Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project No. 1
Edition no. 684
With a stunning mix of the surreal and the naturalistic, Djibril Diop Mambéty paints a vivid, fractured portrait of Senegal in the early 1970s. In this French New Wave–influenced fantasy-drama, two young lovers long to leave Dakar for the glamour and comforts of France, but their escape plan is beset by complications both concrete and mystical. Characterized by dazzling imagery and music, the alternately manic and meditative Touki bouki is widely considered one of the most important African films ever made.
Early in his career, the Austrian-born future Oscar winner Fred Zinnemann codirected with Emilio Gómez Muriel the politically and emotionally searing Redes. In this vivid, documentary-like dramatization of the daily grind of men struggling to make a living by fishing on the Gulf of Mexico (mostly played by real- life fishermen), one worker’s terrible loss instigates a political awakening among him and his fellow laborers. A singular coming together of talents, Redes, commissioned by a progressive Mexican government, was cowritten and gorgeously shot by the legendary photographer Paul Strand.
A River Called Titas
The Bengali filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak’s stunningly beautiful, elegiac saga concerns the tumultuous lives of people in fishing villages along the banks of the Titas River in pre-Partition East Bengal. Focusing on the tragic intertwining fates of a series of fascinating characters—in particular, the indomitable widow Basanti—Ghatak tells the poignant story of an entire community’s vanishing way of life. Made soon after Bangladesh became an independent nation, the elliptical, painterly A River Called Titas is a grand epic from a director who has had a devoted following for decades.
The beloved Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane is the dynamic subject of this captivating musical documentary. Storytellers through song, with connections to political theater, the band became an international sensation (Western music critics have often referred to them as “the Rolling Stones of North Africa”) thanks to their political lyrics and sublime, fully acoustic sound, which draws on the Moroccan trance music tradition. Both a concert movie and a free-form audiovisual experiment, Ahmed El Maânouni’s Trances is cinematic poetry.
A torrent of sexual obsession, revenge, and betrayal is unleashed under one roof in this venomous melodrama from South Korean master Kim Ki-young. Immensely popular in its home country when it was released, The Housemaid is the thrilling, at times jaw-dropping story of the devastating effect an unstable housemaid has on the domestic cocoon of a bourgeois, morally dubious music teacher, his devoted wife, and their precocious young children. Grim and taut yet perched on the border of the absurd, Kim’s film is an engrossing tale of class warfare and familial disintegration that has been hugely influential on the new generation of South Korean filmmakers.
Details by Film
A River Called Titas
- New introductions to the films by World Cinema Project founder Martin Scorsese
- New interview featuring filmmakers Abderrahmane Sissako
- New visual essay on Redes by filmmaker and critic Kent Jones
- New interview programs featuring filmmakers Kumar Shahani (on A River Called Titas), and Metin Erksan and Faith Akin (on Dry Summer)
- New interview program featuring Bong Joon-ho
- New program on Trances featuring interviews with director Ahmed El Maânouni, producer Izza Génini, musician Omar Sayed, and Martin Scorsese
- A booklet featuring a foreward by Kent Jones and essays on the films by Richard Porton, Charles Ramírez Berg, Adrian Martin, Bilge Ebiri, Sally Shafto, and Kyung Hyun Kim
- New introduction to Trances by Martin Scorsese
- New introduction to The Housemaid by Martin Scorsese