This week on Fandor: hard-core crime, good clean fun, geese, jellyfish and Rush.
That’s right! Rush: The Rise of Kings, a masterfully assembled band history told through rich anecdotes and (often rare) archival footage, just hit the Fandor library. For longtime fans of the Canadian polymaths, this film may be essential viewing, but it’s a highly enjoyable ride for Rush neophytes as well. And if you prefer a different flavor of rock-doc, we have you covered with a different new release: Palast der Republik, a live concert filmed in 2004 featuring German industrial outfit Einstürzende Neubauten. Or, if the method behind the madness of music is more your interest, learn about the man who developed multitrack recording and produced greats from Aretha Franklin to Eric Clapton with Tom Dowd and the Language of Music.
And that trifecta of films is only scratching the surface of our latest offerings! All in all, this week at Fandor brought us twenty-six new films, which for comparison purposes is a baker’s dozen, doubled. Among them:
- Dignity, a stylized experimental science fiction flick by 2004 Whitney Biennial artist James Fotopoulos (with help from Thurston Moore on the soundtrack)
- Wondrous Oblivion, a multicultural coming-of-age story set in 1960s South London and directed by Oscar Nominee Paul Morrison
- Springtime in a Small Town, the critically acclaimed (and Venice Film Festival San Marco Prize-winning) Chinese drama about a postwar love triangle amongst old friends
- Fanny, in which the love triangle is between the titular heroine, her longtime love Marius and that harsh mistress, the sea
- Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye, a deep and fascinating profile of the photographer and artistic icon who is widely considered a progenitor of the photojournalistic form
- Bright Future, an urban allegorical story of a young man and his pet poisonous jellyfish (somewhat lighter fare from horror director Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
- Goldberg and Eisenberg, a different kind of urban alienation tale that centers on a mild-mannered Israeli programmer and the malevolent stranger that stalks him
- Retaliation, a hard-boiled piece of Japanese cinema from the same demented dynamic duo behind Massacre Gun
- A double dose of classic drama with two 1930s gems, The Last of the Mohicans and The Man in the Iron Mask
- Society, a deliciously sinister and splatter-filled piece of satirical body horror that will make you snicker while seriously testing the limits of your gag reflex
- Grey, a Dutch documentary that captures the struggle between man and nature (here in the form of a massive flock of geese) in six dramatic minutes
- Girl on a Bicycle, a frothy multi-lingual rom-com (and the film in this week’s featured image)
- Polytechnique, a crime thriller based on real events: the chilling massacre of female students carried out by misogynist Marc Lépine in 1989
- And Charles Manson Superstar, which features the murderous cult leader himself in his first uncensored incarcerated interview, and is part of our new true-crime-centered Spotlight:
From New Orleans prostitution rings to Indian gangster families (like those portrayed in miniseries Gangs of Wasseypur (pictured), these films quench your thirst for vicarious transgression while also serving as powerful cautionary tales.
And speaking of cautionary tales, this week’s Criterion Picks are a survey of Japanese postwar Sun Tribe cinema, a precursor to the Japanese New Wave in which youth ran wild, defied convention, terrified their elders and sometimes paid the price. Whether set in the slums of Osaka or on a sun-soaked water ski holiday (like Crazed Fruit, pictured), these films feature a whole new kind of youthful, modern protagonist.
With that, we may have enough new movie goodness to keep you busy for the weekend (at least), so we’ll stop there and meet you back here next week with a whole new sampler box of cinematic treats. Until then, happy watching!