Lars Von Trier, Jackie Chan and More: My Films of the Week #31

As a lifelong cinephile, I have always consumed a copious amount of films. In this new feature, I keep track of the films I watch during the week. (Also, Click here to buy my book of thoughts on film, Eye of the Beholder, on Amazon!)

 

Antichrist
dir. Lars Von Trier
2009, Denmark/France/Germany/Italy/Sweden ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The ever-provocative Lars Von Trier and one of his ugliest films yet. A frightening exploration of trauma and mental health that revisits traditional horror tropes in a much more viscerally reflective, albeit violently charged way. Not for the squeamish.

 

Four Seasons in a Day
dir. Annabel Verbeke
2021, Belgium/Croatia/Norway ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Observational documentary exploring the theme of boarders and specifically the awkward situation of the Northern Irish one in the post-Brexit uncertainties. Balanced and beautiful.

 

Ballet Mécanique
dir. Dudley Murphy, Fernand Léger
1924, France ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

One of the finest specimens of early avant-garde filmmaking, as well as one of the most influential abstract movies of its time. A symphony of mechanical motion, reveling in the modernity of the mechanical age and exploring the contrast between man and machine. At times inebriating, Ballet Mécanique represents the type of adventurous filmmaking that began liberating the cinematic language, making it more dynamic and giving it defining characteristics that legitimized it as an art form.

 

School of Hope
dir. Mohamed El Aboudi
2020, Finland/France/Morocco ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A touching documentary about the struggle for literacy in a nomadic tribe of Morocco, fading due to its long-lasting drought and the horrors of climate change. Powerful and poetic, both enriched and defined by its desertic environment, which is a de facto lead character of this documentary.

 

Forbidden to See Us Scream in Tehran
dir. Farbod Ardebili
2020, USA

Embargo.

 

Revanche
dir. Gotz Spielmann
2009, Austria ⭐⭐⭐⭐

A revenge movie that may upset some expectations with its quiet, subtle and meditative nature. But that is why it stands out as an exploration of its title theme and human nature at large.

 

Fearless Hyena
dir. Jackie Chan, Kenneth Tsang
1979, Honk Kong/South Korea ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Jackie Chan’s directorial debut may be narratively unoriginal but more than makes up for this lack with its energy. Fearless Hyena remains one of his most enjoyable comedy martial arts movies, a subgenre that he is rightly considered a master of.

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