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Films In 1997

Set in the early 1900s on a bend in the Niger River, Buud Yam charts the unpredictable journey of Wend-Kuuni, a young man in search of a healer to cure his ailing sister, the victim of an unknown disease. In the manner of a folk tale, Gaston Jean-Marie Kaboré's extraordinarily beautiful film deals ... Read more
Water attraction and repulsion is reconstructed cinematographically by one of Australia's longest standing and most uncompromising experimental filmmakers. The artificiality of nature is made explicit via multiple exposures images of water activity shot through iconographic mattes. A kinetic mosaic ... Read more
Take a bizarre romp one cold winter's night in Berlin when a woman who locks herself out of her apartment and gets a coin stuck in a cigarette-vending machine, unwittingly sets in motion an extraordinary chain of coincidences. This film moves at a crackerjack pace, reminiscent of the mind-bending ... Read more
Don McGlynn's (Dexter Gordon: More Than You Know, MIFF 1997) brutally honest, obsessively researched and thoroughly moving account of Jazz giant, Charles Mingus. Audiences will leave McGlynn's bio-pic with both a profound appreciation for Mingus' immense talent and taken aback by his prodigious ... Read more
The story of Marija, a poor post-Soviet pensioner struggling to adapt to the accelerated culture of the 90s. A deft blend of documentary and fiction - Marija is played by a real pensioner, Lidija Kovtun, and her life formed the basis of the script - this film gradually draws the viewer in to the ... Read more
The story of Alan (John Flaus), a man dying of cancer who makes a belated attempt to establish a relationship with his son Denis (Luke Elliot), abandoned twenty years earlier. Smart dialogue, powerfully emotional (but never histrionic) performances from Flaus and Elliot, production values and a ... Read more
An invitation to fight and not dance as four men descend on a nightclub. It is only a matter of time before they attack. The action is an authentic rumble recorded through a surveillance camera. The voice-over acts as a postscript trying to understand the footage: 'real or theatre?' Our ... Read more
A modern mosaic from the urban jungle, this is an omnibus film, six stories linked by the central character of Greek philosopher/taxi driver, Cosmos. Nightmares traumatise Morille, a young filmmaker on a caffeine high who is interviewed on the hi-tech TV show from Hell (Le Technetium)!. Yannie is ... Read more
Ephraim Bani journeys from the Torres Strait Islands to the great museums of Europe, where his plundered heritage is on display. He carries the hope of all Islanders to see the turtleshell masks made by his ancestors, and stolen by the Cambridge Anthropological Expe­dition more than a century ... Read more
Voted audience favourite at both the London and Nantes Film Festivals, Rajan Khosa's magnificent debut, Dance of the Wind, probes the dynamics of the Indian oral tradition. Pallavi, a successful singer of classical Hindi music, observes with immense concern and distress as her aging mother and ... Read more
Sunset. A wide-screen expanse bathed in a blood red glow. Two women, their colourful saris almost luminous, crest a hill bathed in the last fiery rays of dusk. The scene is stunning, gorgeous for a few seconds until - like (American) Indians in a classic Western - the silhouettes of a mob ... Read more
In 1998 twin sisters Annie and Pammie suffer a shock when their mother leaves their father after 39 years of marriage. Better known for her work in animation until now, Sarah Watt uses both live action and animation to recreate the childhood world of the twins as they reflect on their parent's ... Read more
Veteran Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine ventures into twelfth century Andalusia to tell the tale of Avérroès, an influential Islamic philosopher. Religious fundamentalists protested against Avérroès', and his writings were unceremoniously burnt. Fortunately, his followers copied the ... Read more
Consisting of just two shots, Devil's Hooves at Dusk is a highly stylised surrealistic film concerning a bizarre party organised for Lucia by her mother, the principal question being whether Lucia will turn up herself. An hilarious contemporary Spanish piece openly paying tribute to the master ... Read more
Don Juan '67, an obscure Mexican sex and espionage film. A bird's-eye crane shot of Eva Norvind, dressed in matching pop art checked mini and shades roars through the streets in a Cadillac convertible, also in complementary checks, makes for a bizarre and fascinating image. Bizarre and fascinating ... Read more
Chris Kennedy juggles comedy, drama and sentiment with aplomb in his third feature; Ralph, a sweet natured, and exceptionally naive young man from the bush is determined to make his mark on the Nashville Country & West­ern scene, but instead winds up in prison because he fell for a girl called ... Read more
Films showing workers singing in fields, teenagers dancing on the beach, or glam­orous working women are not widely associated with socialist European countries. This may change with Dana Ranga's entertaining docu­mentary which reveals that a succession of socialist musicals were made in ... Read more
The inhabitants of a Spanish village gather for the visit of a death defying tightrope walker. He comes with his own attractive aura of danger and drama, and the crowd are not disappointed. Animated in a sketchy style on paper, this film powerfully uses the graphic freedom of this technique to ... Read more
A magician turned civil servant reminisces about the hardships of a life of wizardry. Enchanted Life plays a number of visual tricks that span both drawn and model animation and which, like the film's theme, have an engaging and elegant simplicity of style that casts its spell on the viewer. ... Read more
An excellent contemporary companion piece to Monica Treut's Didn't do it for Love, Erotica explores female sexuality by consulting the opinions and experiences of an international group of ten artists, performers, authors and practitioners, all with a singular slant on activities in the bedroom ... Read more
A whacky, animated account of the trials and tribulations of medically assisted conception. Debra Solomon does just about everything here from the design to the lyrics of the song that is as amusing as it is informative: "Next comes the ultrasound. You drink and drink until you drown." Although ... Read more
Multiculturalism under siege. Exile In Sarajevo is a passionate and persona! account of the siege of Sarajevo, from the viewpoint of Bosnian-Australian Tahir Cambis and Sarajevan, Alma Sahbaz. ... The directors encapsulate wider tragedies within two unfolding narratives. Nirvana, a talent­ed ... Read more
Cutting-edge British director Antonia Bird takes on post-Thatcherite tensions with Face. At the heart of the film is Ray (Robert Carlyle, The Full Monty, Trainspotting), an educated and bitterly disillusioned armed robber. His girlfriend, Connie, runs a half-way house and his mother is deeply ... Read more
An ultra low budget trash masterpiece by a director whose previous works have included Hippy Porn and Mod Fuck Explosion - which may give you some idea of where we're headed. Three vaguely connected stories unfold before the audience's shocked sensibilities; preposterous plot devices and outrages ... Read more
Errol Morris' amazing, eccentric documentary is yet another satisfying chapter in the filmography of a self-confessed obsessive/compulsive who is never happier than when he is recording the lives of those even stranger than himself. ... Festival audiences will be familiar with the extraordinary The ... Read more
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