The first week of 2016 is over, and we added twenty-four new films to the Fandor library this week! That’s about two full days of movie madness in all, plenty of fodder for your future watching.
Our newest releases are a treasure trove of nonfiction cinema, including a compelling, complex and somewhat legally suspect experiment set in Iran (Ten, directed by the fierce iconoclast Abbas Kiarostami), a fascinating account of globalism’s strange bedfellows (China Remix, which profiles African immigrant hip-hop artists in the diaspora of Guangzhou), a peek insidethe Esquire magazine offices during the turbulent, groundbreaking 1960s (Smiling Through the Apocalypse) and a reminder that before WikiLeaks, Snowden and Deep Throat, there were the Pentagon Papers (The Most Dangerous Man in America). But wait! There’s more!
Circo (source of this week’s Featured Image) goes on the road with a family circus, walking a tightrope of tradition and evolution. As their caravan travels across rural Mexico (to the Tex-Mex stylings of indie rockers Calexico), they grapple with their chosen profession in different ways. It’s no Cirque du Soleil, but for some it’s the only way of life that matters.
Paul Bowles: The Cage Door is Always Open is also an exploration of an alternative lifestyle, in this case the unconventional marriage of titular novelist Paul Bowles and his wife, writer Jane Auer and their exploits in the city of Tangiers. Gore Vidal, William Burroughs and John Waters are just a few of the talking heads delivering pithy takes on The Sheltering Sky author’s life abroad. Some of Bowles’ compositions lend themselves to the film’s soundtrack, as well.
And if you didn’t happen know who Joaquim Pinto is, you’ll love getting to know one of Portugal’s most beloved directors, producers and sound designers as he reflects back on his thirty years in cinema over three-ish glorious hours of personal poetic documentary. Pinto takes his embarking on an experimental drug treatment as an opportunity to explore the mysteries of art, life and the world to incredibly imaginative and moving effect. But don’t just take our word for it! The New York Times‘ Jeanette Catsoulis calls What Now? Remind Me “an extraordinary, almost indescribably personal reflection on life, love, suffering and impermanence”, and our online film magazine Keyframe put it on not one, but two best-of lists in the year it was released.
Of course, if docs aren’t the direction your viewing whims whisk you this week, we’ve got
some great options for scripted stories, like our Spotlight on Scandinavian Cinema, which mixes classics and cult films with some fantastic contemporary independents for a novel survey of nordic cinema charms. Or, why not perk up your ears to enjoy famous films of the Italian New Wave, scored by legendary composer Nino Rota? He’s the focus of our latest Criterion Picks collection, which features many of our favorites by director and longtime Rota collaborator Frederico Fellini. Fun fact: Legend says that the meeting of Fellini and Rota was fated from the start:
Rota was waiting for a bus in Rome when he was spotted by Fellini. Over-awed by meeting the older and already famous composer, Fellini asked him what bus he was waiting for. When Rotatold him, Fellini helpfully informed him that that particular bus didn’t stop there . Just then, the bus inexplicably arrived. [Source]
But don’t wait to enjoy the fruits of this friendship! Our celebration of Nino Rota only lasts until January 17, and then those movies are dancing themselves right out of our library.
And don’t forget to keep checking our New Releases page for the very latest in Fandor films! We’ll be back next week with a brand new feature on our latest FIXers and more magnificent movies to share. Until then, happy watching!