A few of our recent featured FIXers share their favorite Fandor films.
Here on Planet Fandor, we love to get film recommendations: Finding out what makes people tick when it comes to the movies they love is our passion. Over the coming months, we’ll be hearing from some of our FIX filmmakers (who know a thing or two about a thing or two, as accomplished directors themselves) about their Fandor favorites, in their own words. These are FIX Picks!
Kicking off this series are three nonfiction filmmakers that were recently featured here on the Fandor blog. We asked them to list their favorites from our library and they were generous enough to share their impeccable taste with us:
To enter a dream world of haunted beauty
Janie Geiser’s Arbor speaks of lost time and the textures of memory. It is an entrancing collage of archival photographs, patterns, shadows and leaves, amidst nature sounds and ghostly singing, in which photographic figures, entrapped both in time and the frame, look away from the camera, towards some unseen destiny, and dissolve into the natural world beyond. Janie is a dear friend, so it is a pleasure to find our work frequently programmed together at film festivals. Though our approach to image making is quite different, we both share a fascination with the uncanny and exploring the line between the seen and unseen.
The past is now
The profound expression of that which is inexpressible. Displaced Person (dir. Daniel Eisenberg) is stunningly constructed through repetition, fragmentation, and the layering of emotionally charged image, music and philosophical narration. The cyclical procession of images, freezing of time and punctuated gaps mimic the paths of memory and states of shock. Eisenberg’s archival juxtapositions create a sense of dread and submersion into the horror of history, tricking the mind into experiencing that which one can barely fathom.
To experience the visceral pleasures of mysterious unknown terrain
Scene 32 (dir.Shambhavi Kaul) is a formal deconstruction of a landscape, in which salt is framed as both mass and particle. Rhythmic intercutting between close-ups and wide shots, as well as between crisp high definition and textural hand processed film, create spatial disorientation and an immersion into the materiality of surface and locale. I first saw Scene 32 when it screened alongside my film Vineland at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. I was immediately struck by our similar interest in the excavation and transformation of landscape and have been a fan of Kaul’s work ever since.
A feat of serendipity, magic, or genius to pull off many of the long takes
In Le Quattro Volte (dir. Michelangelo Frammartino), I like the development of place and the inclusion of everyday life and people.
This film represents an artist both artistically and stylistically interesting
Anselm Kiefer’s work, captured in Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (dir. Sophie Fiennes) is captivating, and the space where he creates becomes its own character.
A cinema of madness
Through the minds of Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski, a film is born. Fitzcarraldo is maniacal, captivating,and again, the landscape has its own very strong presence.
A contemplative and and quiet nature
Old Joy (dir. Kelly Reichardt) brings you into the world of two old friends who are now at different points in their lives. The film allows the viewer to contemplate change and the quiet tensions one can feel when in such an awkward position.
A unique snapshot of time; a signature piece of the everyday
Visions of a City (dir. Lawrence Jordan): The attention to the small, the mundane, the overlooked as vehicles to capture the essence of what is around us. It is elegant and playful in its reflections. When I have seen this film projected I don’t recall the sepia tone…
I don’t know if everyone needs to watch this film, but if you are like me and love looking at San Francisco’s various eras, then this is an overlooked gem from the Hippie Era
Like It Is (dir. WIlliam Rotsler): I thought I knew most films about this era of San Francisco, but this came up in a Fandor search the other day. I love the mix of serious doc and all-out “check out our scene” home movie-ness of it. I love to see the run-down nature of San Francisco. Things were possible then: Rents were cheap and people barely needed to work.
Given the state of race relations now and the problems with police violence against young men of color this film makes one realize we have not progressed in a meaningful way. It offers much for contemplation
Off the Pig: I love the interviews and un-edited quotes from Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver and Bobby Seale. The footage is also remarkable: protests, shots of the neighborhood and artwork.
We hope these diverse choices will inspire your future watching! And stay tuned, because we’ll have more FIX Picks to share soon.