Returning to Fårö after living in Germany for three years, Bergman undertook his second documentary tribute to the remote Swedish island he loved. Longer, more optimistic, and less ascetic than its predecessor, this film charts a calendar year in the life of the island’s 673 inhabitants, many of whom he observes working tirelessly shearing sheep, thatching roofs, and slaughtering livestock, as well as going about various communal rituals. Distilled from twenty- eight hours of material, Fårö Document 1979 is a lyrical depiction of life’s cyclical nature.
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.