Since its founding in 1989, indispensable distributor Strand Releasing has enriched the American film landscape with a continually renewed commitment to adventurous and richly rewarding domestic and international independent cinema. To celebrate this year’s anniversary, an omnibus presentation of 30 new works by Strand filmmakers and friends is screening around the country: 30/30 Vision: Three Decades of Strand Releasing (visit here for venues and playdates). Ranging in length from one to four minutes, and all shot on iPhones, these are rare chances to see great modern filmmakers working in short form and with everyday means – and Le Cinéma Club has now selected four examples to screen by Brady Corbet, Catherine Breillat, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Cindy Sherman.
Our program begins with Brady Corbet. Known for roles in films by Haneke, Östlund and Campos and his two audacious directorial features, The Childhood of a Leader (2015) and Vox Lux (2018), he is one of the boldest voices to appear in American cinema in recent years. His segment continues his films’ inquiry into power and modern idols, juxtaposing the monumental fountains of the House of the Republic in Bucharest with the 1989 execution of former Romanian president Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife Elena.
“My dear friend Marcus Hu at Strand reached out asking if I could contribute a short film to a project celebrating 30 years of keeping the doors open at his inimitable distribution company. Thirty years is no small feat, especially nowadays when there are increasingly few homes for radical and progressive cinema that carry the torch for future generations of filmmakers. I am so happy for their success but above all, thankful. The guidelines were that ‘it should be roughly a minute long and shot on a cell phone.’ For someone that likes things to be ‘too long’ and shot on celluloid, this was the best that I could do. A very special thanks to the way over-qualified André Chemetoff for spending his day off to shoot this with me.” BRADY CORBET
In the next segment, Catherine Breillat, the daring, provocative French director known for her classic coming-of-age film Fat Girl (2001) and Isabelle Huppert-starring autobiographical tale Abuse of Weakness (2013, released by Strand), sends a surprisingly gentle cinematic postcard to Strand co-founder Marcus Hu from her seaside home.
The next filmmaker, Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul, has long been known for his ease working across mediums and formats, complementing feature film projects with a prolific installation and video practice. His segment is a great example of the latter, and an alluring, near abstract experience that playfully echoes a shower scene in his Strand-released, Palme D’Or-winning fever dream Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010).
Our program ends with the great photographer and filmmaker Cindy Sherman, beloved for her photo series Untitled Film Stills (1977-1980) and her cult feature Office Killer (1997, starring Molly Ringwald and Carol Kane and released by Strand). Here she puts a new, Photobooth inspired twist on her characteristic deconstructive self-portraiture.
A special thanks to Strand’s Marcus Hu for his help with this program.
- Credits for
- 30/30 Vision
- cinematography for 'The Day the “Conducator” Died'
- André Chemetoff, Brady Corbet