Hello, film fans! It’s been another banner week at Fandor, with twenty-four new titles hitting the library this week — everything from Lawrence Jordan’s elegant surrealist animation The Apoplectic Walrus to a documentary profile on afrofuturist musician and philosopher Sun Ra (and his Arkestra). With so many titles and so little time in our busy lives, we know it can be easy to miss great films here and there, which is why we like to take a moment each week to round up some amazing movies that may have slipped under your radar. Here are a handful of new films that may just be moving to the top of your queue:
The Nashville Sound is a time machine will take you back to Tennessee circa 1969, just in time to catch performances by no less than forty of the era’s most celebrated country stars! These beloved crooners, including Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash and yes, Ms. Parton herself, came to define the evolution of the art known as Nashville sound and, later, “countrypolitan”. Every finger pluck and flashbulb pop in this vintage music doc is an utter treat!
In its own way, the documentary Still Life is also a time machine, taking the viewer back to Palestine, pre-1948 (before the creation of the state of Israel) through family photographs shared by an elderly fisherman who has lived in exile in Lebanon for sixty years. Filmmaker, anthropologist and author Diana Allen worked with the prestigious Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab (which has produced some of the most compelling contemporary documentaries we can think of) to create this short (twenty-five minute) piece, which both stands strong on its own and makes a great companion to Allen’s other film in our library, Terrace of the Sea. Both films use photographs taken by their subjects as a jumping-of point to explore the Palestinian diaspora, examining place and memory through a lens that makes the personal political.
In Memories of the Future, director Rodrigo Reyes (best known for Purgatorio: A Journey Into the Heart of the Border) has crafted an essay film that winds through contemporary Mexico, a country in the throes of crisis seen through the eyes of one of its own sons. Says Reyes of the film (on the UnionDocs website): “I shot this film on a shoestring over several months on the road, living in the back of a minivan. Memories is a catalogue of my concerns and struggles, a deliberate digging into shadows of the Mexican soul, a mad universe of visceral images and characters on the edge of reality.”
“The Nazis destroyed the sound version of this film as ‘degenerate art’. It shows that even object revolt against regimentation.” So begins the multimedia artist Hans Richter‘s six-minute dadaist delight Ghosts Before Breakfast. Updated with a new score, what the film lacks in any sort of narrative device it makes up for in charming ingenuity. We’ve actually been celebrating silent films all week over on our Facebook page, timed with our newest limited-edition Criterion Picks featuring slapstick, sirens, saints and other classics of silent cinema. Who needs dialogue?
For more of our latest and greatest titles, our New Releases page is the best source for fresh films. We have even updated our mobile film pages and home pages for enhanced viewing (and queuing) on the go, so you can have the same awesome Fandor experience on your commute as you do in your living room. As always, we’ll be back soon with more great new Fandor films to share. Until then, happy watching!