AND CHILL #3 -
13th April, 2020
Still from Ghost In The Shell (1995)
Who watched last weeks recommendations? This weeks Quarantine and Chill finds us kneeling at the church of Jodorowsky, hacking into cyberspace and getting caught up in 16mm divorce. Here are the next three:
7. Ghost In The Shell (1995), dir. Mamoru Oshii
Set in a re-imagined Hong Kong at a time when cyberspace has begun to expand into human consciousness, the story follows top cyber-copy Major Motoko Kusanagi as she tracks down the mysterious “Puppet Master”.
The film oozes with philosophical questions that continue to plague the human spirit. It reflects elements of Descartes ‘I think, therefore I am’, and the existentialism that might surround a humanoid cyborg’s place amongst man. Such questions are matched against its lush Neo-Noir visuals, reminscent of ‘Blade Runner’ (1982) and anime favourite ‘Akira’ (1988) filled with cyber-punk trimmings.
The seminal anime film went on to inspire countless Hollywood films, most notably ‘The Matrix’ (1999) in which directors The Wachowski’s allegedly screened a copy to producers stating they wished to “do that, for real”. Scarlet Johansson went on to star in Rupert Sanders 2017 live action adaptation.
8. The Holy Mountain (1973), dir. Alejandro Jodorowsky
Mexican master, played by Jodorosky, leads a Christ-like figure to a holy mountain of wise immortal men.
Jodorowsky’s dreamscape sits at the high table of art cinema, dripping with spiritual rebellion, it’s a surrealist trip into the weird and wonderful.
The film is a visual treat, and arguably Jodorowsky’s most well known and most complex vision. The imagery is beautiful, shocking and surreal - such as a set of small lizards dressed in shamanistic garb, complete with colourful headdresses and spears. The film takes Jodorowsky’s interest in spirituality to dizzying heights.
9. Faces (1968), dir. John Cassavetes
Faces focus on an unhappy marriage, in which a plea for divorce triggers a booze-fuelled night of infidelity.
Cassavetes’ ‘Faces’ was a landmark moment for DIY filmmaking in America. Shot and edited in his own home, and starring his friends ‘Faces’ was three years in the making.
‘Faces’ adopts the lo-fi approach of punk, before it was punk. Cassavetes showed it was possible to make a great movie with just a 16mm Bolex, a group of friends, and a well written script. It was made outside of the studio system, on a budget of just $275,000. The film bagged Cassavetes an Academy nomination for best original screenplay.