The State of Things is a highly personal film about filmmaking in Europe and America. It is about a film crew stranded at the westernmost tip of Europe. The director, Friedrich Munro (Patrick Bauchau), and his cameraman (Sam Fuller), scriptwriter, and actors have been abandoned by their producer. After shooting their last feet of film (they are working on the remake of a low-budget sci-fi thriller), there is nothing left to do but wait. Friedrich finally sets out for Los Angeles to search for the missing producer (Allen Garfield). Friedrich finally finds him on Sunset Boulevard, in his RV, where he is hiding out from the mafiosi or loan sharks who are after him. The two have to pay with their lives for their black-and-white film adventure the following morning. Friedrich continues to “put up a fight” by “shooting back” with his Super 8 camera until the moment of his death. Wim Wenders’s parable on filmmaking has also been interpreted as his way of addressing the difficulties that he faced during the production of Hammett, his first film in the United States.
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.