Lindy Burns and Richard Sowada challenged me to come up with my five favourite films, and oh my it was a challenge! I’m no good at favourites… so I spoke about five films that continue to stay with me. In their own radically unique way, each of these films deals with those cultural clashes that capitalism treats as epiphenomena – and yet, it is these very clashes that most insightfully define a culture.
The Big Animal
(Jerzy Stuhr, 2000)
Zygmunt and Marisia Zawicki take in a camel that was left behind by a touring circus, and to their great surprise and disappointment, they are ridiculed and shunned by their small town community. This sensitive and stunningly shot b&w film was the final screenplay by Krzysztof Kieślowski.
(Errikos Thalassinos, 1983)
Legends of Greek cinema come together for this rollicking adventure of non-stop antics in an Athens newly discovering social freedoms yet still mired in corruption, stagnation and conflicting intergenerational values. New economy; new possibilities; ίδια γεύση.
Imitation of Life
(Douglas Sirk, 1959)
A powerful tale of two strong single mothers that deftly shifts its focus so that, by the time the final scene is presented, you realise with forceful clarity that you’ve been watching the story of the determined black woman and not the glamorous white woman all along. Explosive for its time and still today.
(Michael Haneke, 2005; released in English as Hidden)
A Paris couple’s bourgeois sensibilities are shaken by videotapes surveilling their own home, and a string of false connections exposes them to a deeply violent truth that rattles the French colonial conscience.
(Maria Trần, 2017)
The Asian star of an Asian-themed action film is deemed not Asian enough by the white director – and so, action is re-edited, lines are cut, and cliché reigns… The massive response to this 8min mockumentary means The Subtractor is now going into full production. Trần is a young Vietnamese-Australian director to watch – also a martial artist!
HEADER IMAGE: Still from Caché.
IMAGE: Lindy Burns, Richard Sowada and Esther Anatolitis. Triple selfie by Lindy Burns.