Lola (1981) brings us to the end of the BRD Trilogy, and is a fitting bookend with The Marriage of Maria Braun in being a much lighter film -- at least compared to Veronika Voss -- that deals more overtly with the political climate of the time. It can be argued that Veronika Voss is a political film, but for Maria Braun and Lola the argument stands on surface observation. Rainer Werner Fassbinder had some interesting political beliefs, and we tackle probably his most controversial stance in this week's episode as well. Find out what he's wrong about by giving us a listen.
This week's episode is a long one solely for the plethora and variety of material we're tasked with talking about. Stan Brahkage was an experimental filmmaker and a long-time film professor at the University of Colorado, who principally focused on non-narrative film. By Brakhage covers work from six decades of his career. With over four hours of material in 26 pieces ranging from 9 seconds to 74 minutes long, there's a lot to digest: a lot to love and some, well, not to.
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Bertrand Tavernier's noirish Coup de Torchon transports Jim Thompson's 1964 novel Pop. 1280 from racist rural Texas to racist French West Africa. It works out. The story of an ineffectual local sheriff who decides to use his public image for private evil, Coup de Torchon is probably the jauntiest, brightest, jazziest nihilism we've ever experienced here at Lost in Criterion.
Terry Gilliam's 1981 fantasy film Time Bandits is a polarizing film, it seems. If you experience it at a time when you can relate to the main character, a put-upon boy with a Roald Dahl-ian family life, it may be your favorite movie of all time. Elsewise, well, you may not like it at all. It's a movie that is successfully written (and often physically shot) from the point of view of its young protagonist, running on child-logic and attacking some pretty big questions as best a child can -- Kevin asks the Supreme Being why evil exists and is told "I think it has something to do with free will." Of course it's also a Terry Gilliam film, so maybe that's why some people just don't like it.