World Cinema Masterpiece

World Cinema Masterpiece: Possession

Realism has long been held as the de facto cinematic standard for the vast majority of films from around the globe. There are limits of course, even the most extreme examples of realistic film are constrained by runtime, events often truncated to fit the confines of an average feature film length, alas even advocates of realism will admit that films would be both dull and pointless if they repeated real life verbatim. Why bother watching films at all if all they contained was the monotony and tedium of existence?

World Cinema Masterpiece: Come and See

“I lost interest in making films… Everything that was possible I felt I had already done”. These words were spoken by director Elem Klimov in 2001 after being asked why he’d ceased filmmaking at the height of his powers fifteen years earlier. After watching his final film Come and See (1985) audiences may better understand from where these words sprang forth. Klimov is one of the rarest of all artists, one who knows when he’s peaked and refuses to risk his legacy with further films.

World Cinema Masterpiece: Dersu Uzala

The Director: Akira Kurosawa is arguably Japan’s most influential and famous film maker, a man whose directorial career spanned six decades starting with Judo Story in 1943 and ending with Not Yet in 1993. He is often praised by world cinema enthusiasts as one of the titans of the art house circuit; however in reality the majority of his works have more populist ambitions than say the poetics of Andrei Tarkovsky or the biographical explorations of Ingmar Bergman.

World Cinema Masterpiece: Dersu Uzala - Podcast

Akira Kurosawa is widely considered a titan of world cinema, this episode examines his career through six decades with numerous outstanding classics to his name. Dersu Uzala (1975) represents a departure in setting for the Japanese director to the mysterious Russian wilderness.

Written and presented by Mike Dawson.

World Cinema Masterpiece: Tropical Malady

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is arguably Thailand’s greatest living film maker, certainly that’s the view I take on the matter, although he is by no means regarded as such by the majority in his homeland. But then Weerasethakul’s films are probably just as challenging to his countrymen as they are to the rest of the world. ‘Challenging’ is the perfect adjective for his particular brand of abstract, contemplative, transcendental cinema.

World Cinema Masterpiece: Tropical Malady - Podcast

Tropical Malady (Sud pralad) represents Apichatpong Weerasethakul's third feature film as director and confirms him as an outstanding directorial talent on the world stage and one of the finest contemporary filmmakers. This episode also features a look back at the career of Weerasethakul.

Written and presented by Mike Dawson.

World Cinema Masterpiece: Sound of the Mountain

Japan is often cited as having one of the most exciting national cinematic outputs, and no decade better exemplifies this than the 1950’s. If we refine our search to the minds behind Japanese cinema within those ten years, then the usual names appear. Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu and Akria Kurosawa are usually synonymous with the renowned high quality, but one name that is often overlooked is Mikio Naruse.

World Cinema Masterpiece: Sound of the Mountain - Podcast

Mikio Naruse is a commonly overlooked Japanese director, one whose works deserve to be more widely seen. This episode examines his 1954 masterpiece Sound of the Mountain (Yama no oto) a domestic melodrama starring the great Setsuko Hara in one of the leading roles.

Written and presented by Mike Dawson. Quotations read by Lara Bradban.

World Cinema Masterpiece: The Child

Two film making brothers from Belgium, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, were until recently, viewed by many as the joint kings of European naturalism. Their latest offering released last year, The Silence of Lorna, received many attacks from critics because of an incredulous plot point in the later half of the film;

World Cinema Masterpiece: The Child - Podcast

The Brothers Dardenne's realistic and bleak story of a young man who sells his own child is a masterpiece of European cinema and the finest example of their work to date.

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