COCOTE (2017)

COCOTE (2017)

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COCOTE | Dir. Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias | 2017 | 72 min
Presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias’ stunning award winning Cocote sheds an overdue cinematic spotlight on the Dominican Republic. In the film, Alberto (Vicente Santos) works as a private gardener in Santo Domingo. He learns that his father has died but when he returns to his hometown, he discovers that his father was instead killed by a powerful man. Alberto’s family wants revenge while Alberto doesn’t want to have anything to do with violence. He just wants to participate in the funeral rituals and return back. However, Alberto soon finds himself getting drawn into a simmering feud that is close to boiling over.

Cocote is a creative blend of fiction and documentary which effortlessly mixes different film stocks (colour, black and white) and contains different camera styles, including an immersive 360-degree pan. The end result is a scrumptious film that hails the arrival of an exciting new voice in international cinema!

Awards
Hamburg Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (Critics Award | Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias)
Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (Jaeger - LeCoultre Best Film Award, Best Film | Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias)
Locarno International Film Festival 2017 - Won (Signs of Life Section, Best Film | Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias) 
Mar del Plata Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (Best Latin-American Film, Latin-American Competition | Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias) 
San Sebastián International Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (Horizons Award, Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias)

COCOTE is the second selection in our CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA series.

MEDIUM COOL (1969)

MEDIUM COOL (1969)

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MEDIUM COOL | Dir. Haskell Wexler | 1969 | 111 min

Haskell Wexler’s feature debut, Medium Cool immerses the viewer into one of the most tumultuous times in 1960s Chicago. Starring Robert Forster, Verna Bloom, and Peter Bonerz, the film follows TV news cameraman, John Cassellis (Forster) as he captures daring footage of the social unrest in Chicago surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention. His ability to maintain professional detachment is challenged when he discovers that the TV network has been quietly cooperating with the FBI; igniting in Cassellis the need to join the fight against the establishment. 

Medium Cool is the third “Wexler” film that forms our Spotlight Series on American cinematographers Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler. To learn more about our Spotlight Series, read our Whitepaper written by Cinematheque Board Member and Programmer Felicia Glatz:

EXCERPT: “Medium Cool, Wexler’s ultimate film appeared in 1969. He financed, directed, loosely wrote, and shot it during the 1968 Democratic convention mummifying the riotous demonstrations that enveloped Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. The footage he collected became the explosive climax for his spontaneous and largely improvised depiction of a TV cameraman John Cassellis (Robert Foster) capturing and meditating upon the imagery of his time. Wexler’s cameraman ushers us through the chaotic and authentically uncontrolled public demonstrations. Working off of a cobbled script at best, Medium Cool is less about narrative than it is a barometer of the political climate, this is perhaps the key to understanding it as a key cultural text. As Roger Ebert insists, ‘To understand it is to understand Wexler's structure and purpose. To understand the way Medium Cool is put together is to understand something about the way real events get transferred onto film. That's Medium Cool's message on the level of story.’”

- To read the whole White Paper click HERE.

Awards
Directors Guild of America, USA 1970 - Nominated (DGA Award, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures | Haskell Wexler)
Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival 1969 - Won (Grand Prize, Haskell Wexler) Tied with 322 (1969).
National Film Preservation Board, USA 2003 - Won (National Film Registry)
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1970 - Nominated (NSFC Award, Best Actress | Verna Bloom, Best Supporting Actress | Verna Bloom, Best Cinematography | Haskell Wexler)

Medium Cool is the third selection in our SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS AND WEXLER series.

THE DAY AFTER (2017)

THE DAY AFTER (2017)

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THE DAY AFTER | Dir. Sang-soo Hong | 2017 | 92 min
Presented in Korean with English subtitles.

The Day After continues the blistering pace of auteur Hong Sang-soo and is the third film he released in 2017. Shot lovingly in black and white, the film contains plenty of signature elements from the director’s previous works with some delicious variations. 

The Day After depicts book publisher Bong-wan’s (Kwon Hae-hyo) attempts to fight accusations of affairs from his wife while simultaneously trying to start a new affair. Besides his wife, the film focuses on two other women in Bong-wan’s life, an ex-employee Chang-sook (Kim Sae-byuk), and the new employee Areum (Kim Min-hee, Claire’s CameraThe Handmaiden). Bong-wan had an affair with Chang-sook and after she leaves the job, her position is filled by Areum. Within hours of Areum starting her job, Bong-wan tries to woo her. Naturally, like other Hong Sang-soo films, there is plenty of alcohol in the form of Soju which ensures events unfold in a delirious manner with plenty of honesty and humour. In addition, Hong Sang-soo plays with the concept of time and extends the timeline of a single day with déjà vu and flashbacks. The end result is a film that smartly shows how relationships can instantly spark into life and also how they fizzle out.

Note: The film shares elements depicted in Hong Sang-soo’s Right Now, Wrong Then, a film shown by the Calgary Cinematheque in 2016.

Awards
Buil Film Awards 2017 - Nominated (Buil Film Award, Best Film | Sang-soo Hong, Best Director | Sang-soo Hong, Best Actor | Hae-hyo Kwon)
Cannes Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (Palme d'Or, Sang-soo Hong)
International Cinephile Society Awards 2017 - Won (ICS Cannes Award, Best Actress | Min-hee Kim)
Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (Jaeger - LeCoultre Best Film Award, Best Film | Sang-soo Hong)
Munich Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (ARRI/OSRAM Award, Best International Film | Sang-soo Hong)
San Sebastián International Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (Zabaltegi Section, Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Prize | Sang-soo Hong)

The Day After is the third title in our CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA series.

KLUTE (1971)

KLUTE (1971)

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KLUTE | Dir. Alan J. Pakula | 1971 | 104 min

New York call girl Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda) unwittingly becomes enmeshed in the investigation of the disappearance of a business executive. Detective John Klute (Donald Sutherland) who has been hired to look into the disappearance, follows Bree, eventually becoming romantically involved with her. Discovering that Bree is the next target, it is up to her and Klute to figure out who is after her before it is too late. 

Klute is the first “Willis” film that forms our Spotlight Series on American cinematographers Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler. To learn more about this intriguing series, read our Whitepaper written by Cinematheque Board Member and Programmer Felicia Glatz:

EXCERPT: “Gordon Willis’ 1971 crime thriller Klute centers on Bree (Jane Fonda) a New York call girl. The subject of John Klute’s (Donald Sutherland) missing person’s investigation, she occupies the majority of our attention on and off screen, a feature of Fonda’s magnetism in general. The two maintain a restrained chemistry, coming together in an awkward symbiosis in order to find answers and protection. Steeped in era specific regalia, Alan J Pakula points demandingly toward the glaring discourses of women’s liberation, prostitution, and anti-Vietnam war sentiment. Enhancing these themes of course is Willis’ meditative lens, patiently surveilling our main characters as they negotiate control and comfort. It is also an example of Willis’ strict but effective geometry, tight interiors and likewise slowly constrictive shots personify the danger stalking forever just outside of frame.”

- To read the whole White Paper click HERE

 

Awards
Academy Awards, USA 1972 - Won (Oscar, Best Actress in a Leading Role | Jane Fonda), Nominated (Oscar, Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced | Andy Lewis, David E. Lewis)
Golden Globes, USA 1972 - Won (Golden Globe, Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama | Jane Fonda), Nominated (Golden Globe, Best Screenplay - Motion Picture | Andy Lewis, David P. Lewis) 
BAFTA Awards 1972 - Nominated (BAFTA Film Award, Best Actress | Jane Fonda)
Edgar Allan Poe Awards 1972 - Nominated (Edgar, Best Motion Picture | Andy Lewis, David P. Lewis)
Fotogramas de Plata 1973 - Won (Fotogramas de Plata, Best Foreign Movie Performer (Mejor intérprete de cine extranjero) | Jane Fonda)
Gotham Awards 1999 - Won (Classic Film Tribute Award)
Image Awards 1971 - Won (Image Award, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture | Donald Sutherland, Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture | Jane Fonda)
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 1971 - Won (KCFCC Award, Best Actress | Jane Fonda) 
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1971 - Won (NSFC Award, Best Actress | Jane Fonda) 
New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1971 - Won (NYFCC Award, Best Actress | Jane Fonda)
Writers Guild of America, USA 1972 - Nominated (WGA Award (Screen), Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen | Andy Lewis, David P. Lewis)

Klute is the fourth selection in our SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS AND WEXLER series.

A GENTLE CREATURE (2017)

A GENTLE CREATURE (2017)

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A GENTLE CREATURE | Dir. Sergei Loznitsa | 2017 | 143 min
Presented in Russian with English subtitles.

Master director Sergei Loznitsa’s timely A Gentle Creature digs deep into the Russian countryside and presents a unique view of the country’s penal system. Loosely inspired from a Dostoevsky short story, A Gentle Creature depicts an unnamed woman’s (Vasilina Makovtseva) attempt at visiting her husband in prison. One day, the woman receives a package that she sent to her imprisoned husband marked ‘return to sender’. She is surprised and confused by this so she heads to the prison to find out what happened. However, she soon discovers that getting an answer is not an easy task nor is finding out where her husband is. Her quest to find the facts becomes a Kafkaesque journey through a Russian society where finding the truth is elusive. Each step in finding an answer takes her further into the underbelly of a place where fact, fiction and fantasy are all indistinguishable. 

A Gentle Creature is only Loznitsa’s third fictional feature after My Joy and In the Fog although he has directed more than a dozen documentary features and shorts such as MaidanThe Event. In A Gentle Creature, he brings that sharp documentary eye in depicting the details of a prison system while he smartly embraces fiction, satire and even opera in crafting the film. The end result is a film that is essential viewing for our contemporary times!

Awards
Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2017 - Nominated (Asia Pacific Screen Award, Best Film | Marianne Slot, Valentina Mikhalyova, Galina Sementsova, Lev Karakhan, Gunnar Dedio, Uljana Kim, Peter Warnier, Serge Lavrenyuk, Marc van Warmerdam)
Cannes Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (Palme d'Or | Sergei Loznitsa)
Munich Film Festival 2017 - Nominated (ARRI/OSRAM Award, Best International Film | Sergei Loznitsa)

A Gentle Creature is the fourth title in our CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA series.

THE PARALLAX VIEW (1974)

THE PARALLAX VIEW (1974)

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THE PARALLAX VIEW | Dir. Alan J. Pakula | 1971 | 102 min

Investigative reporter Joe Frady (Warren Beatty) discovers that the assassination of a US senator wasn’t an isolated incident. His investigation leads him to suspect the Parallax Corporation was involved and Frady soon finds himself in a larger than life conspiracy.

The Parallax View is the second “Willis” film that forms our Spotlight Series on American cinematographers Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler. To learn more about this series, read our Whitepaper written by Cinematheque Board Member and Programmer Felicia Glatz:

EXCERPT: “Gordon Willis carefully dissects the screen, relegating action to miniscule but sterilely lit portions of his frame. These highly dichotomous compositions lead us to the most literal and significant interpretations, something he has mastered and recurrently exercises for maximal impact. Joseph Frady (Warren Beatty) a journalist on the run divulges classified and dangerous information to his editor Bill Rintels (Hume Cronyn) in his tiny glass office, a vivarium floating in a dark newspaper room. Frady, who has penetrated an elite assassin’s recruitment facility, follows them into the shadows where they carry out their orders robotically. Their world is opaque and all consuming; likewise, Willis’s darkness gradually strangles the light into submission. The second of three collaborations between himself and Alan J Pakula, The Parallax View (1974) synthesizes the most politically subversive themes with finely tuned formal delivery. A collective suspicion stemming from the highly investigated and even more so theorized JFK assassination, humors Pakula’s critique of a lone patsy narrative.”

- To read the whole White Paper click HERE.

 

Awards
Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival 1975 - Won (Critics Award | Alan J. Pakula)
Edgar Allan Poe Awards 1975 - Nominated (Edgar, Best Motion Picture | David Giler, Lorenzo Semple Jr.)
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1975 - Won (NSFC Award, Best Cinematography | Gordon Willis).
Writers Guild of America, USA 1975 - Nominated (WGA Award (Screen), Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium | David Giler, Lorenzo Semple Jr. )

The Parallax View is the fifth title in our SPOTLIGHT: WILLIS AND WEXLER series.

ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976)

ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN (1976)

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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN | Dir. Alan J. Pakula | 1976 | 138 min

Two Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), research the botched 1972 burglary of the Democratic Party Headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex. With the help of a mysterious source, code-named Deep Throat (Hal Holbrook), the two reporters make a connection between the botched crime and a White House staffer, following the money all the way to the top.

All The President’s Men is the final film that forms our Spotlight Series on American cinematographers Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler. To learn more about this series, read our Whitepaper written by Cinematheque Board Member and Programmer Felicia Glatz:

EXCERPT: “In 1976, Gordon Willis and Alan J. Pakula tackled the story of Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, two Washington Post journalists responsible for breaking news of the Watergate scandal. A mix of newsreels, newspaper headlines, and pre-recorded voice-over cumulate as the two reporters dig deeper and deeper into Nixon’s conflicting presidential campaign. Themes formalize into visual flares, illuminating scenes and sentiments of our main characters. A dim parking garage quickly becomes a busy and sterile newsroom as “Deep throat’s” clues make their way into the light of day; likewise, a spiraling camera emulates the abyss of information as Woodward and Bernstein sift through names in the congressional library. This is Willis’ way of thickening the narrative; a perfect example of his timeless dexterity.”

- To read the whole White Paper click HERE.

 

Awards
Academy Awards, USA 1977 - Won (Oscar, Best Actor in a Supporting Role | Jason Robards, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium | William Goldman, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration | George Jenkins, George Gaines, Best Sound | Arthur Piantadosi, Les Fresholtz, Rick Alexander (as Dick Alexander), James E. Webb), Nominated (Oscar, Best Picture | Walter Coblenz, Best Actress in a Supporting Role | Jane Alexander, Best Director | Alan J. Pakula, Best Film Editing | Robert L. Wolfe)
Golden Globes, USA 1977 - Nominated (Golden Globe, Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Director - Motion Picture | Alan J. Pakula, Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture | Jason Robards, Best Screenplay - Motion Picture | William Goldman)
BAFTA Awards 1977 - Nominated (BAFTA Film Award, Best Actor | Dustin Hoffman, For Marathon Man, Best Cinematography | Gordon Willis, Best Direction | Alan J. Pakula, Best Film, Best Film Editing | Robert L. Wolfe, Best Production Design/Art Direction | George Jenkins, Best Screenplay | William Goldman, Best Sound Track | Milton C. Burrow, James E. Webb, Les Fresholtz, Arthur Piantadosi, Rick Alexander, Best Supporting Actor | Martin Balsam, Best Supporting Actor | Jason Robards)
American Cinema Editors, USA 1977 - Nominated (Eddie, Best Edited Feature Film | Robert L. Wolfe)
Directors Guild of America, USA 1977 - Nominated (DGA Award, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures | Alan J. Pakula)
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 1976 - Won (KCFCC Award, Best Supporting Actor | Jason Robards)
National Board of Review, USA 1976 - Won (NBR Award, Best Film, Best Director | Alan J. Pakula, Best Supporting Actor | Jason Robards)
National Film Preservation Board, USA 2010 - Won (National Film Registry)
National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1977 - Won (NSFC Award, Best Film
Best Supporting Actor | Jason Robards), Nominated (NSFC Award, Best Director | Alan J. Pakula)
New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1977 - Won (NYFCC Award, Best Film, Best Director | Alan J. Pakula, Best Supporting Actor | Jason Robards)
Online Film & Television Association 2017 - Won (OFTA Film Hall of Fame, Motion Picture)
Writers Guild of America, USA 1977 - Won (WGA Award (Screen), Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium | William Goldman)

All the President's Men is the sixth selection in ourSPOTLIGHT: WILLIS AND WEXLER series.

ZAMA (2017)

ZAMA (2017)

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ZAMA | Dir. Lucrecia Martel | 2017 | 115 min
Presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

Lucrecia Martel’s long awaited cinematic return Zama is a feast for the senses. Based on Antonio di Benedetto’s classic 1956 Argentinean book of the same name, Martel has stamped her unique voice on the material and elevated proceedings by packing the film with cinematic and literary references. As a result, Zama brings a fresh insight to the colonial perspective. 

In the late 18th century, Don Diego de Zama (Daniel Giménez Cacho) is an officer of the Spanish crown stationed in a remote South American town. He patiently goes about his daily tasks but his heart is set on a move to a more desired posting. Soon he realizes that in order to get his wish, he must put up with whatever is thrown his way, even if it comes at the cost of personal humiliation. To complicate matters, he slowly starts lusting after a noblewoman Luciana (Lola Dueñas, Broken EmbracesVolver) and that further torments him. Then there is the constant dread of Vicuña Porto, a famed bandit whose appears to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The heat, the lust, the threat of Vicuña Porto all slowly start to unravel Zama to a point where reality, myth and dreams collide. 

Stunningly shot and boasting a hypnotic score, Zama is an immersive cinematic experience unlike any film made in the last few years!

Note: Zama is Martel’s first film since 2008's The Headless Woman, a film that was shown as part of Calgary Cinematheque’s Focus series on “21st Century Cinema of Argentina”.

Awards
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Argentina 2017 - Nominated (Award of the Argentinean Academy, Best Film | Lucrecia Martel, Best Director | Lucrecia Martel, Best Actor | Daniel Giménez Cacho, Best Supporting Actor | Juan Minujín, Best Screenplay, Adaptation | Lucrecia Martel, Best Cinematography | Rui Poças, Best Editing | Karen Harley, Miguel Schverdfinger, Best Art Direction | Renata Pinheiro, Best Costume Design | Julio Suárez, Best Make Up | Marisa Amenta, Alberto Moccia, Best Sound | Guido Berenblum)
Seville European Film Festival 2017 - Won (Special Jury Award | Lucrecia Martel 

Zama is the fifth selection in our CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA series.

JOHANNA D'ARC OF MONGOLIA (1989)

JOHANNA D'ARC OF MONGOLIA (1989)

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JOHANNA D'ARC OF MONGOLIA | Dir. Ulrike Ottinger | 1989 | 165 min

It’s a sumptuously stylized yet ardently observational film that builds its wild contrasts into its plot, about a train ride of legendary proportions aboard the Transsiberian, a virtual Orient Express filled with an exotic collection of international travellers with mysterious backgrounds and fabulous personalities. 

With Sofia Coppola making her return at Cannes with The Beguiled and David Lynch making his own return with Twin Peaks: The Return, the substance of style is in question again. A rare and remarkable film that makes this question its very subject has just started its welcome weeklong run at moma: Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia, by the German director Ulrike Ottinger, from 1989. It’s a sumptuously stylized yet ardently observational film that builds its wild contrasts into its plot, about a train ride of legendary proportions aboard the Transsiberian, a virtual Orient Express filled with an exotic collection of international travellers with mysterious backgrounds and fabulous personalities.

The train is a virtual theatre for their personalities, their idiosyncrasies, and, for that matter, their literal theatricality—the group includes Fanny Ziegfeld (Gillian Scalici), an American Broadway star; three Russian chanteuses, the Kalinka Sisters; and Mickey Katz (Peter Kern), a wealthy heir who’s also a Yiddish theatre star, all of whom enthusiastically display their kicky, kitschy artistry for the pleasure of their fellow-travellers along with their spotlighted, florid manners. The doyenne of the group, Lady Windermere (Delphine Seyrig, in her final film performance), is a polyglot and literary high-society ethnologist; a German woman (Irm Hermann) is a reserved and shy teacher; and Giovanna (Inés Sastre) is a young backpacker in quest of “adventure” whom Lady Windermere befriends and takes under her wing.

And adventure they all get. The overheated, heartily mannered revels aboard the train, alternating between the gourmand Mickey’s grandiose culinary extravagances and the improvised musical soirées, come to a rapid halt, along with the train itself: in Inner Mongolia, a seeming troupe of bandits force the passengers off the train and won’t let it go before taking the women hostage and bringing them to their encampment. The scene of their capture is a small masterwork of cross-cultural bewilderment, as the voyagers look out the window of the train and observe with delight the lines of colorfully costumed locals, riding horses and camels, that emerge above and along the sandy hills until Lady Windermere informs them that the groups appear arrayed rather for battle.

The Mongol warriors who capture them do so gently; they’re under the command of a young woman, Princess Ulan Iga (Xu Re Huar), who—as Lady Windermere, who speaks Mongolian, explains—rigorously observes their culture’s sacred laws of hospitality. In effect, Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia becomes, at that point, an anthropological wonder-theatre, with the Western women of the train getting, in effect, a front-row seat on the domestic, religious, and political ceremonies and practices of the nomadic Mongolians, and then becoming integrated into them.

Already aboard the train, Ottinger proves herself to be a director with an enchanted sense of composition. Filming lavish meals in a fancy dining car or Katz and the Kalinka Sisters in a klezmer romp, Lady Windermere in a fanciful peroration or a bread peddler at a station stop, Ottinger has an unrestrainedly lyrical sense of composition that blends lucidly analytical observation with a sugar-spangled touch of wonder, and that sensibility is put to an all the more severe test and an all the more spectacular—and intellectual—use during the travellers’ enforced stay in Mongolia. With a discerning, rapturous curiosity, Ottinger films a formalized reconciliation between two warring tribes, the slaughter of a lamb (accompanied by a remarkable chant by a dozen red-robed women), the celebratory performance of a song by an elderly singer accompanying himself on a single-stringed bowed instrument, the fording of a stream by a troupe of riders on horseback or camels, the construction of a yurt for summertime residence, the lighting of grand night fires, and the driving of herds across the plains.

She catches faces and gestures, clothing and accoutrements, tones of voice and the routines and gestures of work and pageantry alike—as well as mysteries and incomprehensions, dangers and uncertainties. The teacher puts herself at mortal risk by hanging laundry on a clothesline; Giovanna catches the eye of the princess, who befriends her and then invites her to share her yurt. There’s a muffled element of rueful comedy in the dramatic setup—as if viewers themselves would need to be held captive in order to spend an hour or so observing the lives of Mongolian herders.

There’s an element of reserve in Ottinger’s approach to the characters; she’s a respectful outsider, and her observations are impressionistic, not intimate. She films, along with the styles and manners of Mongolian society, the strong but imprecise influence that exposure to Mongolian culture has upon the Western women forced to observe it and participate in it. Her approach to their experiences is similarly fragmentary—full in its approach to detail but dramatically gappy and fitful. Ottinger’s art is more deeply stylistic and intellectual than it is dramatic. The dramatic organization of a movie is essentially mathematical; the stylistic tone is essentially poetic. The difference is that the former can be learned or imposed, whereas the inventions of style are personal, spontaneous, inimitable, and unteachable. Form can be mastered; style is what one either has or doesn’t. Style is a crucial part of personality, of personhood, of character—but “Johanna d’Arc” suggests that, like personal identity itself, it doesn’t emerge in isolation but is informed by culture, beliefs, heritage, landscape, a grand social realm that each person involuntarily represents and transforms. Ottinger seeks, through style, the deep background from which it arises, and finds a superb, simple cinematic correlate for that idea. For all its outwardly probing observation and decorative delights, the movie concludes with an abstract touch that’s as breathtaking as any of its sights and sounds. Written by Richard Brody for The New Yorker Magazine

Awards
Berlin International Film Festival 1989 - Nominated (Golden Berlin Bear | Ulrike Ottinger)

Johanna D'Arc of Mongolia is the closing selection for the 2017/2018 Season, and is included in our FOCUS: LANDSCAPES series.

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