Bergman had discovered the bleak, windswept island of Fårö while scouting locations for Through a Glass Darkly in 1960. Nearly a decade later, and after shooting a number of arresting dramas there, the director set out to pay tribute to the inhabitants of Fårö. In Fårö Document, shot on handheld 16 mm by the peerless Sven Nykvist, Bergman interviews a variety of locals, in the process laying bare the generational divide between young residents eager to leave the island and older folk more deeply rooted in bucolic tradition. The film revealed Bergman to be a sensitive and masterly documentarian.
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.
“No one sees anything. Ever. They watch, but they don’t understand.” So observes Connie Nielsen in Olivier Assayas’s hallucinatory, globe-spanning Demonlover, a postmodern neonoir thriller and media critique in which nothing—not even the film itself—is what it appears to be.
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An intoxicating, time-bending experience bathed in the golden glow of oil lamps and wreathed in an opium haze, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s gorgeous period reverie traces the romantic intrigue, jealousies, and tensions swirling around a late 19th century Shanghai brothel, where the courtesans live confined to a gilded cage, ensconced in opulent splendor yet forced to work to buy back their freedom.