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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

This week at SFC: Claire Tancons + Carnaval da Vitória

Building 7
Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road
Port of Spain

Thursday February 11, 2010

Free for all!

8:00pm, doors open 7:30pm


Lecture by Claire Tancons

Since discovering Carnival in Trinidad in 2005, Guadeloupe-born, US-based curator Claire Tancons has been focusing on Carnival as an object of art historical inquiry and curatorial experimentation.
In her writings, Tancons has been arguing for the recognition of New World Carnival, Trinidad's Mas' in particular, as a modern, urban art form, possibly the Americas' true, undiscovered Modern Art.
In her curatorial projects (7th Gwangju Biennial and 2nd Cape Town Biennial), she has promoted the procession as a curatorial format for the presentation of Carnival and performance arts.
She is relentlessly asking the question: why is the art world celebrating performance art while failing to acknowledge Carnival? Can Carnival compare with Relational Aesthetics in which the audience is envisioned as a community and the artwork as a space of encounter whose meaning is produced collectively?

Tancons will share elements of response and invite the public's own in her presentation of Carnival: Another Relational Aesthetics? She will put an emphasis on her work with Trinidadian artist Marlon Griffith and Trinidad-born US-based artist Karyn Olivier, as well as on her ongoing dialogue with the Callaloo Company and a host of other interlocutors in Trinidad.

Carnaval da Vitória (António Ole/Angola/1978/40")

António Ole from 1978 about the inauguration of Angola's Victory Carnival by Agostino Neto, the country's first president. Carnaval da Vitória is a riveting account of the recovery of popular carnival traditions following the travesty of the colonial carnival. António Ole is one of Angola's leading contemporary artist. A multimedia artist whose works spans painting,sculpture, mixed media, photography, video and film, António Ole realized many documentaries on Angolan life and society in the immediate post-independence period. He graduated from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles while simultaneously directing the programs of the National Television Network of Angola and later gained a diploma from the Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies at UC Berkeley.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

This week at SFC: I'm Not There

Building 7
Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road
Port of Spain

Thursday January 7th 2010

Free for all!

film 8:15pm, doors open 7:30pm

I'm Not There (Todd Haynes/USA/2007/135')

Unapologetically audacious, I'm Not There is more post-modern puzzle than by-the-numbers biopic. A title card sets the scene: "Inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan." Yet the film features no figure by that name. Instead, writer/director Todd Haynes presents six characters, each incarnating different stages in the artist's career. Perfume's Ben Whishaw, a black-clad poet, serves as a slippery sort of narrator. The action begins with the wanderings of an 11-year-old runaway named "Woody Guthrie" (Marcus Carl Franklin)--his raucous duet with Richie Havens on "Tombstone Blues" is a highlight--and ends with a silver-haired Billy the Kid (Richard Gere) watching the Old West die before his eyes. In the interim, there's the folk singer-turned-preacher (Christian Bale), the actor (Heath Ledger), and the rock star (Cate Blanchett, who has Don't Look Back Dylan down to a science). The chronology is purposefully non-linear, and editor Jay Rabinowitz cuts rapidly, Jean-Luc Godard-style, between cinéma vérité black-and-white and saturated color, Richard Lester-like slapstick and Fellini-inspired surrealism (Ed Lachman served as cinematographer).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This week at SFC: Why Jamaicans Run so Fast + Wizard of Oz

Building 7
Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road
Port of Spain

Thursday December 17th

Free for all!

first film 8:15pm, doors open 7:30pm

This week is our Christmas selection. Firstly a great new documentary out of Jamaica about their outstanding Olympic athletes.
Special thanks to the filmmakers for allowing us to screen their film in Trinidad.
Secondly the newly remastered 'The Wizard of Oz' on 'blu ray'. See this strange and mesmerising work of genius like you never have before...

Why Do Jamaicans Run So Fast (MIQUEL GALOFRÉ/Jamaica/2009/53')

Filming months before the Olympics and continuing the journey from Beijing and back, the 53 minute documentary is the only non-American film nominated at this year’s American Black Film Festival where it won best documentary.
Producer Garcia-Guereta strives to find the answer to Jamaican athletes’ speed in the film and in the process, beautifully captures the spirit and zeal of Jamaicans. Garcia-Guereta said he fell in love with Jamaica at the tender age of 15 when he heard reggae legend Bob Marley for the first time. His love for his second home and its people drove him to document one of the nation’s greatest achievements – a record 13 Olympic medals, including six golds.
After making an overseas call to director Miquel Galofré, the two followed the sport from July of last year with the National Trials, through to the Olympics while in Jamaica and awaiting the athletes as they returned to the Norman Manley International Airport.
As the athletes wowed audiences each week, the two filmmakers hit the streets, capturing the reaction of the public and interviewing a wide array of persons, including Yendi Phillipps, Lisa Hannah, Big Youth, Etana, Vybz Kartel, LA Lewis, Asafa Powell, Usain Bolt and his family, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Melaine Walker and her family, Shericka Williams, as well as Bruce James and Glen Mills.
“Everybody is asking why Jamaica, as such a little country and reach so far, unlike America where they have their big stadiums and fancy doctors,” he said. “But I think the main answer is from school competitions. We looked at how the athletes started running, how difficult it was for them and how some had to walk to training each day to try to make it into a big track star. How strong the culture in schools is and the competition among students of who is better than who and the readiness to compete.”

THE WIZARD OF OZ (Victor Fleming/USA/1939/101')

You don't have to be gay to love "The Wizard of Oz," but a belief in the power of Judy Garland certainly helps when it comes to maximizing your pleasure watching this 1939 masterpiece. Directed by Victor Fleming, the film is based on L. Frank Baum's strange 1900 children's novel, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," which was adapted for the screen by Noel Langley, Edgar Allan Woolf, among others. In the film, Dorothy (Judy Garland; the producers originally wanted Shirley Temple for the part) is a twelve year old girl who lives on a farm in Kansas with her devoted guardians, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Dorothy has a constant companion--her little terrier, Toto. But Miss Gulch, the town bully (the brilliant Margaret Hamilton) feels Toto's a nuisance, and would like nothing better than to have the dog put to sleep. Of course, in an effort to save her pet, Dorothy runs away, only to return home during a hurricane; a blown out window knocks her unconscious, and she wakes up in a fantasy-land saturated in colors as thick and oozy as melting butter laced with psychedelics. But it's in that phantasia that Dorothy's real life begins, in that dreams often tell us who we are, or mean to be, long before we're cognizant of either. While Dorothy takes up with the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr), the Tinman (Jack Hailey; Buddy Ebsen was supposed to play the role, but proved to be allergic to the make up) and the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), it's Dorothy's inner journey towards self-discovery that gives the movie its propulsive energy. The only foils on Dorothy's journey down the yellow brick road of life are her self-doubt, the cruelty of older women to younger females, and a deep, dreamless sleep that's brought on when she and her cohorts try to run through a field of scarily vivid poppies. Garland's daughter, Liza Minelli, said that she didn't like watching the film; her mother had to overcome so much in it. And so do we, especially when Garland bruises us with wistful longing when, at the film's start, she sings her signature tune, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Hilton Als 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

This week at SFC: Cracked Actor + Wendy and Lucy

Building 7
Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road
Port of Spain

Thursday December 10th

Free for all!

first film 8:15pm, doors open 7:30pm

Cracked Actor (Alan Yentob/UK/1974/52')

A documentary from the BBC archives about an extraordinary period in David Bowie's evolution. Shot in 1974 and transmitted in January 1975, it follows Bowie in Hollywood as he begins to discard the elaborate costume and make-up of his legendary character Ziggy Stardust and assume a new, more enigmatic role. Rake thin, beautiful and chemically nourished Bowie was arguably at the peak of his creativity - Diamond Dogs into Young Americans. Open and astonishing this is voyerism that is compulsive viewing.

Wendy and Lucy (Kelly Reichardt/USA/2008/80')

If the cinema houses our dreams, what more beautiful, gentle hostess is there than Michelle Williams? Ever since the now twenty-nine year old actress first became known to American audiences while a regular on the television series, "Dawson's Creek" (which also featured the present Mrs. Tom Cruise--Katie Holmes), Williams has always been greater than most of her projects. Her face and manner are reminiscent of actresses from a by-gone era; she's of a piece with movie star Jean Arthur playing a simple shop girl who wanted to change the world in the nineteen-forties, and Barbara Stanwyck insisting we meet John Doe in a post-Depression US. With her soft good looks--her mouth is a wound--Williams didn't really come into her own until Ang Lee cast her against type in 2005's "Brokeback Mountain," which featured her late partner, Heath Ledger. One felt for her during the media's near pornographic dissection of Ledger's last days. Still, Williams triumphed--through her art. In independent filmmaker Kelly Reichardt's 2008 feature, "Wendy and Lucy," the actress gives a performance of such singular intensity that the movie amounts to a near documentary about performance. As Wendy Carroll, a young woman who's down on her luck and trying to get to Alaska to change her life, Wendy's only companion is her dog, Lucy. Broke, her car busted, Wendy ends up in a small town in Oregon where no one knows her name and she tries to steal food to feed her dog--but fails, and is arrested, but not before she's almost assaulted, and brushed off by the only family she has. Has there been a more heart-piercing performance or movie about female despair and poverty since French master Robert Bresson's 1967 study, "Mouchette"? Not in America, certainly, where optimism generally overrides the truth. Hilton Als 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This week at SFC: Local Noir + Bresson's The Devil, Probably

Building 7
Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road
Port of Spain

Thursday November 26th

Free for all!

first film 8:15pm, doors open 7:30pm

Robert Bresson's penultimate feature The Devil,Probably preceded by a new short film by the Trinidadian
director Ryan C. Khan; the noir fantasy Minutes to MidNite

"For myself, there is something which makes suicide possible-not even possible but absolutely necessary: it is the vision of the void, the feeling of void which is impossible to bear."
Robert Bresson

SFC have previously screened the following Bresson films: L'Argent,A Man Escapes,Pickpocket,Au Hasard Balthazur

Minutes to MidNite (Ryan C. Khan/Trinidad/2009/21')

actors: Wendell Manwarren, Keron Miguel Yan, Tenielle Newallo
A noir, fantasy crime drama unfolds when ruthless Trinidadian gang member, Snake, kills his leader, Mr. Tiger. Shortly afterwards, Snake receives a message that someone named Anansi Spider is going to "take care of him." Following a near-death experience at the hands of a wicked woman, Snake receives a call from Anansi Spider, warning him that his life is in danger. Snake grapples with whether or not to trust this mysterious man, and, ultimately, makes a deadly decision.

The Devil,Probably (Robert Bresson/France/1977/93')

Charles (Antoine Monnier) tells us straight off that he means to kill himself because the world is too foul a place. He can't change it, and can't find happiness in it, so, why be a part of the cesspool most people call iving? Beautiful, grim-faced, thin, Charles is a contemporary-looking guy, but he has the soul of a deep reader of Robert Burton's seventeenth century classic, "The Anatomy of Melancholy." In his 12th feature film, the then seventy year old director, Robert Bresson, tells a tale of the ennui and horror that faced Europe's post-'68 youth, many of whom felt they had nothing to fight for without the drama of the barricades. In charting Charles' interest in death through his past and by using a brilliant cinematographic palette to do so- check out Bresson's book, the fascinating "Notes on Cinemtography"; in it, he refers to the camera as his pen, and making movies as a way of writing--the director not only sketches a portrait of the bourgeois world that created Charles, but the children of apathetic rebellion. "The Devil, Probably," is a movie about the
rock n' roll spirit that can't find a stage. Using non-actors as "models," Bresson, the master of mise en scene, shows us the truth in every day behaviour, dashed dreams, and children who leave home in search of something like parenting, if not hope. Hilton Als,2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This week at SFC: Ai No Corrida

Building 7
Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road
Port of Spain

Thursday November 19th

doors open 7:30
First film starts at 8:00pm

Free! for all

Oshima's AI NO CORRIDA (In the Realm of the Senses)in a staggering new blu ray edition...
+ Jorgen Leth on Haiti's great painters

Dreamers (Jorgen Leth/Haiti/2002/58')

A celebration of Haitian painters reflecting inexhaustible creativity and optimism. Dreamers, mystics, and storytellers where spiritual forces play an active role in every day life.
The film features the artists of Haiti, exploring their talent, creativity, motivation, imagination and optimism. Andre Pierre, Rigaud Benoit, Wilson Bigaud, Felipe August Salnave, Preffet Duffault, Fortune Gerard, Prosper, Antilhomme, Philome Obin, Jasmin Joseph, and Louise St. Fleurant are interviewed. These artists speak of that which motivates them. Leth presents them as dreamers, mystics and storytellers who live in a country where spiritual forces play an active role in their everyday lives.
Andre Pierre is moved by his strong belief in Voodoo. He relates everything to the Voodo loas which inspire him and which rule his world. For Jasmin Joseph it is his imagination and the "friends" in his mind. Gerard speaks of nights when he cannot sleep and then Jesus speaks to him and encourages him to paint. Leth captures the essence of these famous artists as they relate their personal stories in their own surroundings.

Ai No Corrida (Nagisa Oshima/Japan/1976/108')

Fleshy, voluptuous horror and intrigue are just two of the sensations
that go into making the carnal-themed "Ai No Corrida" (released in the
US as "In the Realm of the Senses") a great and seminal post-war
Japanese film. First screened in 1976, the masterful director, Nagisa
Oshima, avoided having his masterwork completely banned in his native
country by partially bankrolling it through a French production
company. So doing, the Kyoto-born artist gave himself the freedom to
explore the self-reflexive nature of all desire, and the deep rivers
of narcissism that flood us when we let sexuality and power define us,
utterly. Based on the real-life story of Sade Abe (brilliantly
portrayed by Eiko Matsuda), a former prostitute who falls in love with
with Kichizo Ishida (the strong Tatsuya Fuji), the owner of a hotel
were Abe works as a cleaner, the actors go further than most other
performers---including Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in Bernardo
Bertolluci's 1973 classic, "Last Tango in Paris"--in telling us
something about the nature of being observed while revealing and not
revealing the self through largely improvised sexual acts. Combining
art and pornography, Oshima also provides us with a bird's eye view
into the beauty and hypocrisy of pre-World War II Japan, where Fascism
was slowly becoming ingrained into a very regimented way of life.
Hilton Als 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This week at SFC: trinidad + tobago film festival






Thursday September 24th

8:15 pm doors open 7:30


As partners in the T&T Film Festival 2009 studiofilmclub is proud to be presenting three films from the UK by filmmakers of Caribbean origin

MELVIN:PORTRAIT OF A PLAYER (Laurence Cole/UK/2003/15')
Melvin is God’s gift to women. Unfortunately, he’s the only one who thinks so. To everyone else Melvin is a scoundrel, a serial cheater with a cash flow problem. Unexpectedly his childhood sweetheart comes back on the scene, but will Melvin remain faithful to her and end his roguish ways? Completely improvised, made in a mock documentary style—the film is essentially a series of short interviews—and shot in grainy black and white. It is fresh, fast, and full of raucous humour.

FOREVER [HASTA SIEMPRE] (Ishmahil Blagrove/UK/2005/84')
To some people Cuba is a poor, oppressive, totalitarian state. For others it is a country that, despite crippling US economic sanctions, is able to provide for all of its citizens and remain a bastion against US imperialism and the ills of capitalism. But what is Cuba really like? This film looks inside the island nation to see what life is like for ordinary Cubans. Through revealing interviews with a wide cross-section of Cubans a portrait of a country emerges, one in which pride in the revolution and its successes remains strong, yet discontent over a number of issues—racism, censorship, travel restrictions, even the lack of political choice—exists. Recent changes, especially the opening up of the island to tourism, are considered and the increasingly pressing question is posed: After Fidel, what?

AFRO-SAXONS (Mark Currie+Rachel Wang/UK/2008/84')

Afro-Saxons isn’t about the British West Indian post-colonial elite who had internalised the values of their erstwhile masters (Lloyd Best had introduced the term Afro-Saxons to describe just this group of people). Rather, this is a fascinating look at the world of African-Caribbean women’s hairstyling in the United Kingdom. Afro-Saxons takes us through this competitive and ego-fuelled business, following a group of hairstylists vying for top honours in the prestigious Black Beauty & Hair Awards. Angela, the braiding queen; Wayne, a rising star; the formidable (and Thai) husband and wife team of George and Apple; and Michael, a Birmingham stylist all are looking to challenge the London elite. Feel-good and fun, Afro-Saxons is full of warm, observational humour—not to mention mind-blowing, gravity-defying hairstyles.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This week at SFC: trinidad + tobago film festival






For more info about the Film Festival, click here

STUDIOFILMCLUB is very proud to have Hilton Als select this years program for our part of the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival 2009.
Hilton is an author and staff writer for the New Yorker and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.
He has been actively involved with SFC since agreeing to choose films for the festival - writing syopsis's and his conversations have suggested film after film for screening...
For the festival Hilton has entitled his three night selection THREE WOMEN - and it starts off withwith Robert Altman's classic 3 Women.

Three Women

In 1977, the late Texas-born director, Robert Altman (1925-2006) had a dream. It involved three women living in a desert resort community, somewhere in California. The next morning, with the help of the screenwriter, Pat Resnick, Altman began sketching his film, which remains his most personal, and among the more disturbing produced during Hollywood's late to mid-seventies golden age. Starring three performers from Texas--Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Janice Rule--"3 Women," is as much about the double-self as Ingmar Bergman's brilliant, "Persona," but with the cock-eyed charm of a M-G-M comedy starring Zasu Pitts. While Janice Rule paints enigmatic murals in a rundown apartment house for singles, Duvall-as-Millie-Lamorroreaux'
s new roommate, Pinky Rose (Spacek) starts to assume aspects of Millie's personality, including her awkwardness, and penchant for sleeping with Rule's husband. For her astonishing work--she improvised a great many of her monologues--Shelley Duvall won the Best Actress award at Cannes, while Spacek collected a Best Supporting Actress honor from the New York Film Critics.

3 WOMEN Wednesday 16th September 8:15 pm

Directed by Robert Altman

Starring Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Janice Rule

Running time: approximately 125 minutes
Color film

Robert Altman is generally regarded as one of America's great directors. By the time of his death, he had made over forty feature length films, including the seminal MASH (1970), "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971) and
"Nashville" (1975). His work was distinctive in its use of overlapping, naturalistic dialogue, and for its criticism of America's status quo. He was awarded an honorary Oscar before his death in 2006

Thursday 17th September 8:15pm

Two Women: Sort Of

The filmmaker Leslie Thornton's "Peggy and Fred in Hell," is a process-oriented work that combines archival footage, and images Thornton's shot and arranged herself, on both film and video, from 1984 to 2009. In the early nineteen-eighties, the artist began filming two children she met in Providence, Rhode Island. In short order they became the focus of her project--to show the last two beings, a pre-adolescent brother and sister, on earth. Inundated by media and natural devastation, Peggy and Fred traverse a post-apocalyptic universe where they can only reflect one another, and the ruin of the world. (Part of the story Thornton means to tell here through metaphor is her own history of duality. How to resolve the image of her father, a gentle man, with the fact that he was a scientist who worked on developing the Atom bomb?) Combining bright lights, pictures and sound from television, as well as pre-sound images from documentary nature films, Thornton's extraordinary document is a near hallucinatory blend of "real" shots and manufactured scenes, or fiction. Taken together, they challenge our notion of what's true and what's false, what defines a boy and a girl, and how to cope in a world that won't let us alone even as it disappears right before our very eyes.

Peggy and Fred in Hell
Directed by Leslie Thornton

Running time: 90 minutes
Color and black and white

Leslie Thornton was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in 1951. She is a professor in the Modern Culture and Media Department at Brown University. Her other films include "Let Me Count The Ways..10...9...8...7," which was selected for inclusion in the 2008 Whitney Biennial.

Kalup Linzy

The performance artist and filmmaker Kalup Linzy generally performs in drag, but he's a post-camp artist. While his videos--a take-off on the soap operas he watched as a child--have arch elements, Linzy is sincere in his appreciation of story-telling, pathos, and suspense. But the world seen in long-running television shows like "The Guiding Light," and "The Young and The Restless," are almost all-white, upwardly mobile, or both. Linzy rejects this notion, and makes poor or lower middle-class Southern-based black women the focus of his short, trenchant videos. Following no particular order, Linzy's soap operas track the inhabitants of a small Southern town who need a ride to the club, or disagree with someone's object choice. It's Faulkner by way of Tyler Perry. Crudely dubbed--one troubled character asks, "Is God throwing shade?"--Linzy speaks all his characters lines, both men and women, black and white, the better to maintain control over his fictionalized world filled with real humor and feelings.

Kalup Linzy was born in Clermont, Florida, in 1977. A graduate of the MFA program at the University of South Florida, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007.

One Woman

In 1997, Kara Walker won the MacArthur "genius" award--one of the youngest artists to be so honored. This was for her body of work, which centers on race, and the powerful psychological projections that are attached to stereotypes. From the start of her career, Walker has used the antiquated silhouette form to address slavery, and it's resulting confusion: "carpet-bagging," "freedom," miscegenation. It was only a matter of time before the artist made the next step--by having her sweeping still narratives move. In 2004, Walker directed her first film, "Testimony: Narrative of a Negress Burdened by Good Intentions"--a film that gains in narrative power through its chronological confusion. Things happen, but when? While a Walker film is rooted in the history of slavery--we recognize the plantation, the masters and the slaves--we see it through a modern lens, informed by our knowledge of D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation," "Mandingo," and other sexed up, vexing conceits. Walker means to incorporate both views in her work--the historical and the ahistorical, the trashy and the exalted--while opening the viewer up to another vista altogether: their race-defined, not to say limited, self.

Friday September 18th 8:15pm doors open 7:30

Directed by Kara Walker

Running time: Approximately One Hour
Color and black and white

Kara Walker was born in Stockton, California, in 1969, and partly raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her MFA in Painting/Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2007 Time Magazine named her one of the country's one hundred most influential artists.


Testimony: Narrative of a Negress Burdened by Good Intentions, 2004
DVD video, B & W, silent
8 minutes 49 seconds

8 Possible Beginnings or: The Creation of African-America, a Moving Picture by Kara E. Walker, 2005
DVD Video, B & W, stereo
15 minutes 57 seconds

…calling to me from the angry surface of some grey and threatening sea., 2007
DVD video, Color, silent
9 minutes 10 seconds

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands: Six Miles from Springfield on the Franklin Road, 2009
DVD Video, Color, stereo
13 minutes, 22 seconds

National Archives Microfilm Publication M999 Roll 34: Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands: Lucy of Pulaski, 2009
DVD video, Color, stereo
12 minutes, 8 seconds

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This week at SFC:Mister Lonely





Thursday September 10th

All our screenings are FREE ones

We will pay some homage to the King of Pop before and after the feature which starts at 8:30pm

MISTER LONELY (Harmony Korine/UK Ireland France USA/2007/112')

Mister Lonely by A.O. Scott

It’s with some reluctance that I describe "Mister Lonely" by Harmony Korine, as dreamlike. Dreams are often vague, chaotic and dull, and other people’s dreams are notoriously uninteresting. “Mister Lonely” is enigmatic, its moods and meanings sometimes elusive in the way that dreams can be, but nearly every frame is an image of arresting clarity and beauty. And even when it strays beyond the border of sense, you can’t help accepting its logic and its truth, much as you do when your unconscious spools pictures in your sleep.

Mr. Korine’s previous films — he directed "Gummo" and “Julien Donkey-Boy” after writing the screenplay for Larry Clark's "Kids" — were nightmares, harsh and provocative and hard to shake. In defending “Julien Donkey-Boy” from the scorn of other critics, Roger Ebert once remarked that Mr. Korine had “the soul of a real filmmaker,” a judgment that “Mister Lonely,” arriving nearly 10 years later, decisively confirms. In richly colored, wide-frame compositions that seem at once utterly natural and unspeakably strange, Mr. Korine seems to conjure a strange, haunted world. Or maybe, stranger still, he has uncovered a reality hidden in plain sight on the surface of everyday life.

The geography of “Mister Lonely,” which was filmed in Paris, Scotland and Panama, is divided into two distinct zones. In one, an exuberant priest (Werner Herzog, speaking of cinematic visionaries) supervises an order of nuns somewhere in the jungle and flies over remote settlements dropping food from a small plane. On one such mission a nun discovers she can fly, a professed miracle that may have more to do with the power of film than with the presence of God.

Meanwhile — elsewhere? in another dimension? — a Michael Jackson impersonator (Diego Luna) meets a Marilyn Monroe impersonator (Samantha Morton) who tells him of a commune in the Scottish Highlands where people like them can live without shame or self-consciousness. She describes her own family in the careful language of identity politics: a husband (Denis Lavant) who “lives as Charlie Chaplin” and a young daughter (Esme Creed-Miles) who “lives as Shirley Temple.”

What this means turns out to be a bit puzzling once Michael follows Marilyn home. There, he finds a pope (James Fox), a Queen Elizabeth II (Anita Pallenberg), a Sammy Davis Jr. (Jason Pennycooke) and a notably foul-mouthed Abraham Lincoln (Richard Strange), among others, who tend sheep and think about putting on a big show.

Whether “living as” famous people extends beyond dressing like them is hard to say, and in any case this odd, utopian experiment is soon undermined by jealousy, livestock disease and worse. An undercurrent of persistent pain, suggested in the title, blossoms in the last part of the film, as its low-key whimsy swerves surprisingly and not quite effectively into melodrama.

Though Mr. Luna and especially Ms. Morton play their roles without cuteness or camp, the story does not quite cohere, and perhaps it isn’t meant to. Mr. Korine, who wrote “Mister Lonely” with his brother Avi, seems to be more interested in the expressive power of pictures than in conventional psychology. And there will most likely be those who find his sensibility frustratingly hermetic, morbidly preoccupied with the poetry of compositions and camera movements and archly detached from the emotional currents of the story.

And yet “Mister Lonely,” self-enclosed though it may be, nonetheless demonstrates that Mr. Korine, who showed his ability to shock and repel in earlier films, also has the power to touch, to unsettle and to charm. This is undoubtedly a small movie, but it’s also more than that: it’s a small, imperfect world.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

This week at SFC:Three TImes






Thursday September 3rd

8:15 pm doors open 7:30 for short films


Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien/Taiwan/2005/120')

Does anyone make more rapturously beautiful films than Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien? Maybe so, but you’d never believe it after seeing this ravishing new triumph about the melancholy play of time and memory. The action is broken into three different love stories, each set in a different era—a 1966 pool hall, a prosperous 1911 brothel, and rocking present-day Taipei—but starring the same lead actors, the impossibly glamorous Shu Qi and Chang Chen. While these stories deliberately echo his earlier works, Hou uses them to chart the transformation of Taiwanese life, love, and the relationship between men and women over the last hundred years. He captures all this with the poetic intensity that has come to define his work—an absolute mastery of space and rhythm and a humane tenderness that suffuses every frame.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This week at SFC:The Crying Game


Thursday August 27th 8:15 pm doors open 7:30 for short films


THE CRYING GAME (Neil Jordan/UK/1992/114')

When "The Crying Game," opened in 1992, independent film was enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Not since the nineteen-seventies had American and British audiences been treated to such a wide variety of movies, all generally slotted for audiences that were interested in diversity--an ideological impulse that has since gone the way of fax machines. But perhaps no psychological drama from that time was as chilling--and ultimately as moving--as screenwriter and director Neil Jordan's heart-wrenching photoplay about people not seeming to be who they are. Set against IRA-generated intrigue and English repression, the second half of Jordan's eighth feature quickly flowers into a powerful dissection of the personality inherent in politics. Don't tell your friends about one actor's "secret." Hilton Als 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This week at SFC:It's All True

Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road

STUDIOFILMCLUB is located in the back studio of building 7.

Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome to ALL.

Thursday August 20th

Start time 8:15 pm - doors open at 7:30 for docu on Orson Welles

This is the story of the aborted production of the young master's 1942 Latin American, three-part film

IT'S ALL TRUE (Bill Khron+Myron Meisel/1993/France USA/85')

The events surrounding the making of "It's All True" aren't mysterious but, like so many chapters in Welles's professional life, they are full of production complications, financial problems and the interference of money men who never see themselves as made of money. Conspiring in the disaster was Welles's own tendency to be high of hand, loving of fun and casual about schedules set by others.

The initial conception of "It's All True": Welles was already planning an anthology film in 1941 when he was approached by Nelson Rockefeller, who was a large stockholder in RKO Pictures (Welles's studio) and the coordinator of the Office of Inter-American Affairs. Rockefeller's idea was for Welles to make an entertainment film to help promote President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy. Up until 1942 it was not certain that the Brazilians would not align with Germany because of their presidents flirtations with fascism. This changed when the Germans torpedoed five Brazilian ships - and when Brazil and America signed a military accord.

It was a busy time for Welles. He was finishing work on "The Magnificent Ambersons" and acting in "Journey Into Fear," which he had supervised though it was being directed by Norman Foster. By chance he had earlier envisioned a short film about a Mexican boy and his bull, "My Friend Bonito," which was to be one of the three segments in the RKO-produced, Government-promoted movie celebrating Latin America. He decided that the second segment would center on the annual carnival in Rio de Janeiro, and that the third would be determined when he arrived in Rio.

In those youthful days, Welles was full of energy and magnificent self-assurance. Yet "It's All True" seems never to have been thought through with any realistic sense of time, place and money. He oversaw the shooting of several sequences of "My Friend Bonito" in Mexico and then, in February 1942, took off for Rio with both Technicolor and black-and-white cameras to photograph the carnival.

That did not go easily, but he did get the idea to use the story of the history of the samba as one of the principal themes of what became the two Brazilian segments. Welles spent close to six months and a great deal of money improvising his way through the film. He delved into the samba world for the episode Carnival in Rio and reportedly spared no expense in his quest for the authentic. Sambista Raul Marques (1913–1991) told how, during the filming of a batucada, the pernada tripping contest turned violent, but the director egged the contestants on and continued shooting until the bitter end. Several participants were injured, and the actor-singer-songwriter Grande Otelo was hospitalized. When people complained of the violence, Welles said, “I’ll pay for everything.”The second segment was to be a re-enactment of the story of four Brazilian fishermen from the northeast who, the year before, had caused a sensation when they sailed their tiny fishing raft across 1,600 miles of open ocean to Rio to seek redress for social ills.

RKO officials quickly panicked about the money Welles was spending in Rio without having a finished script. The carnival material they saw was formless. But they truly hit the ceiling when Welles's interest turned to Rio's favelas (mountainside slums) and blacks in his search for the samba's roots. Poor people, particularly poor black people, did not fit into any good neighbor policy that RKO or the United States State Department wanted to publicize.

The production was halted in midstream by RKO, but Welles persisted in his efforts to finish the film's third segment, "Four Men on a Raft," with a modest budget and primitive equipment. This material, which he shot but never edited, changed hands several times and then was lost. Some of it was destroyed. In 1985, the year Welles died, the surviving material was found in a Paramount vault.

Because there was no screenplay, Richard Wilson, Welles's assistant in Brazil, used letters and memorandums to put together a 22-minute version of "Four Men on a Raft," which was shown at the 1986 Venice Film Festival. That material remains the heart of the new documentary.

The new film also makes use of the remaining Technicolor carnival material and several sequences from "My Friend Bonito," all supplemented by filmed interviews with Welles, both as a young man and in later years; with Wilson, who died of cancer in 1991; with other associates, and with some of the Brazilian members of the project who are still alive.

It's the black-and-white material from "Four Men on a Raft" and "My Friend Bonito" that gives the documentary its importance. There is the initial surprise at the way it recalls the look and style of the great Russian film maker Sergei Eisenstein in his monumental "Que Viva Mexico!" (1930-31), a project almost as cursed as "It's All True." Planned as four distinct stories, with a prologue and an epilogue, "Que Viva Mexico!" was taken away from Eisenstein by his American partners before he could put it together. It was later edited into four separate films that could only hazily suggest what Eisenstein would have done.

Yet the Eisenstein material was preserved and, if not honored, it was at least used. Welles's material was casually trashed.

Both "Four Men on a Raft" and "My Friend Bonito" have the gloriously liquid look of the heavily filtered, black-and-white photography favored in the 1930's to ennoble peasants and other common folk. It's corny and possibly condescending, but it still works. Glauber Rocha, a leading talent in Brazil's own Cinema Novo movement, used the same style in his "Barravento" (1961), which is set in the fishing villages of Bahia.

Of special interest is the funeral procession sequence in "Four Men on a Raft," a stunning preview of the even more remarkable sequence that would later open Welles's "Othello."

"It's All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles" might have been even more fascinating if Welles's raw material hadn't been so smoothly edited that it's impossible to tell how sequences were put together, what was saved and what was discarded. Such a film would be unwieldy, if of more scholarly interest.

Though Welles's own "It's All True" remained unfinished, its place in history is firm: if Welles had not undertaken the project, the chances are that his greatest film, "The Magnificent Ambersons," would not have been butchered by the studio while he was flying down in Rio.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

This week at SFC:Ornette Coleman: Made in America





Thursday August 13th

8:15 pm

A film portrait of Ornette Coleman (this summer's MELTDOWN selector) by film artist Shirley Clarke. Hilton Als, who will be SFC's guest selector for the forthcoming T&T Film Festival 2009 has written the synopsis.


Born in New York in 1919, the film artist Shirley Clarke identified far more with blacks than she did other women. ("I couldn't deal with the whole feminist thing," she said once.) Originally trained as a dancer and choreographer, the privileged Clarke eventually realized she had no real talent in either field, so she switched to film, where she made her mark not only in terms of form--her gritty, improvisatonal realism presaged that of John Cassavettes and Andy Warhol--but content: her most astonishing work, still, is devoted to the social and inner lives of blacks. In 1967, Clarke shot "Portrait of Jason," which remains one of the more exceptional explorations of truth and portraiture that we have. Eighteen years later, in 1985, the director put together "Ornette: Made in America." The movie is as much about Coleman's "science fiction," phase of musicianship--he liked lots of electronic bleeps in his music then--as it is a further examination of the forms and themes that always fascinated her--specifically, how to tell the truth in a lie while addressing our collective fiction of being. Using the great jazz artist's evolution as her primary story, "Ornette: Made in America," is also an attempt to visualize sound. So doing, Clarke's film tells us more about Coleman's artistry than a million pages of analysis. For all its visual and sonic excess, though, Clarke's final film is filled with silence--a silence that leaves Coleman's essential mystery intact.
Hilton Als 2009

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

This week at SFC:Klute & A Letter to Jane






Thursday August 6th

Letter to Jane starts 7:30 - Klute 8:30

All our screenings are FREE ones

This weeks synoposis is by Hilton Als who is to be our guest selector for the upcoming T&T Film Festival 2009

Klute (Alan Pakula/USA/1971/114')

Jane Fonda won an Oscar for her portrayal of call girl Bree Daniels in 1971's Klute. Smart but defensive, controlling and lonely, Bree is being hunted by a former client who wants her to disappear--permanently. And Bree's pretty much on her own until a private investigator named John Klute (Donald Sutherland, father of 24's Keifer Sutherland) comes into her life. Klute's a decent man, new to the world of sex and drugs that Bree introduces him to. And while he's ostensibly in search of a killer, Klute's sense of justice becomes clouded by his eventual love for Bree, the ultimate femme fatale--and actress. With this film, Jane Fonda cast off her iconic Barbarella status and became the personification of the modern woman. Her famous Klute haircut is still a powerful fashion statement--and inspiration.
Hilton Als 2009

A Letter to Jane (Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin/France/1972/52')

In 1972, after filming "Tout Va Bien" (Everything's All Right) starring Jane Fonda and Yves Montand, the brilliant French flmmaker, Jean-Luc Godard, and his then frequent collaborator, Jean-Pierre Gorin, came across a photograph of Jane Fonda in a magazine. It showed the activst actress in conversation wth some North Vietnamese. Annoyed by Fonda's celebrity and her politics, the two filmmakers--who more or less constituted Dziga Vertov, the filmmaking collective named after the Russan avant-garde filmmaker--produced a movie they originally titled, "Inquiry Into A Still." The "action" of the hour long "Letter to Jane," ends up being Godard and Gorin's voice over narration, wherein the unseen authors produce a scathing film-essay about the nature of celebrity, liberalism, and looking, while indirectly revealing their own complicated, and sometimes thwarted, view of women.
Hilton Als 2009

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The films of StudioFilmClub

StudioFilmClub opened its doors on Thursday, February 13, 2003 with a screening of Perry Henzell's The Harder They Come (1972). To date almost 250 films have been shown. One film has been screened twice, Pedro Almodovar's All About My Mother (1999), which was voted the most popular film shown at StudioFilmClub by its patrons.

The Films of StudioFilmClub
(In chronological order, to Thursday 6 August, 2009)

1. The Harder They Come (Perry Henzell, 1972, Jamaica, 100')
2. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch, 1999, USA, 116')
3. The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda, 2000, France, 82')
4. Le Mepris (Jean Luc Godard, 1963, France, 103')
5. Dog Town and Z-Boys (Stacy Peralta, 2001, USA, 91')
6. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1951, Japan, 88')
7. Reggae (Horace Ove, 1970, UK, 60')
8. King Carnival (Horace Ove, 1972, UK, 40')
9. A Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997, Iran, 95')
10. Black Orpheus (Marcel Camus, 1959, France, 107')
11. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986, USA, 120')
12. Rockers (Theodoros Bafaloukos, 1979, Jamaica, 100')
13. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000, Japan, 98')
14. All About My Mother (Pedro Amoldovar, 1999, Spain/France, 101')
15. London (Patrick Keiller, 1994, UK, 85')
16. Gentlemen (Nick Relph & Oliver Payne, 2003, UK/USA, 25')
17. All Around Her the Noise Echoes Her Footsteps (Mario Lewis, 2002, TT, 3')
18. May 1st July 4th (Mario Lewis, 2002, TT, 5')
19. Jules et Jim (Francois Truffaut, 1961, France, 105')
20. East is East ( Damien O'Donnell, 1999, UK, 96')
21. Stepping Razor - Red X Diaries (Nicholas Cambell, 1992, Canada, 103')
22. Talk to Her (Pedro Amoldovar, 2002, Spain, 112')
23. The Importance of Being Morrissey (Tina Flintoff/Ricky Kelehar, 2003, UK, 90')
24. Adaptation (Spike Jonze, 2002, USA, 114')
25. All of Emily (Elspeth Duncan, 2002, TT, 22')
26. Pepe le Moko (Julien Duvivier, 1937, France, 90')
27. That Obscure Object of Desire (Luis Bunuel, 1977, Spain/France, 102')
28. Crossing Over (Christopher Laird, 2000, TT/Ghana, 58')
29. Konimo - Palm Wine Guitar (Christopher Laird, 2000, TT, 36')
30. Solas (Benito Zambrano, 1999, Spain, 101')
31. The Journey of Lesra Martin (Cheryl Foggo, 1999, Canada, 46')
32. Coffy (Jack Hill, 1973, USA, 91')
33. Space is the Place (John Coney, 1974, USA, 85')
34. Quilombo (Carlos Diegues, 1984, Brazil, 114')
35. Kes (Ken Loach, 1969, UK, 110')
36. Bowing for Columbine (Michael Moore, 2002, Canada/Germany/USA, 120')
37. The Magdalene Sisters (Peter Mullan, 2002, UK/Ireland, 119')
38. Xala (Ousmane Sembane, 1974, Senegal, 119')
39. Dancer in the Dark (Lars Von Trier, 2000, Germany/Denmark/France/Finland/UK/Iceland/Norway/Netherlands/Sweden/USA, 140')
40. City of God (Fernando Meirelles, 2002, Brazil, 130')
41. The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen, 1998, USA, 117')
42. Black Stalin (Judith Laird, TT, 30')
43. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973, Germany, 93')
44. Nights of Cabiria (Federico Fellini, 1956, Italy/France, 110')
45. Dance the Calypso (John Barry, 2003, TT, 35')
46. Tango (Carlos Suara, 1998, Spain/Argentina, 115')
47. Der Lauf der Dinge (Fishli & Weiss, 1986/87, Sweden, 30')
48. Mixtape (Payne & Relph, 2002,UK, 23')
49. Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y (Johan Grimponez, 1997, TT, 100')
50. Les Fiances du Pont MacDonald (Agnes Varda, France, 3')
51. Looking for Langston (Isaac Julien, 1989, UK, 40')
52. Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (Mark Lecky, 1999, UK, 15')
53. Les Mistons (Francois Truffaut, 1957, France, 17')
54. The Trinidad Tripoli Steelband (Bud Smith, TT, 1971, 28')
55. The Mirror (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1974, USSR, 108')
56. George and the Bicycle Pump (Asha Lovelace, 2003, Cuba, 13')
57. The Filth and the Fury (Julien Temple, 1999, UK/USA, 2000, 108')
58. Afro Punk (James Spooner, 2002, USA, 73')
59. L'Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960, France, 145')
60. Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959, USA, 120')
61. The Story Beneath the Surface (Jason Riley, 2002, TT, 35')
62. Smile Orange (Trevor D Rhone, 1974, Jamaica, 88')
63. Roots Rock Reggae (Jeremy Marre, 1977, UK/Jamaica/USA, 60')
64. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953, Japan, 136')
65. Pierrot le Fou (Jean Luc Godard, 1965, France, 110')
66. Sex and Lucia (Julio Medem, 2001, Spain/France, 128')
67. Together (Lukas Moodysson, 2000, Denmark/Sweden/Italy, 106')
68. BC (Before Columbus) (Robert Yao Ramesar, 2000, TT, 3')
69. The Saddhu of Couva (Robert Yao Ramesar, 2001, TT, 5')
70. The Gospel According to St Matthew (Pier Paulo Pasolini, 1964, France/Italy, 137')
71. Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jareki, 2003, USA, 107')
72. 101 Reykjavik (Balthasur Kormakur, 2000, Denmark/France/Iceland/Norway, 88')
73. The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1993, Netherlands, 109')
74. Baadasssss Cinema (Isaac Julien, 2002, UK/USA, 60')
75. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976, USA, 113')
76. Amores Perros (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 2000, Mexico, 153')
77. Ratcatcher (Lynne Ramsay, 1999, France/UK, 94')
78. L'Argent (Robert Bresson, 1984,France/Sweden, 85')
79. Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003, USA, 81')
80. Omeros (Isaac Julien, 2003, UK, 20')
81. La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960, France/Italy, 174')
82. Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel (Gandulf Henning, UK/Germany, 2004, 90')
83. Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) (Satyajit Ray, 1955, India, 115')
84. The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973, Spain, 97')
85. Aparijito (The Unvanquished) (Satyajit Ray, 1956, India, 113')
86. Osama (Siddiq Barmack, 2003, Afghanistan/Iran/Japan/Netherlands, 83')
87. Apu Sansar (The World of Apu) (Satyajit Ray, 1959, India, 106')
88. Zatoichi (Takeshi Kitano, 2003, Japan, 116')
89. Dogville (Lars Von Trier, 2004, Germany/Denmark/France/Finland/UK/Netherlands/Norway/Sweden/USA, 177')
90. Kids (Larry Clark, 1995, USA, 91')
91. The Coconut Revolution (Dom Rotheroe, UK, 50')
92. Rocco and His Brothers (Luciano Visconti, Italy/France, 1960, 177')
93. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai, 1994, Hong Kong, 102')
94. Tape (Richard Linklater, 2001, USA, 86')
95. Old Boy (Park Chan-Wook, 2003, Korea, 118')
96. Fahrenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore, 2004, USA, 122')
97. Calypso Dreams (Geoffrey Dunn/Michael Horne, 2003, USA, 85')
98. Music is the Weapon (Stephane Tchal-Gadjieff/Jean Jacques Flori, 1982, France, 53')
99. Jump Up (Rune Hassner, 1966, Sweden, 86')
100. Don't Look Now (Nicholas Roeg, 1973, UK, 110')
101. Elephant (Alan Clarke, 1989, UK, 39')
102. Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969, USA, 94')
103. Agua, L'Eau, Water (Sonja Dumas, 2002, TT, 15')
104. Fog of War (Errol Morris, 2003, USA, 107')
105. A Man Escapes (Robert Bresson, 1956, France, 99')
106. Buena Vista Social Club (Wim Wenders, 1999, Cuba/France/Germany/UK/USA, 105')
107. Maria Full of Grace (Joshua Marston, 2004, Colombia/USA, 101')
108. The Return (Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2003, Russia, 105')
109. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993, USA, 103')
110. Jeffrey's Calypso (Vashti Anderson, 2004, USA/TT, 25')
111. In This World (Michael Winterbottom, 2002, UK, 88')
112. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (Melvin Van Peebles, 1971, USA, 93')
113. Dark Days (Marc Singer, 2000, USA, 90')
114. I Have a Dream (Zak Ove, 2002, USA, 22')
115. Suite Havana (Fernando Perez, 2004, Spain, 84')
116. Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939, France, 100')
117. Bad Education (Pedro Almodovar, 2004, Spain, 109')
118. Salaam Bombay (Mira Nair, 1988, UK/India, 113')
119. Day for Night (Francois Truffaut, 1973, France, 115')
120. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955, USA, 93')
121. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1965, Italy, 117')
122. Muhammad Ali: The Greatest (William Klein, 1964/74, USA, 120')
123. Hana Bi (Takeshi Kitano, 1997, Japan, 103')
124. Rastafari (Herman Lohe, 2004, Sweden, 12')
125. Edward Said: The Last Interview (Mike Dibb, 2004, UK, 205')
126. Fat Girl (Catherine Breillat, 2000, France, 84')
127. Bali - Altar of the Gods (Errol Sitahal, 2003, TT, 26')
128. Idi Amin Dada: A Self Portrait (Barbet Schroeder, France, 1974, 90')
129. Basque Ball (The Skin Against the Stone) (Julio Medem, 2003, Spain, 108')
130. Francis Bacon - Arena (Adam Low, 2005, UK, 96')
131. Black Narcissus (Michael Powell/Emeric Pressberger, 1947, UK, 100')
132. Writers and Places: Shiva Naipaul (Adam Low, 1982, UK, 35')
133. Lolita (Stanley Kubrick, 1962, USA, 152')
134. All About My Mother (Pedro Almodovar, 1999, Spain/France, 101')
135. Exotica (Atom Egoyan, 1995, Canada, 103')
136. Bus 174 (Jose Padhila/Jose Lacerda, 2004, Brazil, 120')
137. Waking Life (Richard Linklater, 2001, USA, 99')
138. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1959, Sweden, 99')
139. Spetters (Paul Verhoeven, 1980, Holland, 127')
140. Central Station (Walter Salles, 1998, Brazil, 113')
141. Gadjo Dilo (Tony Gadlif, 1997, Romania,100')
142. Secretary (Steven Shainberg, 2002, USA, 111')
143. Vera Drake (Mike Leigh, 2004, UK, 125')
144. Derrida (Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering Kofman, 2002, USA, 85')
145. The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949, UK/USA, 104')
146. The Dreamers (Bernardo Bertolluci, France, 2004, 124')
147. The Holy Girl (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina, 2004, 104')
148. The Dream Life of Angels (Elodie Bouchez, 1998, France, 113')
149. The Terrorist (Santosh Sivan, 1998, India, 100')
150. Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956, USA, 99')
151. Belle de Jour (Louis Bunuel, 1967, France/Italy, 101')
152. Bullet Boy (Saul Dibb, 2004, UK, 89')
153. Rues Cases Negres (Euzhan Palcy, 1983, France/Martinique, 103')
154. Palindromes (Todd Solondz, 2004, USA, 100')
155. A Film About Jimi Hendrix (Joe Boyd, 1973, UK, 100')
156. George Washington (David Gordon Green, 2000, USA, 89')
157. Last Days (Gus Van Sant, 2005, USA, 97')
158. Who the Fuck is Pete Doherty? (Greg Rosselli, UK, 2005, 50')
159. 8 Femmes (Francois Ozon, 2002, France/Italy, 111')
160. 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai, 2004, China/Germany/France/Hong Kong, 130')
161. Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring (Kim Ki-Duk, Korea, 2004, 108')
162. Moolade (Ousmane Sembene, Senegal/France, 2004, 120')
163. The Agronomist (Jonathan Demme, 2003, USA, 90')
164. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005, USA, 103')
165. Baldwin's Nigger (Horace Ove, 1969, UK, 45')
166. Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959, France, 75')
167. 3 Iron (Kim Ki-Duk, 2005, Korea, 90’)
168. Mad Hot Ballroom (Marilyn Agrelo, 2005, USA, 105’)
169. Fire (Deepha Mehtra, 1996, India/Canada, 106’)
170. A Dream to Change the World (Horace Ove, 2004, UK/Trinidad)
136. Hyenas (Djibril Diop Mambety, 1992, Senegal,113’)
137. The White Diamond (Werner Herzog, 2005, Germany, 90’)
138. Capote (Bennett Miller, 2006, USA, 114’)
139. DiG! (Ondi Timoner, 2004, USA, 107’)
141. Lucia (Humberto Solas, 1968, Cuba, 160’)
142. La Vida es Silbar (Life is to Whistle) (Fernando Perez, 1998, Cuba, 106’)
143. Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba) (Mikheil Kalatozishvili, 1964, USSR/Cuba, 141’)
144. Le Souffle au Coeur (Murmur of the Heart) (Louis Malle, France, 1971, 158’)
142. The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach, USA, 2005, 81’)
143. Beijing Bicycle (Wang Xiaoshuai, China, 2002, 113’)
144. Badlands (Terence Malick, USA, 1973, 90’)
145. De Battre Mon Coeur s'est Arrêté (The Beat That My Heart Skipped) (Jacques
Audiard, France, 2005, 102’)
146. Block Party (Michael Gondry, 2006, USA,114’)
147. Lady Vengence (Park Chan Wook, Korea, 2005, 117’)
148. Cache (Hidden) (Michael Haneke, Austria, 2005, 118’)
149. Barrel Children (Cara Weir, USA, 2006, 24’)
149. Paris is Burning (Jennie Livingston, USA, 1990, 78’)
150. The Red Shoes (Michael Powell& Emeric Pressburger, UK, 1948, 134’)
151. The Road to Guantanamo (Michael Winterbottom & Mat Whitecross, UK, 2006, 98’)
152. Vers le Sud (Heading South) (Laurent Cantet, France, 2006 108’)
153. The Wind That Shakes the Barley (Ken Loach, UK, 2006, 127’)
154. Mamute Siberiano (The Siberian Mammoth) (Vincente Ferraz, Brazil, 2005, 90’)
155. The Proposition (John Hillcoat, Australia/UK, 2005, 104’)
156. Au Hasard Balthusar (Robert Bresson, France, 1966, 95’)
157. Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges, USA, 1941, 90’)
158. Crna Macka, Beli Mackor (Black Cat, White Cat) (Emir Kusturica,
France/Germany/Yugoslavia, 1998, 127’)
159. Bread & Roses (Ken Loach, UK, 1998, 110’)
160. Suna No Onna (Woman in the Dunes) (Hiroshi Teshigahara, Japan, 1964, 123’)
161. Volver (Pedro Almodovar, Spain, 2006, 121’)
162. Wassup Rockers (Larry Clark, USA, 2006, 111’)
163. The Yacoubian Building (Marwan Hamed, Egypt, 2006, 161’)
164. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, Mexico, 2006, 112’)
165. Ping Pong (Fumihiko Sori, Japan, 2006, 114’)
166. Water (Deepa Mehta, 2006, India, 140’)
167. Up and Dancing: The Magic Stilts of Trinidad & Tobago (Harald Rumpf., 2007,
Trinidad & Tobago/Germany, 51’)
168. Carnival Roots (Peter Chelkowski, 2003, Trinidad & Tobago, USA, 90’)
168. Blue Collar (Paul Schrader, USA, 1978, 114’)
169. Raising Victor Vargas (Peter Sollett, France/USA, 2002, 88’)
170. Grey Gardens (Albert and David Maysles, USA, 1976, 100’)
171. The Passenger (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1975, Spain/Italy/France, 119’)
172. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2006, USA, 135’)
173. Cockfighter (Monte Hellman, USA, 1974, 83')
174. The Wild Blue Yonder: A Science Fiction Fantasy (Werner Herzog,
Germany, 2006, 81’)
175. C.R.A.Z.Y (Jean-Marc Vallee, 2005, Canada, 127’)
176. Junebug (Phil Morrison, USA, 2005, 106’)
177. Etre et Avoir (To Be and To Have) (Nicholas Philibert, France, 2003, 100’)
178. Glastonbury (Julien Temple, 2006, UK, 124’)
179. Coffee and Cigarettes (Jim Jarmusch, USA, 2004, 93’)
180. Two for the Road (Stanley Donen, USA, 1967, 111’) 9/08/2007
181. 24 Hour Party People (Micheal Winterbottom/UK/2002/117') 16/08/2007
182. Round Midnight (Betrand Tavernier/France/1986/133') 23/08/2007
183. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck/Germany/2006/137') 30/08/2007
184. Vagabond (Agnes Varda/France/1985/105') 6/08/2007
185. Choose Me (Alan Rudolph/USA/1984/106') 13/08/2007

BABYLONDON 27 - 29th Sept 2007 (SFC's with Joel Karamath's contribution to T&T Film Festival)
186. A Hole in Babylon (Horace Ove/UK Trinidad/1979/70') 27/09/2007
Playing Away (Horace Ove/UK Trinidad/1986/100') 27/09/2007
The Equalizer (Horace Ove/UK Trindiad/1996/45') 27/09/2007
187. Dread Beat an' Blood (Franco Rosso/UK/1979/45') 28/09/2007
Territories (Isaac Julien/UK - St Lucia/1984/25')28/09/2007
Babylon (Franc Rosso/UK/1970/90') 28/09/2007
188. Cold Dead Hands (Kaz Ove/UK/2006/12') 29/09/07
The West Indian Front Room (Joel Karamath/UK/2006/15') 29/09/2007
Kidulthood (Menhaj Huda/UK/2006/87')

189. Edvard Munch (Peter Watkins/Sweden - Norway/1974/210') 1/11/2007
190. Gates of Heaven (Errol Morris/USA/1978/85') +Scott Walker 30 Century Man (Stephen Kijak/Uk-USA/2006/95') 8/11/2007
191. Fox and his Friends (RW Fassbinder/Germany/1975/123') 15/11/2007
192. Ghosts of the Cite Soleil (Asger Leth/Denmark- USA/2006/86') 22/11/2007
193. The Land of Look Behind (Alan Greenberg/USA-Jamaica/1982/90') + Catch a Fire (Jermey Marre/USA-JA/1999/60') 29/11/2007)
194. Gilda (Charles Vidor/USA/1946/110') 6/12/2007
195. Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg/CAN-UK-USA/2007/100') 27/2/2008
196. Crea Cuervos (Carlos Saura/Spain/1976/107') 6/03/2008
197. Into the Wild (Sean Penn/USA/2007/148') 13/03/2008
198. Last Temptation of Christ (Martin Scorsese/ USA/1988/164') 20/03/2008
199. Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambety/Senegal/1973/85') 27/03/2008
200. In the Mirror of Maya Deren (Martina Kudlacek/Austria/2003/103') + Dancing Dieties (Emily Rose/T&T/ 2007) + Alonestar 'live!' 03/04/2008
201. Wristcutters (Goran Dukic/USA-UK/2007/88') 10/04/2008
202. Lost in La Mancha (Keith Fulton Louis Pepe/UK/2002/93') 24/04/2008
203. Little Voice (Mark Henman/UK/1998/97') 01/05/2008
204. Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet/USA/1975/104')_08/05/2008
205. Dark City (Alex Proyas/AUS-USA/1995/100') 15/05/2008
206. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock/ USA/1954/112') 22/05/2008
207. Lust Caution (Ang Lee/China-USA/2007/148') 04/06/2008
208. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett/USA/1977/80') 12/06/2008
209. Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomas Gutierrez Alea/Cuba/1968/97') 19/06/2008
210. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee/USA/1989/120') + Style Wars (Tony Silver & Henry Chalfant/USA/1983/70') 26/06/2008
211. The Science of Sleep (Michel Gondry/France/2006/105') 09/07/2008
212. PERSEPOLIS (Marjane Satrapi/France/2007/98') 17/07/2008
213. A NOS AMOURS (Maurice Pialat/France/1983/102') + Part 1 WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS (Spike Lee/USA/2006/256') 24/07/2008
214. 'Yeelen' (Souleymane Cissé/Mali/1987/105') + pt 2 WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS (Spike Lee/USA/2006/256') 30/07/2008
215. NEAR DARK (Kathryn Bigelow/usa/1987/94') Part 3 WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE:A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS (Spike Lee/USA/2006/256') 07/08/2008
216. PIXOTE (Hector Babenco/Brazil/1981/123') + final act WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS (Spike Lee/USA/2006/60') 14/08/2008
216. BROADWAY DANNY ROSE (Woody Allen/USA/1984/84') + pt 1 EASY RIDERS RAGING BULLS (Kevin Browser/USA/2003/119') 21/08/2008
217. el violin (francisco vargas/mexico/2006) + pt 2 EASY RIDERS RAGING BULLS (Kevin Browser/USA/2003/119') 28/08/2008
218. How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (Nelson Pereira dos Santos/Brazil/1971/80') + pt 1 Midnight Movies : From the Margins to the Mainstream (Stuart Samuels/USA/2005/45') 04/09/2008
219. THE LAST MISTRESS (Catherine Briellet/France/2007/102') 11/09/2008

220. DEREK (Isaac Julien/UK/2008/76') 18/09/2008
221. PARADISE OMEROS (Isaac Julien/UK/2002/20')
TRUTH NORTH (Isaac Julien/UK/2004/14')
Fantôme Afrique (Isaac Julien/UK/2005/17')
WESTER UNION: Small Boats (Isaac Julien/UK/2006/20')
BALTIMORE (Isaac Julien/UK/2003/20')

222. Let's Get Lost (Bruce Weber/USA/1988/120') + Je Chanterai Pour Toi (Jacques/France/2001/77')
223. Katzelmacher (RW Fassbinder/Germany/1969/88') + I Just Want You to Love Me (Hans Gunther Pflaum/Germany/1992/103')
224. Black and White (James Toback/USA/2000/100') + The Agony And The Ecstasy Of Phil Spector (Vikram Jayanti/UK/2008/100')
225. Ten Canoes (Rolf de Heer&Peter Djigirr/Australia/2006/90')
226. Manda Bala (Jason Kohn/2007/Brazil-USA/85')
227. The Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica/Italy/1948/93') + Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinematheque (Jacques Richard/France/2004/120') PART I
228. MAN on WIRE (James Marsh/UK/2008/90') + Henri Langlois: The Phantom of the Cinematheque (Jacques Richard/France/2004/120') PART 2
229. EXODUS 77 (Anthony Wall/UK/2007/90')
230. CALYPSO DREAMS (Geoffrey Dunn/Michael Horne; T&T/USA; 2008; 90 min.)
231. High and Low (Akira Kurosawa/Japan/1963/143')
232. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (John Schlesinger/USA/1969/113')
233. MY ARCHITECT (Nathaniel Kahn/USA/2003/116')
234. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY (Julien Schnabel/USA-France/2007/112')
235. Carmen & Geoffrey (Linda Atkinson and Nick Doob/2009/USA/80')
236. MY BROTHER TOM (Dom Rotheroe/UK/2001/111') + Stephen Gill TALK
237. Madame Satã (Karim Ainouz/2002/Brazil/103')
238. TYSON (James Toback/USA/2009/90')
239. VAMPYR (Carl Th. Dreyer/Denmark/1932/73')
240. COOL (Anthony Wall/2009/UK/60') + JAZZ BARONESS (Hannah Rothschild/UK/2008/82')
241. LEY THE RIGHT ONE IN (Tomas Alfredson/Sweden/2008/115')
242. BERGMAN ISLAND (Marie Nyrerod/Sweden/2006/83') + ONE MAN BAND (Orson Welles) (???USA/1996/88')
243. KLUTE (Alan Pakula/USA/1971/114') + A LETTER TO JANE (Jean-Luc Godard+Jean-Pierre Gorin/France/1972/52')

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This week at SFC:Bergman Island


Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road

STUDIOFILMCLUB is located in the back studio space of building 7. Last staircase...

Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome
Thursday July 30th

BERGMAN ISLAND (Marie Nyrerod/Sweden/2006/83')

Just four years before his death, legendary filmmaker Ingmar Bergman sat down with Swedish documentarian Marie Nyreröd in his home on Fårö Island to discuss his films, his fears, his regrets, and his ongoing artistic passion. This resulted in the most breathtakingly candid series of interviews that the famously reclusive director ever took part in, later edited into the feature-length film Bergman Island. In-depth, revealing, and packed with choice anecdotes about Bergman’s films, as well as his personal life, Nyreröd’s film is an unforgettable final glimpse of a man who transformed cinema.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This week at SFC: Cool & Jazz Baroness

Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road

STUDIOFILMCLUB is located in the back studio space of building 7. Last staircase...

Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome
Thursday June 11th

Parker Nicholas will be making a presentation of his newest illuminated sculptures. This will be the first of a series of presentations at SFC.

COOL (Anthony Wall/2009/UK/60') 8:00pm

Documentary exploring the meaning and history of cool through the American music of the 1940s and 50s that became known as cool jazz. Those who wrote and played it cultivated an attitude, a style and a language that came to epitomise the meaning of a word that is now so liberally used.

The film tells the story of a movement that started in the bars and clubs of New York and Los Angeles and swept across the world, introducing the key players and setting them in the context of the post-war world.

JAZZ BARONESS (Hannah Rothschild/UK/2008/82') 9pm

Documentary, made by her great niece, about the British Jewish baroness who fell in love with the jazz genius Thelonious Monk.

Pannonica Rothschild was born with everything, got married and had five children, but one track by a man she had never met inspired her to leave and start a new life in America.

Helen Mirren is the voice of 'Nica', while Sonny Rollins, TS Monk Jr, the Duchess of Devonshire, Quincy Jones, Lord Rothschild, Roy Haynes, Chico Hamilton and others appear as themselves.

A love story against all the

The story of a Baroness who fell in love with the musical genius Thelonious Monk.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This week at SFC: Tyson

Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road

We are back and back in our old back space!!!
STUDIOFILMCLUB is located in the back studio space of building 7. Last staircase...

Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome.
Thursday May 28 th
Start time 8:15pm
Doors open 7:30pm

TYSON (James Toback/USA/2009/90')

Love him or hate him, Mike Tyson is inarguably one of popular culture’s most fascinating figures. In this riveting documentary portrait of the controversial boxer, filmmaker and friend James Toback... Love him or hate him, Mike Tyson is inarguably one of popular culture’s most fascinating figures. In this riveting documentary portrait of the controversial boxer, filmmaker and friend James Toback lets Tyson tell his own volatile story. It all started in the Brooklyn neighborhood, where Tyson was picked on and beaten up as a youngster. But when he turned his fear into anger, he realized that his fists had the ferocity to frighten everyone around him. As a teenager, Tyson moved upstate to live with trainer Cus D’Amato, who became the devoted and compassionate father figure he never had. This support helped Tyson develop the strength and focus needed to become a devastating champion inside the ring. But when D’Amato died, something inside Tyson died too.. As Tyson speaks openly about the ups and downs in his tumultuous life alternating between moments of sincere introspection and animalistic rage Toback employs a split-screen approach to further emphasize this. Mixed into this talking-head monologue is striking archival footage that shows Tyson in his prime, when he was one of the most feared and idolized athletes on the planet. TYSON is an appropriately subjective journey into the mind of a massively complicated man.

Hard Knocks by David Denby

The spectacle of a savage fight, however ineptly done or digitally enhanced, brings one back to a climactic moment in James Toback’s documentary “Tyson,” a portrait of a boxer once advertised as “the baddest man on the planet.” It was in November, 1996, that Mike Tyson, then the W.B.A. heavyweight champion, got head-butted by the challenger, Evander Holyfield—a blow that opened a cut over Tyson’s eye and led to a T.K.O. victory for Holyfield. My inexpert view is that the head-butt was accidental. But, seven months later, the men fought again, and Holyfield, the taller of the two, leaned over and head-butted Tyson once more. It all happened very quickly, but this time to me the act looked calculated. Tyson certainly thought so, and famously and disastrously went berserk, biting Holyfield first on one ear and then on the other, losing the match, his boxing license, and three million dollars in fines. Confirming the reputation as a semi-psychotic thug he had earned a few years earlier, with a conviction for rape, Tyson hurled himself farther down a spiral of disgrace from which he has never recovered. He behaved abominably—it was an iconic moment in all the wrong ways. At the time, however, the extreme contempt that many sportswriters and fans poured on him felt a little disingenuous. Professional boxing is defined by an elaborate set of regulations and traditions designed to channel violence into craft, aggression into honor. Tyson, flouting all these protocols and baring his teeth in an act that evoked cannibalism, demonstrated what the sport was really about for him—dominance, pain, and survival. Caught up in his own sense of betrayal (the referees didn’t call a foul against Holyfield in either fight), he inadvertently reminded many people of something that they may not have been eager to admit—that they were drawn to the game in the first place by the spectacle of blood. Movies aestheticize violence; an actual fight brings out the desire to see men destroy each other. Perhaps we moviegoers, relishing violence, occasionally need to see how crazy the real thing can be.
Those who were furious at Tyson will be made even angrier by Toback’s film, for here is a fresh provocation—an attempt to restore to Tyson the human dimensions that have been taken from him (by himself, of course, as well as by others). The movie makes it clear that, for all his snarls and outbursts, he is intelligent, candid, and easily wounded; that he is by turns inordinately proud and inordinately ashamed and, above all, intensely curious about himself, as if his own nature were a mystery that had not yet been solved. Out of shape, his face bizarrely marked by the tentacle-like tattoos of a Maori warrior, Tyson was forty when the movie was shot, two years ago, mostly in the luxurious white living room of a house in Los Angeles that was rented for the occasion. In between footage of his fights, he looks directly into the camera, in tight closeup, or is photographed from the side, also very close, a Cubist approach to portraiture that suggests a complicated man trying to express warring impulses. Some of these contradictions are funny, as when Tyson says that he now wants a strong woman, very strong, a C.E.O. type—“and then I want to dominate her sexually.” Even at bay, he must conquer in all things.
Toback, having known Tyson for years, may have helped him shape his memories into a menacing American fable. Fatherless, his mother an alcoholic, Tyson grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, a fat kid with a high, lisping voice who was an easy mark for vicious older boys. As a kind of revenge, he became a baby gangster who robbed drug dealers. In detention in upstate New York, he passed into the hands of Bobby Stewart, a retired fighter, who sent him, at the age of fourteen, to the great trainer Cus D’Amato. D’Amato both indulged him as a lawless teen and disciplined him as a fighter, and he inculcated in him the D’Amato doctrine, a way of transforming anger into a relentless attack, in which speed and strength—a hail of full-power punches—drive through an opponent’s defenses. As Tyson tells it, his old humiliations fuelled the strategy. Before a fight, he was frightened of losing, but, as he approached the ring, fear would ebb. In the movie’s most powerful sequence, we hear Tyson narrate his fear-management ritual as he climbs into the ring, his pupils darting this way and that, following an opponent’s movements. The death’s-head face he presented to the other fighter—cobra eyes and flattened cheekbones—was a mask designed to intimidate. He bore in, and the men collapsed like stunned cattle, often in the first or second round.

Perhaps Tyson was fortunate to have avoided school and society, inasmuch as his grim early years were the only background that could have produced the inexorable force that he became. What this early life couldn’t do, however, was protect him from the many dangers outside the ring. Without the guidance of D’Amato (who died when Tyson was nineteen), he fell among idolaters and users, and blew tens of millions of dollars, as he admits, on houses, cars, clothes, girls, drugs, parties, every kind of excess, to the point where the man who was once the wealthiest fighter in history winds up beached (literally—Toback photographs him facing the sea), stranded amid debts and visits to rehab clinics. In that long descent, Tyson acted out his sense of worthlessness. If he cannot be king, he will be nothing; the middle, he says, doesn’t suit his temperament. What he offers Toback’s camera now is savagery recollected in tranquillity—the baddest man becalmed into a state of articulate self-awareness. That victory, at least, no one can take away from him.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Just so you know, we're taking a few weeks break to relocate to the back space.
See you then!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This week at SFC: Madame Sata


Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road

STUDIOFILMCLUB is located in the front foyer space of building 7.

Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome to.
Thursday April 9th
Start time 8:15pm

Legendary criminal. Proud homosexual. Cabaret star.Capoeira expert.Passionate lover. Killer. Devoted father of seven adopted children. Saint or devil? Madame Satã.

Madame Satã (Karim Ainouz/2002/Brazil/103')

''I'm a queen by choice,'' the defiant title character of ''Madame Sata'' furiously retorts to a gay-baiting drunk in the dingy Rio de Janiero bar where he has just driven a packed house into a euphoric frenzy with an extravagant drag performance. ''It doesn't make me less of a man.''

It is 1932 in the impoverished bohemian neighborhood Lapa, home to pimps, prostitutes, thieves and misfits of every stripe. And Joao Francisco dos Santos (La¡zaro Ramos), the lean, fiery-eyed street (capioera) fighter and prostitute who transforms himself into Madame Sata, a glittering transvestite singer, storyteller and Brazilian answer to his idol, Josephine Baker, has just begun to feel his show business oats.

His feverish act, driven by the sizzle of samba, is a strutting, writhing celebration of the body during which sweat pours off his rippling torso, and the exotic fantasies he spins in songs and stories match the wildest inventions of Scheherezade. The names of his stage alter egos -- The Negress of the Bulacochac, Jamacy the Queen of the Forest, St. Rita of the Coconut Tree -- names worthy of a Jack Smith fever dream, speak for themselves.

The movie doesn't pretend to be a meticulous biography of the real Francisco, who was born in 1900 to slaves in the wasteland of North Brazil and was sold by his mother at 7. It is a voluptuous, hot-blooded portrait of a social outcast, a black, homosexual criminal who in acting out his gaudiest Hollywood dreams, transcendently reinvented himself. (The stage name Madame Sata was an homage to Cecil B. DeMille's film ''Madame Satan.'')

The film also creates a romantic vision of a bygone urban demimonde with many resemblances to Jean Genet's Parisian underworld. After making his cabaret debut in the early 30's, Francisco rose to become a nightclub legend who never really calmed down. Before his death in 1976 he was imprisoned many times; he spent 27 years behind bars.

Mr. Ramos's incendiary performance burns like a fuse, lighted from deep inside his skin, that explodes with devastating emotional fireworks. When first glimpsed, he is a bedraggled, newly arrested prisoner charged with a crime whose nature isn't revealed until near the end of the film. From here the story drops back nearly a year to show Francisco soaking in stage magic in his job as the dresser and assistant to Vitória (Renata Sorrah), a European cabaret singer whose act he worshipfully pantomimes backstage while she performs it.

We also meet Francisco's unorthodox extended family: Laurita (Marcaclia Cartaxo), a tough, jolly prostitute and sometime partner in crime; her baby (in real life Francisco adopted eight children); and the couple's giggly live-in servant, Taboo, an effeminate male prostitute who sews Madame Sata's gowns.

At home Francisco is the slave-driving master of his decrepit house. With his slicked-back bush of hair pomaded to gleaming perfection, he conveys an imperious macho authority that his androgynous coiffure and plucked eyebrows only enhance. Francisco is also a practiced street fighter with highly developed martial arts skills who when affronted is quick to wield a razor or aim a gun.

When Francisco meets Renatinho (Felipe Marques), the handsome petty thief who becomes his lover and whom he fawningly calls his ''Indian prince,'' he pursues him into a restroom and the two glare at each other eye to eye like cowboys girding for a final showdown. Once they're out on the street, Renatinho begs Francisco to teach him how to fight. And their sex, a rapacious, lightning-fast duel of jabs and parries, is charged with violence. Their explosive passion does not generate trust. No sooner have they finished making love than Renatinho, true to his profession, steals money from Francisco, who angrily catches him in the act.

''Madame Sata,'' the formidable first feature film of Karim Ainouz, is told as a series of impressionistic flashes into the heart of this flaming creature and his world of proud, nocturnal parasites. Life in Lapa is lived to the full and lived for the moment, and its dizzying highs are as ferocious as its spasms of violence. After Francisco and Taboo run a scam in which Francisco robs a mark, and a panicked Taboo bursts in to announce a phony police raid that sends the client running, the two collapse in mad, hysterical laughter.

Francisco cannot tolerate rejection. When he and his household are refused entry to a nightclub for being lowlifes, he flies into a rage and starts a brawl. He confides to Laurita that he feels increasingly consumed by a rage he can't explain. Performing turns out to be a powerful antidote to that anger. And after his initial triumph he declares that for the first time in his life, he is truly happy.

Filmed in rich high contrast that turns the streets of Lapa into an ominous shadowland, ''Madame Sata'' is no exotic tour of the slums of Rio. It takes you deeper into the soul of its title character and his desperate world than you imagined a movie could go.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

This week at SFC: My Brother Tom

Fernandes Industrial Centre
Eastern Main Road
Click here BC Pires's new daily film picks

STUDIOFILMCLUB is located in the front foyer space of building 7.

Our screenings are FREE and all are welcome to.

Thursday April 2nd

Start time 8:00 pm

Tonights feature film MY BROTHER TOM is by Dom Rotheroe who directed the excellent documentary COCONUT REVOLUTION which we screened some years ago.

Before the feature visiting artist Stephen Gill will make a presentation of his photo based works. STUDIOFILMCLUB in collaboration with SHOW AND TELL/ ABOVE STUDIOS.

"Stephen Gill has learnt this: to haunt the places that haunt him. His
photo-accumulations demonstrate a tender vision factored out of
experience; alert, watchful, not overeager, wary of that mendacious
conceit, ‘closure’. There is always flow, momentum, the sense of a man
passing through a place that delights him. A sense of stepping down,
immediate engagement, politic exchange. Then he remounts the bicycle and
away. Loving retrievals, like a letter to a friend, never possession

What I like about Stephen Gill is that he has learnt to give us only as
much as we need, the bones of the bones of the bones." Iain Sinclair

Stephen Gill was born in Bristol, UK in 1971. Stephen's photographs are
now now held in various collections worldwide. They have also been
exhibited at many international galleries, festivals and museums including
the Victoria and Albert Museum, Galerie Zur Stockeregg, Switzerland the
National Portrait Gallery and The Photographers' Gallery in London,
Victoria Miro Gallery, Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels and Rencontres d'Arles in Arles,
Munich's Haus Der Kunst, and Photo España in Madrid

MY BROTHER TOM (Dom Rotheroe/UK/2001/111')

Rosy Home Counties schoolgirl Jessica (Harrison) is unimpressed by most of her peers' standard acts of teenage unruliness, but intrigued by the boy who hides up trees from them and calls her 'Fee' - fi, fo, fum. This Tom (Whishaw), who shows her his favourite refuge beside a lake deep in the woods, has a hounded, feral quality, as if thoroughly unsocialised. But when Jessica herself experiences the adult world's depredations at the hands of her most trusted teacher, she rejects domestic respectability for the rare, primal intimacy offered by Tom in his sylvan sanctuary. This anti-fairytale is a fervent, effusive account of adolescent metamorphosis that's sharp but not pat on the claustrophobia of a middle-class family. It's almost pantheist out in the woods, where a religious anarchism confronts the complacent hypocrisy of Church and school chaplain with the kids' shows of suffering, communion and ecstasy. It's shot on handheld DV in an intimate go-go style with an urgent intensity; improvising like mad, the two young leads give vibrant, irrepressible performances.