The Cineastes are a not-quite-so elite international coalition of the cinematically inclined whom convene once a month.
Together they hope to assist in the spread of film enthusiasm like a disease, debilitating the already infected and attacking the healthy with relentless vigor.
Possessing of what Ernest Hemingway referred to as ‘aficion’, The Cineastes are concerned with the general analysis of features both new & old, studio-made & independent, local & foreign, as well as comprehensive film criticism instigating and encouraging discussion on the roots of cinema history.
A series of morality tales expertly wound together into an accessible and interesting fully formed story, Kenji Mizoguchi’s Ugetsu Monogatari examines the nature of greed and unreasonable aspirations from several different angles. A regular feature on most top ten lists, Mizoguchi’s 1953 parable based drama is a genuine great of the cinema, proving both thought provoking yet accessible. As someone who is largely oblivious to most Asian cinema I approached the film with caution and bewilderment, yet found the film to be incredibly inviting and one of the true greats of cinema history.
The story of an English Literature college professor with a gambling problem, The Gambler follows the plight of Axel Freed as he attempts to pay back a large debt owed to local mobsters. His affliction with gambling only leads him towards more serious trouble, as the downward spiral of a gambling addiction is laid bare.
3. Big Trouble in Little China
Big Trouble in Little China came at a point when post-Bruce Lee America was obsessed with cultural fare of Asian origin. Nintendo was on the rise, bringing with it a form of video game culture so far unseen.Big Trouble in Little China was born out of the demand for pseudo-Asian inspired entertainment, and while its fared a lot better than most of its contemporaries (Year of the Dragon I’m looking at you), a patronising tone is still detectable.
4. Au Revoir Les Enfants
Louis Malle the French Auteur whose career spanned more than forty years is a filmmaker that has long escaped the attention of this writer. Alas that has been put straight this week with screenings of several of his most popular works taken in. While I preferred the laid back intensity of his earlier work Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator To The Gallows), and will indeed be writing a piece on that over the next few days, Au Revoir Les Enfants (Goodbye Children) is a satisfying piece of late 1980’s Gallic drama.
5. L’Enfance -Nue
L’Enfance-Nue is a look into the world of children’s services in 1960’s Northern France. Highlighting the truth behind a failed system, Pialat channels his tale through the character of Francois (Michel Terrazon), who is perhaps the most unruly ten-year old child ever seen in cinema. In a scene that marks his introduction on screen he drops a cat down a flight of stairs, laying out the two raison d’etre behind his actions; attention seeking and peer pressure.
My compadre’s within this endeavour are listed below.