The Juniper Tree ( Neitzchka Keene, 1990): Iceland

Film reviewed by Jack Chase. Viewed at AFI Fest 2018.

Image result for juniper tree 1990Neitzchka Keene’s 1990 effort “The Juniper Tree” has not particularly stood the test of the time. Nor has it necessarily found its way into any sort of mainstream consciousness, but that does not take away from the films distinct, challenging and fascinating nature.

While the first act was admittedly slow, I found it picked up nicely towards the end of the second. With cinematography provided by the great Randy Sellars, who we were lucky enough to hear speak on the project following the credits, “The Juniper Tree” becomes an unnerving, ethereal and quiet masterpiece, with an atmosphere and composition so contagious that you almost feel apart of the scenery, with its dark, twisted energy lingering omnipresently.

It’s excellence, however, does not lie in its writing, as the dialogue is less than revelatory, but in its simplicity. Certainly a must-see for anybody mildly interested in the art of cinema.

Posted at 1pm on 12/05/18 | no comments | Filed Under: AFI Filmfest 2018, Films read on

Freud, Pussycats & Nixon: A Deep Throat and Fritz the Cat Sublimation

Paper by Alec Oretniuq.

The year is 1972, Nixon has been in office for over three years. The M.P.A.A ratings system was created just four years ago, and due to the young system not having any government interference, as of yet, the X-Rating still exists! When a film is given an X-rating at the time it meant that the film is not allowed to be viewed by anyone under the age of 17. Mainly due to their content that was seen as too obscene, violent, this, that and the other. Filmmakers jumped at the chance to find footing and success at the time of the new rating system. Films that were bestowed with an X-rating were given obstacles of success given the smallest demographic of people could view the film. But, many of the more experimental filmmakers were able to explore this creative freedom and exploit the aesthetic that came with the X-rating. Or as it was put in the Cinema Journal “at first, some MPAA studios exploited the notoriety provided by the X rating and its suggestion of “uncensored spectacle.”” (Sandler).

Posted at 7am on 12/05/18 | no comments | Filed Under: Academic Papers, Films read on

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Film Review Club: Reviews of current film releases, DVDs, and revivals by student members of the SBCC Film Review Club.

Film Festival Course: FS108: Film Festival Studies: 10-days or 5-days (2 or 3 units). Field course at film festivals to study U.S. and international fiction, experimental and documentary films. Fee required.

Contact: Prof. Nico Maestu (maestu@sbcc.edu)

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