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FOREIGN SPOILS: Long Arm of the Law

Program Running Time 105 min.

Films in Program

(Sheng gang qi bing)
Directed By: Johnny Mak
(Hong Kong, 1984, 105 mins, Blu-ray Disc)

Curated by photographer Greg Girard, who will introduce the films: House of Bamboo & Long Arm of the Law The Walled City of Kowloon was an amazing and forbidding part of Hong Kong, and who better to introduce these films in which it features so centrally than photographer Greg Girard, whose book City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City is itself now legendary.

LONG ARM OF THE LAW Regarded as one of the top ten Chinese films ever made, this electrifying thriller was at the forefront of the "heroic bloodshed" films that dominated the Hong Kong industry in the 1980s. The story concerns a group of mainlanders, ex army men, looking to make a big score in Hong Kong.

FOREIGN SPOILS: House of Bamboo

Program Running Time 102 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Samuel Fuller
(USA, 1955, 102 mins, DCP)

Curated by photographer Greg Girard, who will introduce the films: House of Bamboo & Long Arm of the Law The Walled City of Kowloon was an amazing and forbidding part of Hong Kong, and who better to introduce these films in which it features so centrally than photographer Greg Girard, whose book City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City is itself now legendary.

HOUSE OF BAMBOO The first Hollywood movie to be shot in Japan after WWII, and also the first film to be shot in CinemaScope in that country, House of Bamboo is vividly alert to places and spaces. One of the iconic film noir hard men, Robert Ryan is an ex GI operating an American crime gang on strict military lines. Robert Stack infiltrates the group, but getting in is easier than getting out in one piece.

"A masterpiece that pinpoints the sublime in Fuller’s sensationalism and earns every inch of its widescreen real estate! Turning the on-location Tokyo streets into the perfect backdrop for a cartoonishly colorful version of hardboiled drama—call it Pulp Art— House of Bamboo keeps its story line about an undercover Army cop (Stack) battling a gangster (Ryan) on the lean and mean side. But the impeccable compositions Fuller uses to detail the lyrical and the lurid give even the most lowbrow elements a high-art feel; it’s like a bridge from the gutter to the museum." - David Fear, Time Out New York

"Some of the most stunning examples of widescreen photography in the history of cinema. Travelling to Japan on 20th Century Fox’s dime, Fuller captured a country divided, trapped between past traditions and progressive attitudes while lingering in the devastating aftereffects of an all-too-recent World War. His visual schema represents the societal fractures through a series of deep-focus, Noh-theatrical tableaus, a succession of silhouettes, screens, and stylized color photography that melds the heady insanity of a Douglas Sirk melodrama with the philosophical inquiry of the best noirs." Keith Uhlich, Slant Magazine

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty

Program Running Time 93 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Terence Nance
(USA, 2012, 93 mins, DCP)

In one of the more original and stimulating debut films of the year, Terence Nance has created a unique, witty love letter to his girlfriend, and to cinema itself. "A visually dazzling ode to romantic angst, Oversimplification blends animation, freeze-frame stop-and-go effects, mockumentary, and inspired manipulation of light and color into an ocular feast. It’s almost hypnotic in its style and genre promiscuity." Ernest Hardy, Village Voice

"This brisk and self-searching, sharply intelligent and deeply vulnerable romantic comedy is a masterwork of reflexive construction… Romantic obsession has rarely been filmed as sweetly, love’s labors rarely revealed so insightfully as their own reward." Richard Brody, New Yorker

Hannah Arendt

Program Running Time 113 min.

Films in Program

Directed By: Margaretha Von Trotta
(Ger, Germany, 2012, 113 mins, DCP)

Heavyweight German filmmaker von Trotta turns her attention to one of the pre-eminent thinkers of the twentieth century, Hannah Arendt, and in particular to the crucial time in 1961 when she reported on the trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann for the New Yorker. It was Eichmann’s pathetic disavowals of the Final Solution policy he helped frame that inspired Arendt to coin her famous phrase, "the banality of evil."

"Trotta has made an extremely vivid cinematic essay, thrilling in its every minute, deeply moving in its seriousness and suitably unsettling." Elke Schmitter, Der Spiegel

"A thrilling lesson in courage." Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

"The best movie this critic has ever seen about the life and times of a writer." Brandon Harris, Filmmaker

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