A FULLER LIFE
JOSEF URBACH – LOST ART
A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON
ROHMER IN PARIS
THIS GIGANTIC FURROWING
OF THE GROUND
A FULLER LIFE (15)
(US 2013) Director: Samantha Fuller 80m.
Jennifer Beals, Robert Carradine, Bill Duke, Joe Dante, James Franco, William Friedkin, Mark Hamill, Monte Hellman, Buck Henry, Tim Roth, James Toback, Constance Towers, Wim Wenders.
A FULLER LIFE celebrates the independent spirit of a true American maverick whose unique output broke new ground in journalism, filmmaking, storytelling and even service to his country. The story takes us through highlights of Samuel Fuller's unconventional and adventurous life spanning a century of American history, a great man's great yarn, a love song to democracy, and an hymn to independence, originality, and endurance. Adapted from Sam Fuller's award-winning autobiography 'A Third Face', the film consists of 12 segments, each of which features an admirer of Sam's dramatising their interpretation of Sam's memoirs. Set in the late director's historic office, the cast channels Fuller amid his beloved Royal typewriter, massive collection of books, screenplays, treatments, war memorabilia, and, of course, the ever-present big fat cigar. A FULLER LIFE presents for the first time recently discovered 16mm films shot by Fuller, footage he shot on the front lines during World War II as well as location scouts and home movies. Every word spoken in this documentary, whether by a performer or from a clip of one of his films, was written by him, creating a posthumous self-portrait of the subject in his own words.
'A truly unique career is lovingly celebrated in A FULLER LIFE, director Samantha Fuller's heartfelt tribute to her legendary father. Those intrigued by an indelibly influential persona that combined showman-like flamboyance, old-school masculinity and die-hard personal integrity to disarming and intoxicating degrees, will find much to chew on here.' (Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter)
A FULLER LIFE from Contemporary Films Ltd on Vimeo.
Available to view or buy online:
JOSEF URBACH – LOST ART
(Germany 2017) Director: Tilman Urbach 94m.
Featuring: Thierry Abel, Christoph Becker, Johannes Binsfeld, Meike Hoffmann, Ludger Hülskemper-Niemann, Andreas Hüneke, Klaus Levy, Thomas Simon, Walter Urbach.
In 1921, four Jewish families – Simon, Levy, Stern and Abel – who were patrons of the art scene in Essen, facilitated a study trip to Italy for a young artist, Josef Urbach. Many of the paintings created on this trip went into the families’ art collections. But when the Nazis came to power, everything changed drastically. In 1937 they declared two of Urbach's works to be 'degenerate art' and removed them (along with hundreds of other works of art) from Essen's Museum Folkwang. Little by little, Urbach, by now a respected Rhineland Expressionist and professor at the Folkwang School, lost his patrons and his paintings in Jewish collections were destroyed during Kristallnacht or later confiscated and stolen. Eighty years later, the filmmaker Tilman Urbach goes in search of his great uncle’s lost paintings. He visits the collectors’ descendants in Belgium, Sweden and Holland. Not only is the artist Josef Urbach’s life reflected, but the fate of his Jewish patrons and collectors is also uncovered. The film examines the issue of Lost Art in the context of individual life stories and makes a timely and moving contribution to the current debate.
"At first it was intended to be a cinematic portrait of my great-uncle Josef Urbach, but in the encounter with the descendants of the Jewish collector families and the reconstruction of the events that led to Lost Art, it became more and more a political film for me.” (Tilman Urbach)
Josef Urbach – Lost Art UK trailer from Contemporary Films Ltd on Vimeo.
Release date: Autumn 2018
PARIS CALLIGRAMMES (15)
(Germany-France 2020) Director: Ulrike Ottinger 130m
"In 1962, as a young artist, I came to live and work in Paris. That period until 1969, when I left the city, was not only one of the most formative for me, it was also an era of intellectual, political, and social upheaval in modern history. The film PARIS CALLIGRAMMES combines my personal memories of the 1960s with a portrait of the city and a social cartography of the age." Ulrike Ottinger
“A portrait overflowing with joy and political urgency”
PARIS CALLIGRAMMES trailer from Contemporary Films Ltd on Vimeo.
A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON (15)
(USA 1974) Director: Les Blank
An ineffable mix of unbridled joy and vérité realism, A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON presents the beloved singer-songwriter Leon Russell as filmed by documentarian Les Blank between 1972 and 1974. Blank’s camera lets us into the world of Russell and his friends and fellow artists in and around his recording studio in northeast Oklahoma, capturing intimate, off-the-cuff moments and combining them with mesmerizing scenes of Russell and his band performing live. This singular film about an artist and his community never got an official theatrical release and has attained legendary status. Now, after more than forty years, it can finally be seen and heard in all its rough beauty.
"An intoxicating one-off. Between the thrilling concert footage, what emerges is a pungent time-capsule of a forgotten fringe of America, ripe for rediscovery."
(Kevin Harley, Total Film)
A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON UK trailer from Contemporary Films Ltd on Vimeo.
ROHMER IN PARIS
(UK 2013) Director: Richard Misek 67m.
A love letter to legendary Nouvelle vague film-maker Eric Rohmer and the world's most cinematic city. The film begins with the story of a chance encounter with Rohmer in 1994, while he was filming RENDEZVOUS IN PARIS on location in Montmartre. This accidental connection becomes the basis for an insightful and passionate study in obsession. Part psycho-geographic essay, part biographical documentary, this is a fascinating exploration of Rohmer's lifelong relationship with the changing city.
'A study in concentric obsessions this cornucopia of optimally chosen primary sources, with its deft juxtapositions and leisurely extended scenes, is a guilty pleasure.'
(Ronnie Scheib, Variety)
THIS GIGANTIC FURROWING OF THE GROUND
(France 2015) Director: Claire Angelini 71m. Subtitles.
Normandy is a place steeped in history - after the Allied landings on 6th June 1944, it became one of the Second World War's most hotly contested territories. Making direct reference to Jean Grémillon's film LE 6 JUIN À L'AUBE, which was shot in 1944/5 shortly after the destruction wrought in the region, this documentary essay goes in search of the traces left behind by history 70 years later. But landscapes are silent. They tell us little of themselves. The scars of the past are not revealed unasked.
So how can history be made visible in the present through film? To begin with, an old man affected by the war in his youth formulates his memories. Then the locations from Grémillon's film are shown in their current state, augmented with the dramatic music and narrator's commentary from the original film. Then there are off-screen reflections about post-war architecture and images of buildings that represent "urban modernity". The three-part structure and the precise use of sound and image expose the different temporal strata and historical sediments, which, newly visible, are inscribed into the terrain.
(Austria 2016) Director: Peter Stephan Jungk 92m.
Featuring: Paul Broda, Valeri Chepelev, Julia Donat, Misha Donat, Duncan Forbes, Barbara Honigmann, Vlad Ketkovich, Anna Kim, Barry McLoughlin, Felix De Mendelssohn, Igor Prelin, Irina Scherbakova, Kitty Schmidt Löw-Beer, Peter Suschitzky, Wolf Suschitzky, Wolfgang Thöner, Julian Tudor-Hart, Alexander Vassiliev, Nigel West.
When she wasn’t working as a Soviet agent, she was taking photos of Vienna’s and London’s workers and street children, of poverty and social deprivation. Being a secret agent doesn’t seem to have come naturally to the photographer Edith Tudor-Hart (born Edith Suschitzky in 1908, in Vienna, died 1973 in Brighton). She recruited Kim Philby, and was one of the architects of the Cambridge Five, the Soviet Union’s most successful spy ring in Great Britain. Edith was Jungk’s great aunt, his mother’s cousin; the writer/film maker tries to unravel the truth about his aunt’s life, in Austria, Great Britain and Russia. A documentary about the renowned photographer, about a spy with a conscience and hidden secrets in a family.
"I watched this compelling film with fascination. An amazing quest – and very timely.” (Michael Haneke)
TRACKING EDITH trailer from Contemporary Films Ltd on Vimeo.
Available to view or buy online: