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Films In 1999

Sex and death, death and sex, the obsessive passions of childhood coming face to face with the violence of love (well, it is a Spanish film after all). It's all shot with a lovingly fetishistic attention to the details of perception—the shape of a belly button, the fine, soft hair on skin ... Read more
Three children were slain and dismembered in an Arkansas backwater in May, 1993 Three teenagers were convicted for the crime and sentenced to punishments ranging from life imprisonment to death. Cut and dried, except that along the way crucial evidence was 'lost' by police, confessions were ... Read more
Evoking the melodramatic musicals of Jacques Demy, Passionate Women, the wonderfully inventive new film from veteran director Tonino De Bernardi. With virtually all the dialogue sung by the protagonists, set in a backdrop of beautiful imagery. Passionate Women is a love letter to Naples. ... Read more
A portal into the oppressive and grimy underbelly of contemporary urban existence, Pistol is an apocalyptic study of frustration and release. Combining a lush, high-contrast aesthetic and Godard-influenced camera work with a raw drum-and-bass soundtrack, the film pulsates with urgency and a ... Read more
“A noisy epic swirl of breast-beating, hair-tearing angst and portentous symbolism.” - New York Times ... Ever the champion of creative cinematic experiences over traditional structures and narratives, enigmatic auteur Leos Carax added another outlaw romance to his oeuvre with Pola X - a loose ... Read more
Possibly the most extraordinary short film at MIFF this year, in Pop the viewer is the main character as we take a candid journey from tourist to drag queens and some startlmgly real stuff in between. While at one stage you could be forgiven for mistaking this film as a snuff movie, Pop steadily ... Read more
Porter Springs 4 is a bizarre and sometimes disturbing collage of strange family moments, shot over 20 years on summer vacations. Several generations of the Hills family contribute to this cinematographic delight, providing a history not only of themselves, but of home movie photography and its ... Read more
A portrait of the child. Slowly the child's gaze is focused towards the direction of the audience. There is an uneasy moment of confrontation between the portrait and the audience. Established artist Nagai's first confrontation with cinema is also reminiscent of the pre-cinema diorama; concentrated ... Read more
Post Mortem is a strange, absorbing tale of love, crime and redemption. The film focuses on two people, Linda and Ghislain, whose lives are linked in a unique way. Linda is devoted to her five-year-old daughter, Charlotte, and she'll do just about anything to provide for her—lie, steal and ... Read more
Cheng Wen-Tang has emerged as a shining new cinematic light in Taiwan. He has crafted a superb, idiosyncratic debut that will ensure his name is one to watch. ... "Taiwan, an island too small to carry such pain. Director Cheng Wen-Tang tells the story of the natives, long hidden in shadows of ... Read more
In 1986 116,000 people were evacuated from the contaminated area immediately surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear reactor after it became critical. This number was far too few. Eventually this catastrophe, the worst ever in the history of nuclear power, would affect nine million people. 800,000 people ... Read more
On 13 November 1991, Helen Todd received the phone call that every parent dreads. Her 20 year old son, Kamal, had been injured, shot on an island of East Timor. The nightmare of the next few days intensified until finally Todd was informed that Kamal had died of his wounds. She then found herself ... Read more
Rain explores the busy mind of a mother suffering from post-natal depression. As the rain pours down, Amy attempts to remember a list of things she must do as she hangs out the washing, a mantra running through her head. Meanwhile the baby cries endlessly. A powerful, albeit brief, examination of ... Read more
Ratcatcher makes you see the world with a clearer vision, revealing layers beneath the surface, capturing the richness of everyday life. The film is set in a tattered Glasgow during a 1970s garbage strike Stinking refuse piles up around rundown council flats, ominously encroaching on the ... Read more
If John Waters directed Bonnie and Clyde as an homage to the Banana Splits TV show, the result would be something like the hysterical Red Lipstick. Incorporating the manic approach of The Monkees and the camp aesthetic of the 60s Batman TV series, this heist movie in drag is a laugh riot from wig ... Read more
In removed, naomi uman physically erases the female body from old 16mm porn using nailpolish remover and household bleach. This gorgeous attack of beauty and domestic product on celluloid results in a series of animated white 'holes' writhing orgasmically in the place of porn stars. The leering men ... Read more
Two wooden characters, sharing the same space in a barometer-house, carry on their duties blissfully unaware of each other's existence, until... ... Read more
"One of the most original and inventive pics out of Central Europe in some time... the cast is impeccable all down the line.''—Variety ... Locked inside an asylum for most of his life, Frantisek (the idiot of the title) has never known the outside world. Everyone and everything is new to him ... Read more
Anything can (and often does) happen on public transport. This film, as if in memory of Melbourne's much loved tram conductors, follows a group of passengers as they face a rare opportunity to deal with a common frustration. It depicts their transformation from group of self-centred individuals to ... Read more
Sam Landefs digitally animated impression of Hong Kong and New York, Rhythmus 99 is a kinetic tribute to the Cubist movement with more than a passing nod to Hans Richter's 1921 incarnation of an animated Constructivist interpretation of rhythm and form. Landel's Expressionist celebration of a ... Read more
The only thing more evil than Ring 2 is if we were remiss enough not to show both the original and sequel. In fact, it is only fair to warn viewers that Ring 2 will be very difficult to follow without seeing its precursor. 'Against all odds, the sequel lives up to the original. We know from Ring ... Read more
What drives people to make films? Is it a selfless expression of 'art', or is it a narcissistic urge wrapped up in a desire to be loved and appreciated? Erika is an aspiring New York writer/director. She is casting for her film, and meets the actor who is "it". But after auditioning, then bedding ... Read more
''Perhaps the most uncompromising and startling film screened at this year's Rotterdam Film Festival was Catherine Breillat's Romance, which follows a young married woman's descent into sexual abjection in reaction to her lover's refusal to copulate. Her search for sex outside their marriage leads ... Read more
A brave and moving documentary based on photograph­er William Yang's acclaimed stage show of the same name. Sadness explores the roots of Yang's Chinese-Australian identity, and his grief at the AIDS related deaths of his friends. As an intriguing subplot, the tilm also deals with Yang's ... Read more
Melanie, who has a strained relationship with her father, is about to go off to a school dance. Perry, Elvis and Willy are on the run in a stolen Jaguar. The fateful encounter between these characters explores questions of race and identity. The cold and desolate location underlines the bleak ... Read more
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