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By Michael Atkinson

Outdoors the shrinking American film-culture marketplace there's a substantial movie-crazed global the place madmen, geniuses, and apostates roam freely, topic to a comparatively minimum measure of company and spin regulate. In Exile Cinema, famous movie critics profile the oeuvres of operating, thriving foreign filmmakers—from Bela Tarr to Judith Helfand, from Kiyoshi Kurosawa and man Maddin to Chantal Akerman and Michele Soavi, from Chris Marker to the latest thresholds of latest movie. those filmmakers conflict the best odds a latest artist can face: the competition of mass tradition at huge and a medium that calls for huge, immense costs in each level of creation and distribution. clearly, the typical American moviehead infrequently will get an opportunity to determine those marginalized administrators’ paintings and sometimes is familiar with approximately them in basic terms via dazzled rumors and rhapsodic rumour. Whimsical and deeply subjective, the viewpoints and evangelisms in Exile Cinema will function salve for the cineaste’s lonesome fury.

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One of a dying breed of Asian strongmen, a quasi-despot who outlasted China’s Deng Xiaoping, Indonesia’s Suharto and Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, he was for years a reliable fount of anti-Western (and anti-Semitic) rhetoric. These inflammatory pronouncements were usually blurted, almost Tourette’s-style, in the vicinity of news microphones and other heads of state. • The tallest buildings in the world, built between April 1996 and October 2003. The eighty-eight-story Petronas Twin Towers, which protrude like silver ears of corn from the chaotic skyline of the capital Kuala Lumpur, are the work of architect Cesar Pelli (who also designed Manhattan’s World Financial Center) and featured prominently in the 1999 Sean Connery–Catherine Zeta-Jones heist caper Entrapment.

Why not? Like the fish, they’re adaptable and perched on the point of transition. Even the Che shirts resonate on indeterminate frequencies: revolutionary sympathy or commodification of rebellion? Or maybe something that moves beyond these dichotomies, a mutant strain in the culture stream. ’ To me, ‘blank’ is a line where you can fill in anything. It’s positive. ”) Between Freedom and Form: Ambivalent Future (2002), the fascinating documentary made during the film’s shooting, shows the extent to which indeterminacy is a guiding force at every stage of Kurosawa’s artistic process.

He’s set to start shooting his first mainstream movie, Susuk, a horror flick titled for a black-magic implant procedure that grants eternal youth—a sort of witch-doctor Botox. He’s also editing a new quasinonfiction, The Last Communist, a musical-documentary-biopic on Chin Peng, the former secretary-general of the Communist Party of Malaya who now lives in exile in southern Thailand. I sent Amir an email recently asking for a status report. His excited reply suggests he’s back in Big Durian mode: mash-up mystification, local fruit-as-metaphor, and 38 Dennis Lim yet another slice of Malaysian history that his countrymen will never think about the same way again.

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