OVID.tv: Now Streaming: Éric Rohmer Films & More

Now Streaming:Peter Greenaway’s THE PILLOW BOOK Starring Ewan McGregor,
Jorge Fon’s MIDAQ ALLEY Starring Selma Hayek & More!

We’re living through strange times, and if it’s any solace, OVID is here for you. If you’re stuck at home and need a little escape, indulge in watching our new releases.

First off, there’s Peter Greenaway’s The Pillow Book starring Ewan McGregor andJorge Fon’s Midaq Alley starring Selma Hayek. Also new: the coming of age story, I am from Chile, and The Violin about a family of musicians and modest farmers who join a guerrilla movement attempting to overthrow the brutal and sadistic government. 

We also have two films by Éric Rohmer: the universally-acclaimed FULL MOON IN PARIS and THE MARQUISE OF O, which the New York Times called, a “witty, joyous and so beautiful to look at.” 

Check out these films as well as our pick from the OVID archives: Jillian Schlesinger’s MAIDENTRIP. This documentary follows a Dutch teen as she sets out – camera in hand – on a two-year voyage in pursuit of her dream to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. 

P.S. If you have a film you love on OVID, tell us which film it is and what makes it special… you might just featured next week!
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Full Moon in Paris
Directed by Éric Rohmer; Narrative

Heralded as “a small masterpiece” and “the very best of Rohmer” by the New York Times, this film is the story of Louise (Pascale Ogier), a young interior designer bored with her life in the sleepy suburbs with her live-in boyfriend Remi, an architect by trade and a homebody by nature.

Eager to lead the life of an independent socialite in the city, Louise arranges to move back into her Paris apartment during the week. Balancing a steady boyfriend in the suburbs with a best friend, Octave (Fabrice Luchini), who makes plain his interest in her, and a bad boy musician who catches her eye at a party, eventually even the sophisticated and aloof Louise cannot untangle herself from the emotional realities of her various romantic encounters.

Marquise of O
Directed by Éric Rohmer; Narrative

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival that year, Rohmer’s film is set in 1799 during the Russian invasion of Italy. A young widow, The Marquise (Edith Clever) lives with her parents; her father is the commander of a citadel embroiled in battle. With the fort overrun by Russians, the Marquise is abducted by a group of rowdy soldiers and nearly taken advantage of when the Russian commander Count F (Bruno Ganz) appears as if from nowhere to rescue her.

Later, the Marquise realizes she is pregnant, though she cannot decipher how the circumstance came to be. The Marquise’s scandalized parents banish her to their country estate, where she pens a letter to the newspaper announcing that she will marry the father, whomever he may be, should he only present himself.

The Pillow Book
Directed by Peter Greenaway; Narrative

Beautiful to behold and impossible to forget, THE PILLOW BOOK is auteur Peter Greenaway’s erotically-charged drama about love, death, revenge and the indelible nature of our earliest memories. Each year on her birthday, Nagiko (Vivian Wu) would become her father’s canvas, as he painted the creation myth in elaborate, elegant calligraphy on her body.

Years later, she continues the practice with a succession of lovers, including a bisexual translator (Ewan McGregor) who becomes a pawn in an escalating game of vengeance against her beloved father’s exploitative publisher. Told in a series of chapters and featuring innovative cinematography and picture-in-picture techniques, Roger Ebert called THE PILLOW BOOK “a seductive and elegant story [that] stands outside the ordinary.”

I am from Chile
Directed by Gonzalo Díaz Ugarte; Narrative

A coming of age story, I Am From Chile draws from the director’s personal experiences to tell a different kind of immigration story. I Am from Chile is the story of Salvador, who moves to London from Chile to study English and travel around Europe at his parents’ expense. He stays with his aunt María (acclaimed Chilean actress Paulina García of Gloria, Illiterate), who makes a rather decent living renting the rooms of her house to other immigrants.

But when a financial crisis back home leaves Salvador with no resources of his own, he has no other choice but to make ends meet with the help of María and his roommates (including a Russian drug dealer and his Japanese girlfriend), taking on a series of short-term, and at times, dangerous jobs. Difficult and challenging situations will force Salvador out of his protected bourgeois reality and into the real world.

Midaq Alley
Directed by Jorge Fons; Narrative
Starring Salma Hayek, Margarita Sanz, Bruno Bichir

Heated tempers, frustrated desires and dashed hopes plague a diverse group of individuals whose lives cross paths in Mexico City. There is the bar-owner’s son, Chava (Juan Manuel Bernal), who yearns to emigrate to America. A poor barber, Abel (Bruno Bichir), is madly in love with the gorgeous Alma (Salma Hayek), who eventually becomes a high-class prostitute. Finally, there is Susanita (Margarita Sanz), the desperate spinster who pursues many love affairs in hopes of finding a husband. Adapted from the novel of the Egyptian Nobel prize winner Naguib Mahfuz.

The Violin
Directed by Francisco Vargas; Narrative
Starring Ángel Tavira

An elderly Mexican musician, Don Plutarco (Ángel Tavira), leads a traveling band that also includes his son, Genaro (Gerardo Taracena), and grandson, Lucio (Mario Garibaldi). Determined to fight the country’s military regime, Plutarco and his family help to supply guerrilla fighters by hiding ammunition and other supplies in their instrument cases. When Plutarco’s village is overrun by the regime, he boldly decides to further undermine their efforts.

From the archives: Jillian Schlesinger’s “Maidentrip”

Laura Dekker, a 14-year-old sailor, sets out on a two-year voyage to become the youngest person to sail around the world alone.

Jillian Schlesinger’s debut feature amplifies Laura’s brave, defiant voice through a mix of Laura’s own video and voice recordings at sea and intimate vérité footage from locations including the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Australia, and South Africa.
 
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