Banned from making films in Iran, Jafar Panahi continues to do just that, this time while moonlighting as a taxi driver, a camera mounted to his dashboard. Operating somewhere between documentary and fiction, he picks up passengers in situations that lie ambiguously between the scripted and the naturalistic. "One of the most humane and imaginative practitioners of the art currently working…[has made] one of the most captivating cinematic experiences of this year." AO Scott, New York Times
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini traveled to Africa, Nepal, and the Middle East to realize this ambitious cinematic treatment of a selection of stories from the legendary The Thousand and One Nights. This is not the fairy-tale world of Scheherazade or Aladdin, though. Instead, the director focuses on the book’s more erotic tales, framed by the story of a young man’s quest to reconnect with his beloved slave girl. Full of lustrous sets and costumes and stunning location photography, Arabian Nights is a fierce and joyous exploration of human sexuality.
1945. Concentration camp survivor Nelly (Nina Hoss) makes her way back to Berlin to track down her husband Johnny. But her face has been reconstructed and he sees only a resemblance to the woman he believes is dead. Instead he proposes that she pose as his wife so that they can claim her inheritance. Imagine Vertigo crosswired with one of Fassbinder’s post-war melodramas. One of the most compelling and complex movies you are likely to encounter this year.