OVID.tv, the curated streaming destination for documentary and art-house films from around the world, announces its wide-ranging selection of films coming in May.
May 4th: Jill Li’s Golden Horse Award-winning documentary Lost Course (OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere), shows an unprecedented experiment in local democracy in a small fishing village in China. The Los Angeles Times proclaims it to be, “the most rewarding of personal, verité-driven lenses.”
May 6th: Two docs by Alain Resnais—Paul Gauguin (OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere, New Restoration!), illustrated by the famed artist’s paintings and diary entries, and Guernica (OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere, Restored!) chronicling the 1937 attack on the small Spanish town bombed by Hitler in support of Franco, which was the subject of Picasso’s 1937 painting.
May 7th: Dance Camera West Festival 2021 (OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere), showcases a collection of dance films set in places ranging from remote natural landscapes, to cities and studios around the world.
May 13th: The Films of Eugenio Polgovsky (OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere) including Tropic of Cancer, The Inheritors and others.
May 14th: Marco Bellocchio’s Devil in the Flesh (OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere), which caused a critical uproar upon its release in 1986 due to its highly-charged political and sexually frank subject matter.
May 28th: Pierre Schoendoerffer’s Le Crabe-Tambour and The 317th Platoon, both OVID Exclusives, Streaming Premieres and New Restorations.
|Saturday, May 1st|
|Marx for Beginners OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere |
Directed by Bob Godfrey; Icarus Films, Documentary, 1978
Based on the book by the Mexican cartoonist Rius, MARX FOR BEGINNERS is a hilarious animated film that highlights Marx’s most influential ideas, and places them into the context of western civilization by introducing Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, da Vinci, Copernicus, Galileo, and Descartes. All in seven minutes!
|Tuesday, May 4th|
|Lost Course OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere |
Directed by Jill Li; Icarus Films, Documentary, 2019
Embedding herself in the village of Wukan, southern China for several years starting in 2011, first time documentarian Jill Li witnessed an unprecedented experiment in local democracy. Corrupt officials had illegally sold villagers’ land, but the villagers decided to fight back.
Directed by Liu Jiayin; Icarus Films, Documentary, 2005
Daily life in an impossibly cramped Beijing apartment takes on epic proportions in this, intimate portrait, with unprecedented access, of a working-class Chinese family.
|*Best Film, FIPRESCI Critics Forum Prize and Caligari Film Prize, Berlin Film Festival|
*Best Digital Film, Hong Kong International Film Festival
*Best Film Dragons and Tigers Award, Vancouver International Film Festival
|Thursday, May 6th|
|Paul Gauguin OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere, New Restoration!|
Directed by Alain Resnais; Icarus Films, Documentary, 1949
Short documentary on painter Gauguin’s life illustrated by his paintings and diary entries.
|Guernica OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere, Restored!|
Directed by Alain Resnais; Icarus Films, Documentary, 1949
On April 26, 1937, the small Spanish town of Guernica was bombed by Hitler in support of Franco. This first air force attack of a civilian population was the subject of Picasso’s 1937 painting.
|Friday, May 7th|
|Dance Camera West Festival 2021 OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere|
The Dance Camera West 2021 Festival collection features films ranging from group dances in remote natural landscapes, urban spaces, and studios around the world, to introspective solos that invite you to share space with dancers sheltering at home. A must-see for fans of dance, this stunning homage is a way to experience this art form from a cinematic perspective.
|Tuesday, May 11th|
|FALN OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere|
Directed by Peter Gessner and Robert Kramer, Icarus Films, Documentary, 1965
USAvailable for the first time in forty years, FALN was the first film made by Peter Gessner and Robert Kramer (1939-1999), each of whom over the next several decades produced a body of work dealing with social and political issues. FALN is thus also an artifact of the social turmoil of the Sixties in the U.S., in particular the proclaimed solidarity of the era’s New Leftists with Third World liberation struggles.
Thursday, May 13th
The Films of Eugenio Polgovsky OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere
Directed by Eugenio Polgovsky; Icarus Films
Resurrection (2016, 93mins)
The once-paradisiacal waterfall of “El Salto de Juanacatlán” in Jalisco used to be known as the “Mexican Niagara”, a source of pleasure and sustenance for the villages surrounding it. This natural idyll was heavily polluted when an industrial corridor was established across the Santiago River.
Today as these poisonous waters contaminate everything in their path, the local fishermen and farmers become witnesses to the disappearance of their own world. In “Resurrection,” families fight for survival, risking their lives to pursue their dream of the return of a lost Eden. The destiny of a river goes hand in hand with that of a village, and of humanity itself.
Lightbyrinth (2016, 7mins)
21st-century digital technology meets 19th-century animation in this homage to eminent physicist James C. Maxwell. Filmed in Cambridge using his original zoetrope, the film conjures a sense of wonder at early image-making processes. The intricate editing and sound design create a joyful dance of lights and bodies.
Success (2014, 3mins)
This short film presents a dystopian vision of urban life in which the celebration of high-finance rewrites the topography of the city, while landscapes and indigenous cultures have been entrapped by a hyperbolic visual regime.
Mexican Ritual (2012, 54mins)
A shaman’s mystical rituals, furious electricians on hunger strike and a euphoric football crowd collide in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s central square, the ancient ceremonial heart of the Aztec empire. The documentary essay Mitote (Nahuatl for chaos or celebration) portrays the square as a wrestling ring in which the fervor of nationalism melds past and present, rage and celebration.
The Inheritors (2008, 90mins)
An immersion into the daily lives of rural children who, with their families, survive only by their unrelenting labour. As they harvest food, weave textiles, shepherd animals, collect wood, make bricks, and look after their siblings, children appear not as subjects of first-world pity but as curious, jolly, diligent, and caring beings.
Like Buñuel’s “Los olvidados,” these child workers are captive in a cycle of inherited poverty. They are also inheritors of knowledge, tools and techniques of labour.
|Tropic of Cancer (2004, 52mins)|
Polgovsky’s stunning debut immerses the viewer in the impoverished lives of families in the arid desert region of San Luis Potosi in Mexico (situated on the global parallel known as Tropic of Cancer), who survive by selling plants and animals to motorists by the side of a thunderous superhighway leading to the United States.
The film brings together handheld images of searing potency, crafting an up-close, near-wordless visual essay on the human capacity to adapt to the most adverse circumstances.
|Friday, May 14th|
Devil in the Flesh OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere
Directed by Marco Bellocchio, Icarus Films, Feature, 1986
Starring Marushka Detmers
DEVIL IN THE FLESH caused a critical uproar upon its release due to its highly-charged political and sexually frank subject matter.
Marushka Detmers (THE MAMBO KINGS) stars as Giulia, a young woman engaged to marry Giacomo, who’s sitting behind bars because of his political activity. Restless in her appetites and inner turmoil, she meets a young student, Andrea and a passionate affair quickly ensues. But when the day arrives in which she has to face whether she wants to share her life with Giacomo or Andrea, Giulia makes a surprising decision.
|Tuesday, May 18th|
|A Chef’s Voyage |
Directed by Rémi Anfosso, First Run Features, 2020
Follows the celebrated American Chef David Kinch and his team from Manresa, their 3 Star Michelin restaurant in California, for a one-of-a-kind collaboration with three legendary French chefs at their iconic restaurants in Paris, Provence, and Marseille.
Directed by Tim Tsai, First Run Features, 2019
In 1979, a Vietnamese refugee shoots and kills a white crab fisherman at the public town docks in Seadrift, Texas. What began as a dispute over fishing territory erupts into violence against Vietnamese refugee communities along the Gulf Coast.
|Thursday, May 20th|
|You Go to My Head |
Directed by Dimitri de Clercq, First Run Features, 2018
This award-winning, critically lauded thriller begins in a desolate stretch of the Sahara, where a mysterious car accident leaves a young woman lost and alone. Jake, a reclusive architect, finds her unconscious, suffering from post-traumatic amnesia. Intoxicated by the woman’s beauty, Jake claims to be her husband. He names her Kitty and takes her to his remote desert home to recuperate.
As Kitty struggles to come to grips with who she is, Jake invents an elaborate life they can share – the life he has always yearned for. But when shreds of her past begin to surface, Jake takes steps to ensure he will not lose the love of his life.
|Friday, May 21st|
Directed by Francois Ozon, Music Box Films, 2016
Starring Ernst Stötzner, Paula Beer, Pierre Niney
A haunting tale of love and reconciliation begins in a small town in Germany in the aftermath of World War I when a young woman mourning the death of her fiancé encounters a mysterious Frenchman laying flowers on her beloved’s grave.
|*WINNER – TOP FOREIGN FILM, 2017 NATIONAL BOARD REVIEW|
*WINNER – BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (PASCAL MARTI), 42ND CÉSAR AWARDS
*WINNER – MARCELLO MASTROIANNI AWARD FOR BEST YOUNG ACTRESS (PAULA BEER), 2016 VENICE FILM FESTIVAL
Directed by Cate Shortland, Music Box Films, 2013
Starring Saskia Rosendahl, Kai Malina Liesel, Nele Trebs
Germany, UK, Australia
As Allied forces sweep across Germany, five children embark on a journey that challenges their notions of family, love and friendship.
|*WINNER! LOCARNO FILM FESTIVAL 2012 – AUDIENCE AWARD|
*WINNER! HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2012 – BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY & BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE
|Tuesday, May 25th|
|The Goumbe of the Young Revelers OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere, New Restoration!|
Directed by Jean Rouch, Icarus Films, Documentary, 1965
Documents a young drum troupe in Treichville, Abidjan.
|Thursday, May 25th|
|Directing Actors OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere, New Restoration!|
Directed by Gisèle Braunberger, Icarus Films, Documentary, 1968Renoir explains how he elicits actors’ performances.
|Tribute to Alfred Lepetit OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere|
Directed by Jean Rousselot, Icarus Films, Documentary, 1999
Featuring Charlotte RAMPLING, Jean-Claude BRIALY, Jake EBERTS, Stéphane MASSARD, Roman POLANSKI
|A portrait of a legend. Unknown to the wider public but acclaimed by all his peers Alfred Lepetit is about to receive a prize honoring his film career. Black and white footage of productions Lepetit worked on, punctuated with numerous interviews with film professionals, gradually reveal the character of this shadowy man, as ubiquitous as he was unknown.|
|Friday, May 28th|
|Le Crabe-Tamour OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere, New Restoration!|
Directed by Pierre Schoendoerffer, Icarus Films, Feature, 1977
A squadron commander suffering from an incurable illness searches for an old comrade from Southeast Asia, the “Crabe-Tambour”, whose friendship he betrayed during the Algerian war. Filled with remorse, he is determined to recognize his friend’s courage before dying.
|The 317th Platoon OVID Exclusive, Streaming Premiere, New Restoration!|
Directed by Pierre Schoendoerffer, Icarus Films, Feature, 1965
A platoon of French soldiers and Laotian allies fight their way through enemy territory and dense jungle to meet up with their compatriots as the Indochina War grinds to a halt.