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.
During the anti-communist revolution in Romania in 1989, political exile Paul Weiss struggles to learn the fate of a childhood friend. As he slowly uncovers the truth, he descends into a world of revolutionary chaos, imprisonment and attempted assassination.
Four people at the breakfast table, an American family, are locked in the beat of the editing table. The short, pulsating sequence at the family table shows, in its original state, a classic, deceptive harmony. Matin Arnold deconstructs this scenario of normality by destroying its original continuity. It catches on the tinny sounds and bizarre body movements of the subjects, which, in reaction, become snagged on the continuity. The message that lies deep under the surface of the family idyll, suppressed or lost, is exposed–that message is war.
An homage to action films, it tells the story of a chase using scraps of other films as different types of animation (using 65,000 paper printouts of images from 400 live action films) illustrate a classic chase scene scenario: A woman is abducted and a man comes to her rescue, but during their escape they find themselves in the enemy’s secret headquarters.
Who Was Edgar Allan? is a television adaptation of Peter Rosei’s post-modern thriller of the same name in which a student travels to Venice to study against the wishes of his father and meets a mysterious figure who calls himself Edgar Allan. Mysterious deaths, all-seeing eyes, strange misunderstandings, and odd father figures are elements which structure Michael Haneke’s television-thriller. The director’s later concerns with media, invisibility, surveillance, and the bourgeois family are already present here.
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.
A man sentenced to death reflects on his arrest, interrogations, torture… and a bit on the time before, long gone, swallowed up by pain and numbness.
A lonely old man lives in a desolate block of appartments in Vienna which is to be pulled down to make way for something more profitable. He fights for his humble home, fortifies it to defend himself against invincible forces of profit. A staid cinematography follows the character’s resistance and downfall.