Owl (2019, Kelly Reichardt & Christopher Blauvelt)
A beautiful bird, silent in low light, turns its head in every possible direction.
Leagues (2015, Lucrecia Martel)
Low POV shots through tall grasses as a motorcyclist bitches at some kids that they can’t let their cows eat on community land. The kids go indoors where they learn about measurement and ownership of land. This felt like an educational piece even before the onscreen text told us that things are bad for Argentinean kids. Martel killing time before Zama.
A Therapy (2012, Roman Polanski)
One of of those auteur advertisements for a fashion brand, but this one is… good. I mean every minute of this is better than any minute of Carnage. Helena Bonham Carter arrives for her therapy appointment and sets to recounting her dreams (“doctor, what does it mean?”) while Ben Kingsley becomes transfixed by the fur coat she entered with, walking to it unseen by his patient and trying it on.
The Stendhal Syndrome or My Dinner with Turhan Bey (2020, Mark Rappaport)
Joan Crawford in Humoresque, “the greatest closeup ever made.” Mark references his own Rock Hudson movie. While researching orientalism he discovered Turkhan Bey, an Austrian-Turkish-Jewish-Czech actor. Discussion of stars and their admirers, the possibility that Mark is the last person in history to swoon over Bey before his work is forgotten. This was charming, with Mark’s casually delivered voiceover and carefully composited picture – the first of his cinema-history video-essays I’ve watched.