Posts Tagged ‘Rainer Werner Fassbinder’

Berlin 2010 Preview: Panorama Dokumente, Part 1

February 8, 2010

The Panorama sidebar at this year’s Berlinale overflows with documentaries. Especially documentaries about either a) gay life around the world or b) downtown New York during the 1980s. Both of which, some might say, are closely related. As well as portraits of Warhol superstars and stories of gay life in Paraguay, there’s a search for enlightenment David Lynch-style and a new film from the director of Control Room. Click on the title for trailers and other clips.

Alle meine Stehaufmädchen – Von Frauen, die sich was trauen (All My Tumbler Girls Or All About Women Who Dare To…)

Ever wonder what it’s like being a woman over 40 living in Berlin? Lothar Lambert did, so he went out and interviewed 11 associates. Although well-known in Germany, friends like photographer Erika Rabau and painter Evelyn Sommerhoff may not mean a lot to international audiences. Lambert’s doc highlights the common threads of their lives as well as the differences.
Fun fact lazily obtained from Wikipedia: The name “Berlin” is possibly derived from “Berl,” an Old Polabian stem meaning “swamp.”

Arias With a Twist: The Docufantasy

Klaus Nomi fans will recognize Joey Arias’s name. He was the singer’s confidant during the Lower East Side’s ‘80s heyday. Since his lover’s death Arias has emerged as a formidable performance artist in his own right. Bobby Sheehan documents his collaboration with puppeteer Basil Twist on Arias With a Twist and digs up related footage that featuring Jim Henson and Andy Warhol.
Fun fact lazily obtained from Wikipedia: While working at the Fiorucci boutique, Arias took part in the first live display in the shop’s windows.

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Talk of the Town: New Yorker Goes Bust

March 4, 2009

File under economics indicators and just a tremendous bummer for cinephiles. New Yorker films has gone out of business, and Salon writer Andrew O’Hehir gives it a nice obit. Apparently, the distributor had to close after their films and DVDs were used as collateral on a loan by owners Madstone Films. Madstone collapsed, defaulted, and now New Yorker is no more. Chances are if you saw a film by Fassbinder, Rivette, Akerman or Kusturica, it was thanks to partners Dan Talbot and Jose Lopez. O’Hehir boggles at the sheer willfulness of the enterprise:

“In a broader sense, New Yorker’s long-term willingness to defy the marketplace realities of American film distribution never seemed like a sustainable business model. While the films listed above attracted at least some American viewers, New Yorker was worshiped in cinephile circles precisely because it often took on difficult and adventurous cinema that was destined to find almost no audience. Sometimes Talbot and Lopez seemed to be running an educational foundation under the guise of a for-profit business. In bringing films by African cinema godfather Ousmane Sembène, Chinese rebel Jia Zhang-ke, obscure American auteur Lodge Kerrigan and legendary French documentarian Chris Marker to a handful of American viewers they were undeniably performing a public service, but they surely didn’t make any money in doing so.”

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