Umbilical World (2018)

Umbilical World (2018) British animator David Firth compiled 13 years of macabre humor into this crazy quilt of paranoid nightmares. Internet surfers will recognize favorites from YouTube past and marvel at the stylistic unity that emerges from this retrospective of experimental, underground art. Independent in every sense of the word, David Firth joins the company … More Umbilical World (2018)

The Mad Fox (1962)

The Mad Fox (1962) Koiya koi nasuna koi (original title: “Love, Thy Name Be Sorrow”) Inspired by Takeda Izumo’s 18th Century Bunraku puppet play, combined with the traditional Kabuki Ashiya Dōman Ōuchi Kagami / A Courtly Mirror of Ashiya Dōman, Tomu Uchida returned to his film career with this swansong. What begins in historical Japanese … More The Mad Fox (1962)

Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (2001)

Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (2001) Based on Tezuka’s manga, directed by Rintaro, written by Katsuhiro Otomo, this feature-length anime dramatizes the upcoming conflict between AI and humans, to warn against the rise of ultranationalism. SPOILER ALERT: At the climax of this movie, Tima, created by Dr. Laughton for the oligarch Duke Red who mourns the loss … More Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis (2001)

Utamaro and His Five Women (1946)

Utamaro and His Five Women (1946) Made under the American occupation, Kenjii Mizoguchi directed this fictional account of the famous printmaker Kitagawa Utamuro, some of whose depictions of the ‘floating world’ of geishas so incensed the magistrates that Utamoro was handcuffed for 60 days. Film scholars claim that Utamuro is really Mizoguchi’s self-portrait as a … More Utamaro and His Five Women (1946)

Asparagus (1979) and Pinball (2013)

Asparagus (1979), Suzan Pitt’s first breakthrough animation, and Pinball (2013), her last animation, showcase amazing accomplishments celebrating independent filmmaking. On the CalArts Web site, Maureen Seawood wrote, “She [Suzan] believed that within us, we had the ability to unfold the way we dream. That each image leads us to the next image, giving birth to … More Asparagus (1979) and Pinball (2013)

The Image Book (2018)

The Image Book (2018) “Man’s true condition is to compose with his hands,” Jean-Luc Godard announced from his editing table at the very start of this collage-narrative. The first half explores Western cinema; the second half explores neglected Arabian cinema. Film clips from famous and obscure movies are spliced together, bleached and washed, while a … More The Image Book (2018)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) [Silent Movie]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) [Silent Movie] Lon Chaney transforms into Quasimodo as if one of the gargoyles along the church walls had come to life. Patsy Ruth Miller plays the innocent beauty Esmeralda in this classic romance. Produced by Carl Laemmle, overseen by Irving Thalberg, and directed by craftsman Wallace Worsley, this movie … More The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) [Silent Movie]

Ballet Mécanique

Ballet Mécanique (1924 ) This short experimental film was conceived by Fernand Léger in collaboration with the filmmaker Dudley Murphy (with cinematographic input from Man Ray) and music by George Antheil. Its juxtapositions of the human and the mechanical suggest a world succumbing to the mechanistic, a dehumanizing production line. The French model Alice Prin, … More Ballet Mécanique

Faces/Places

Faces/Places [Villages Visages] (2017) Documentary filmmaker Agnès Varda joins forces with instillation photographer J. R. on a road trip across France, visiting coal mines, stockyards, factories, farms, and enlarging photographic images of the people who live and work there, to plaster across buildings, silos, train cars, crates, etc. The impermanence of art is J. R.’ … More Faces/Places