Film of the Week: Allemagne 90 Neuf Zero

Jean-Luc Godard has always incorporated the history of Western art and politics in his films, beginning with À bout de souffle (1960) where Humphrey Bogart and Charles De Gaulle both were re-purposed as critical tools of their respective hegemonies. Godard’s dual interests would continue to wax and eventually lead to a radical shift in his…

Film of the Week: Ali Fear Eats the Soul

In Ali Fear Eats the Soul, Rainer Fassbinder brings to the fore the social tensions of a post-WWII Germany, rendering it in the everyday lives of the film’s outcast couple, Emmi (Brigitte Mira) a 60-years old German widow and Ali (El Hedi ben Salem) a 40-years old Moroccan immigrant. Despite the language barrier, Emmi and…

Film of the Week: The Freshman

Before Jean-Paul Belmondo’s iconic role as the Bogart-esque swaggering Michele, there was Harold Lloyd as Harold Lamb, another man who found cinema to be a world that corresponded with his desires. A bumbling fool and underdog , The Freshman centers on Lamb’s first year at Tate University and his attempts to become popular by modeling…

Film of the Week: Menace II Society

Opening on footage of the 1965 Watts riots, Menace II Society frames its narrative in the larger socio-political context of reality. Although fictional, characters, their motivations, and the consequences they face, subsequently become reflections of the historical forces guiding the film, transforming the story into its own truth. Kaydee "Caine" Lawson (Tyrin Turner), a recent…

Film of the Week: Europa Europa

Agnieszka Holland’s Europa Europa (1990) centers on Solomon “Solek” Perei (Marco Hofschneider), a German Jewish boy who survives the holocaust by pretending to be the enemy—first a Communist at the Bolshevik orphanage he takes flight to, and later, a Hitler Youth in the Nazi army. Solek survives through his ingenuity, carefulness (as a solder, he…

Film of the Week: Marseille

  Angela Schanelec’s Marseille begins with a close-up shot of a female driver seen from behind. The driver asks her passenger three questions, all of which are answered “no.” “Where is it,” “Do you know your way round,” and “Is there a map in there?” Marseille stars Maren Eggert as Sophie, a young photographer who…

Film of the Week: Unguided Tour

In Susan Sontag’s Unguided Tour (1983), the past subsumes the present. Sontag emphasizes the stories permeating underneath the camera’s frame; the essence and memory of things. An unnamed couple walk through Venice. The woman (Lucinda Childs) ruminates on the parallels between the city and her relationship, both faltering. Sontag directs and edits Unguided Tour as…