in 1929, f.w. murnau invited leading documentarist robert flaherty to collaborate on a film to be shot on location in tahiti, a polynesian idyll in which murnau imagined a cast of island actors would provide a new form of authentic drama and offer rare insight into their “primitive” culture. the result of their collaboration was tabu, a film that depicts the details of indigenous island life to tell a mythical tale that is rich in the universal themes of desire and loss.
a late 19th century costume drama, shot for the most part in sepia-tinted monochrome, set in St Petersburg, about bourgeois families being laid low by unscrupulous sleaze merchants who take over the cellars of respectable households and turn them into makeshift studios for photographs and later films of more than mildly disreputable content.
a precursor of sabiston's work as lead animator on richard linklater's waking life, except that unlike the pretentious, self-involved characters of that film, snack and drink follows a real autistic boy to the 7-11 as he discusses some of his favorite cartoon characters
carlos reygadas’s (japón & battle in heaven) latest film displays an amazing maturity of vision in this mesmerising and deeply moving tale of love and betrayal played out against the pastoral backdrop of the north mexican mennonite community. silent light tells the story of johan, a married man who against the laws of his faith and traditional beliefs, falls in love with another woman, thus facing an internal dilemma, whether to betray his wife, the woman he once loved and disrupt the apparent stability of the community or sacrifice his true love and future happiness. sublimely shot, entirely on location in the mexican mennonite community near chihuahua, silent light opens with what is arguably the single most remarkable shot of the year; dawn breaking over the rural landscape.
probably my favorite from 2007