Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project No. 2 [Criterion Collection] [9 Discs] [Blu-ray/DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • New interview programs featuring film historian Pierre Rissient (on Insiang), director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (on Mysterious Object at Noon), director Ermek Shinarbaev (on Revenge), filmmaker Walter Salles (on Limite), film producer Mevlüt Akkaya (on Law of the Border), and filmmakers Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edmond Wong in conversation (on Taipei Story, which Hou cowrote and acted in)
  • New introductions to the films by World Cinema Project founder Martin Scorsese
  • Remastered digital soundtrack for Limite, created from archival recordings
  • Restorations of all six films, presented courtesy of the World Cinema Project in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna

Synopsis

Border Law
Taipei Story
The disintegration of a relationship has undertones that find an echo in the possible disintegration of both the economy and the society in this intriguing tale from director Edward Yang. Qin (Cai Qin) has a high-paying job in a computer company, and her fiancé, Lon (Hou Xiaoxian), works in a textile company. Their relationship was never strong, since Lon still harbors some feelings for his ex-girlfriend and tends to dwell in his past glories as a baseball player. After Qin gets a new apartment for them both, everything collapses. She loses her job when the computer company is bought out, her father needs money, her sister needs an abortion, and she suspects that Lon is off seeing his old girlfriend. Lon himself shies away from marriage, gambles away whatever he earns, and worries about one of his friends in need of help. With these demands and strains on their relationship, matrimony hardly seems like a viable option. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

Limite
At the time it was released, in 1931, this avant-garde and very surrealistic film by the teen-aged Brazilian Mario Peixoto was hailed as evidence of a very advanced sensibility and was compared to Un Chien Andalou. In the intervening years, this silent black-and-white independent production disappeared from sight, as its director seems to have done as well. In 1992, it was rediscovered in the United Kingdom National Film Archive and was restored to be shown at the London Film Festival. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Insiang
In a slum in Manila, gentle Insiang washes clothing for a living, while enduring non-stop harassment by her mother. When she is raped by her disagreeable mother's equally disagreeable lover, she sets herself on a subtle course of revenge. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi

Mysterious Object at Noon
An adventurous experiment in cinematic storytelling, this low-budget independent Thai feature is structured like the Surrealist idea of the "exquisite corpse." One person begins a story, and a succession of others continue it in whatever way they see fit. Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul gleans his participants from all over the Thai countryside. The story, begun by a young woman with a personal history harrowing enough for its own movie, concerns a wheelchair-bound boy and his enigmatic tutor Dogfar. As the tale is passed along between a variety of rural characters (including, at one point, a traveling dance troupe who perform it for an audience), everything from kidnappings to space aliens are added to the mix. The film alternates between the storytellers and the story they tell, along with "behind the scenes" shots and other documentary footage that blur the line between fiction and non-fiction and make the film itself a witty, quirky exploration of the very notion of storytelling. ~ Tom Vick, Rovi

Mest
In ancient Korea, a king trains his son as a warrior in order to overcome a strain of inordinate gentleness he sees in him. His intentions are shown to have succeeded when the boy, now king, banishes a poet friend of his for improperly criticizing him. In modern Korea, when a girl is killed for no reason by her teacher, her father vows to get revenge for that someday. The killer has vanished over the border into China, and the father has remarried and had a son, whom he trains to carry out his revenge. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

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