Rather than offering a subscription to a platform, why not introduce, or rediscover, the work of a filmmaker by giving a DVD box set as a gift? Le Monde ‘s film critics have made a choice among the many releases offered this month of December.
Retrospective. The well-kept secret of Indian cinema
As if out of a Bresson dream, the images of Mani Kaul (1944-2011) were one of the great discoveries of the year 2023: all unpublished, the first three feature films of the Indian director were released in theaters – Uski Roti (1969), One Day Before the Rainy Season (1971), Duvidha (1973) – as well as Nazar (1990). Here they are brought together in a box set enriched with fascinating interviews, allowing us to situate the little-known work of this filmmaker trained with the Bengali Ritwik Ghatak (1925-1976). Inspired by short stories, tales, etc., Mani Kaul films, in a slow choreography, female waiting, broken couples, thwarted loves, but also their possible reincarnation, as in Duvidha , his first color film, which seems painted in watercolor, with its transparencies and freeze frames freezing time. Clarisse Fabre
“I am not an apparition, I am a woman”
Delphine Seyrig has experienced what modern cinema has to offer at its most radical and most beautiful. This box set published by Arte embraces all the diversity of his appearances. There we find her masterpiece, Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), by Chantal Akerman, a pure hypnosis session which allows us to see what had never been filmed: the factory invisible to domestic work. But also Red Lips (1971), a frozen vampire film by Harry Kümel, where she appears as a sparkling ghoul. The selection does justice to the one who did not want to be just an appearance: with the collective Les Insoumuses, Seyrig made a handful of feminist films, the B side of her career. Be beautiful and stop talking ! (1976) composes an agora of actresses who, far from the obligatory glamor, appear for what they have always been: workers exhausted from producing too beautiful images. Murielle Joudet
We know Douglas Sirk (1897-1987), architect of flamboyant Hollywood melodramas, much less the early life of the man who was then called Detlef Sierck, a German director forced to convert to cinema following some disputes with the authorities Nazis. In these seven German films brought together in their restored version, the eye will inevitably go to the Hollywood artist, and find him there. Through literary commissions and adaptations, Sierck already shows himself tormented, obsessed by a handful of motifs that will remain his own: social criticism, romantic pessimism, class struggle, the taste for parallel montages and the impossible meeting between parents and children – disturbingly, Sierck prophesies or dreams of his own exile. Mr. Jo.
You have 80% of this article left to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.