the odds in apartheid South Africa.

December 14, 2021 / Arthouse

Goto is an island which, through a series of natural disasters, was cut off from the rest of the world in the late 1800s. Its inhabitants toil in stone quarries and relax in the state-run brothels. There in no art, no science, no prosperity, but everyone is happy to swear allegiance to their sadistic ruler, Goto III. At a public execution, Goto’s wife, Glossia saves the life of a condemned man, Grozo, whom Goto pardons and adopts as his personal fly killer. From the day that Grozo takes up his new office, the island of Goto will never be the same again…

December 14, 2021 / Comedy

A security company conjures up fake computer-generated “ghosts” so they can buy abandoned property at below-market value at auctions. However, a mysterious couple appear out of seemingly nowhere to thwart the company’s plans.