Evidently the first installment in a series that didn’t continue, this instructional film shows idle twelve- and sixteen-year-old brothers learning how to improve their surroundings by painting an old door. With the narrator giving step-by-step instructions, the boys go through the processes of sanding, applying primer, and mixing different types of paint. Whatever its educational value, the film’s quiet enthusiasm for its subject reflects Kiarostami’s own interest in woodworking.
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.
DCP, Blu-ray, DVD
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.