In this, his 1977 feature-film debut, director Kidlat Tahimik, who is widely regarded as the father of independent Philippine cinema, stars as a Filipino jeepney driver who wants to emigrate to America to become an astronaut. Dreaming of an idealized version of the West, he chairs the fan club of the rocket designer Wernher von Braun and is a devoted listener of Voice of America. Traveling in his colorfully decorated extended jeep he arrives in Paris, where his illusions can’t survive.
The young and handsome Kano Sozaburo is admitted to the Shinsengumi, an elite samurai group that seeks to defend the Tokugawa shogunate against reformist forces. Kano is a skilled swordsman, but his physical beauty leads the members of the strictly male group to compete for his affections, generating tensions that threaten to become lethal. In Gohatto, Nagisa Oshima explores the ambiguous forms of masculinity that the samurai code concealed, with a terrific cast including Ryuhei Matsuda, Takeshi Kitano and Tadanobu Asano subtly capturing the dangers of repressed homoerotic desire.
In Ulrike Ottinger’s contemporary reinvention of the famous morality tale, fin de siècle dandy Dorian Gray is reimagined as a drag role, played without comment on the switch by Veruschka von Lehndorff in the male lead. Ottinger’s collision of Oscar Wilde and Fritz Lang features Delphine Seyrig as one “Dr. Mabuse,” the head of a sinister multinational newspaper agency that conspires to create, control, and destroy celebrity figure Dorian Gray. The film is an odyssey through eye-popping tableaux, including a trip to an unforgettable underworld.
A simple yet devout Christian makes a vow to Saint Barbara after she saves his donkey, but everyone he meets seems determined to misunderstand his intentions. Will he be able to keep his promise in the end?
♦♦ Amos Vogel’s “Film as a Subversive Art” ♦♦
Sentenced to life imprisonment for illegal activities, Italian International member Giulio Manieri holds on to his political ideals while struggling against madness in the loneliness of his prison cell.
After a series of events, Georg Hauser, an established middle-class man, is at odds with the world, in which he himself used to work so well. He wants out. He wants to live. In a moment of his very own clarity, he destroys his car, but whoever destroys his property is an enemy of the state.
In this end-of-the-life scenario, which is designed as an expressive silent film with subtitles, a group of adolescents and scattered loners move through a destroyed landscape. One of the leaders is poisoned by his girlfriend, who now takes his place and demonstrates her power to a newcomer. However, he in turn passes the test of courage, puts himself in the place of the head of the group and leads the ever-growing community into an uncertain future.
Petra Going is a migrant cyborg, an agent of the Global Nomad Project: an international “Experience Data Agency” which sends hundreds of “receivers” like her to wander the globe and record a succession of random encounters. Periodically, they return to agency headquarters where they deposit their accumulated memories into an archive. This archive is available to users who then vicariously and virtually inhabit the ready-made landscapes of touristic consciousness. The motto of the GNP: “Nostalgia For Rent.”