Allison Anders, Dean Lent, and Kurt Voss
Before carving out a niche as one of the most distinct voices in nineties American cinema, Allison Anders made her debut, alongside codirectors and fellow UCLA film school students Kurt Voss and Dean Lent, with 1987’s Border Radio. A low-key, semi-improvised postpunk diary that took four years to complete, Border Radio features legendary rocker Chris D., of the Flesh Eaters, as a singer/songwriter who has stolen loot from a club and gone missing, leaving his wife (Luanna Anders), a no-nonsense rock journalist, to track him down with the help of his friends (John Doe of the band X; Chris Shearer). With its sprawling Southern Californian and Mexican landscapes, captured in evocative 16mm black and white, Border Radio is a singular, DIY memento of the indie film explosion in America.
With his lush and sensual visuals, pitch-perfect soundtracks, and soulful romanticism, Wong Kar Wai has established himself as one of the defining auteurs of contemporary cinema.
Four charming comedies from Eric Rohmer.
Melvin Van Peebles’s edgy, angsty, romantic first feature could never have been made in America. Unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, Van Peebles decamped to France, taught himself the language, and wrote a number of books in French, one of which, La permission, would become his stylistically innovative feature debut.
Melvin Van Peebles
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
A triumph at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, the revelatory debut feature from codirectors (and twin brothers) Arie and Chuko Esiri is a heartrending and hopeful portrait of everyday human endurance in Lagos, Nigeria.