1. In Vanda's Room- The artist of note who seemed to blaze out of art house obscurity over the past 3-4 years is Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa, and thanks to a 3 disc boxset, some of his work is finally available. This film, made in 2000, runs at 3 hours and is described as a portrait of the slums around Lisbon and its drug addled inhabitants. I've heard so much about Costa, I'm looking forward to judging his work on my own.
2. Tallhotblonde- Barbet Schroeder's documentary about cyberspace and crime sounds intriguing. Along with the recent "Catfish" and Ondi Timoner's highly absorbing cyber doc "We Live In Public", I think we're beginning to see a new wave of films that have embraced the myths and invisible dangers of this ubiquitous thing we call the Internet.
3. Altered States- I've kind of been on a Ken Russell kick lately, finally getting the opportunity to see "The Devils". While I'm not a complete convert to his maniacal sense of narrative and out of control zooms/pans, I'll give this early 80's film a chance.
4. Taxidermia- I get the feeling Gyrogy Palfi's absurdist black comedy will make for a grotesque double feature with the previous Russell film. "This black comedy spanning three generations of men serves as an absurdist journey through the history of Hungary, from World War II through the communist era to the present. In postwar Hungary, a depraved hospital orderly spawns an outrageously obese son, Kalman (Gergely Trócsányi), who in turn goes on to raise his own progeny, a skinny boy (Marc Bischoff) freakishly obsessed with taxidermy."
5. Ossos- Second Pedro Costa film.
6. Veronika Voss- I've seen most of Fassbinder's films, yet this tale about a faded German film star's downfall with drugs and old age slipped by me. Fassbinder is very hit or miss for me. I'm guessing this is just as broad as Frank Perry's "Mommie Dearest", but we'll see. This is also one of those films that's been floating back and forth in my queue for well over 3 years.
7. Town Without Pity- Slowly but surely, some 'lost' Joseph Losey films have been making their way onto DVD, and this is surely one. "An alcoholic, David Graham (Michael Redgrave), finds the strength within himself to attempt to surmount his problems so he can rescue his son from the death penalty. But he's haunted every step of the way by his nemesis, Robert Stanford (Leo McKern)." Also on tap in the next couple weeks is Losey's "The Prowler" and if you haven't seen it, "These Are the Damned" made its way onto a double disc and it's a very disconcerting film about radioactive children.
8. Detective Story- Ok, Takashi Miike really is one of the most prolific filmmakers today. I know people say that about this person or that person alot, but I mean it. Netflix recently added some 15 more titles of his. This guy makes 3-4 films a year. "Detective Story" is described as a murder thriller in which a P.I. and a businessman search for a serial killer who collects the organs of his victims. Yes, I added all 15 titles to my queue and will continue to work my way through his varied (and at times sickening) output.
9. Britannia Hospital- I know next to nothing about this '82 film except its directed by the under appreciated Lindsay Anderson.
10. One From the Heart- Probably the most mainstream film on this list, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and deemed a clolossal failure in the early 80's. I've never seen it.