Even after 60 years, there is much to be explored and shared about the Holocaust. Scores of documentaries valiantly record survivors’ harrowing testimonies or uncover a surprising new angle through archival research. But it’s still possible to feel numb to the unspeakable images and stories from this diabolical chapter of human history.
The first in Patrick Keiller’s highly imaginative trilogy of psycho-geographic journeys charts a trip through (and history of) London, as undertaken by our unseen narrator (Paul Scofield) and his companion, Robinson.
“Shasan valo, sun lo aaj – Hamare gaon mein hamaara raaj” (Listen to us, you who rule – our villages, we control). A boat carrying that cargo of defiance begins an urgent journey through the Narmada valley.
Robinson is commissioned to investigate the unspecified “problem of England.” The narrator describes his seven excursions, with the unseen Robinson, around the country. They mainly concentrate on ports, power stations, prisons, and manufacturing plants, but they also bring in various literary connections, as well as a few conventional landscapes.
Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles (1998) Jennifer Baichwal, Paul Bowles, William S. Burroughs, Cherifa, Documentary, Biography
One of the most enigmatic artists of the 20th century, writer, composer and wanderer Paul Bowles (1910-1999) is profiled by a filmmaker who has been obsessed with his genius since age nineteen. Set against the dramatic landscape of North Africa, the mystery of Bowles (famed author of The Sheltering Sky) begins to unravel in Jennifer Baichwal’s poetic and moving Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles.
Gunner Palace (2004) Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker, Bryant Davis, Devon Dixon, Javorn Drummond, Documentary, War
American soldiers of the 2/3 Field Artillery, a group known as the “Gunners,” tell of their experiences in Baghdad during the Iraq War. Holed up in a bombed out pleasure palace built by Sadaam Hussein, the soldiers endured hostile situations some four months after President George W. Bush declared the end of major combat operations in the country.
Jamás leí a Onetti (I have never read Onetti) is a documentary-homage to this great Uruguayan writer, which is enacted with testimonies, words, drawings and music, all part of the Onettian legacy. With the link between different kinds of writing as a starting point, the movie also asks about the means and the ends of all creative process.
Joseph Haydn is the composer whom Mozart and Beethoven revered, yet he is too often overshadowed by his younger contemporaries. Director Phil Grabsky hopes to redress the balance in this biographical account of Haydn’s life and work.
In Search of Chopin (2014) Phil Grabsky, Juliet Stevenson, David Dawson, Leif Ove Andsnes, Documentary, Biography, Music
In a new film from the director of award-winning and critically acclaimed trilogy In Search of Mozart, In Search of Beethoven & In Search of Haydn Phil Grabsky brings us the music and life story of one of the world’s favourite composers, Fryderyk Chopin.
The Girls of Surrender Cinema (1997) Cybil Richards, Jacqueline Lovell, Sindee Coxx, Venesa Talor, Documentary, Erotic
This is a highlight package of Surrender Cinema’s best girl-on-girl scenes. The gorgeous Jacqueline Lovell goes on an erotic excursion into the very private lives of her closest friends in this sex film. It includes probably the hottest non-hardcore lesbian scene you’ll ever see between Jacqueline Lovell (aka Sara St James) and Vanessa Taylor.