With complete creative freedom and in ten minutes, each director brings their own interpretation of “time” to the screen. Using the technology of film in innovative, provocative ways, Ten Minutes Older takes in all human experience: birth, death, love, sex, the drama of the moment, history and ancient myth. —Cannes Film Festival
Chen Kaige is one of China’s most prominent and influential directors, and perhaps the central figure in China’s Fifth Generation of filmmakers. Born Chen Aige in Beijing, he was the son of noted director Chen Huaiai, who directed a number of popular films during the 1950s and 1960s. As the chaos of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution was gathering steam, Chen, a 15-year-old member of the notorious Red Guard, publicly denounced his father. He later partially reenacted that day during the heartbreaking climax of Farewell, My Concubine (1989). During the late ‘60s, he was sent to labor in a rubber plantation in southwestern Yunnan province. Later, he served in the army but remained in the area. In 1975, as Mao’s reign was drawing to a close, Chen returned to his hometown to work at the Beijing Film Processing Laboratory. Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaopeng, set about undoing much of the destruction of Mao’s bloody final decade, which included opening the nation’s schools and academies. In 1978… read more
Spanish director Victor Erice made two of his country’s most important and critically lauded films, El Espiritu de la Colmena (The Spirit of the Beehive) (1973) and Sur (The South) (1983). Erice had studied political science before entering the Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográficas in 1960. Shortly after graduation in 1963, he worked as a film critic and worked on the script for Antonio Eceiza’s El Proximo Otoño (Next Autumn) (1963). He also collaborated on Miguel Picazo’s Oscuros Sueños de Agosto (Dark Dreams of August) (1967). Influential producer Elías Querejeta provided Erice his first opportunity to direct by assigning him a chance to helm one of three episodes in Los Desafios (The Challenges) (1969). Following his success with El Sur, Erice became a prolific director of television commercials and worked uncredited on numerous other feature films. In 1992, Erice reemerged on the film scene with his dream-like documentary of painter Antonio Lopez’s quest for… read more
One of the most influential filmmakers in New German Cinema and one of the most extreme personalities in film, Werner Herzog quickly gained recognition not only for creating some of the most fantastic narratives in the Film history, but for pushing himself and his crew to absurd and unprecedented lengths, again and again, in order to achieve the effects he demanded. Born Werner Stipetic in Munich on September 5, 1942, Herzog came of age in Sachrang, Bavaria, amid extreme poverty and destitution. After Herzog turned seventeen, a German film producer optioned one of his screenplays, then promptly destroyed the contract when he discovered the author’s age. Circa 1962, 20-year-old Herzog enrolled in the University of Munich as a history and literature student, and produced his first motion picture, the twelve minute Herakles, his second short Game in the Sand, and his third, the pacifist tract The Unprecedented Defense of Fortress Deutschkreuz.In 1963, he established his own production… read more
With his trademark shock of white hair and ultra-cool rock star persona, Jim Jarmusch is the archetypal auteur of American independent film. Born on January 22, 1953, in Akron, OH, Jarmusch was the son of a former film critic for the Akron Beacon Journal. In University, he went to Paris as an exchange student and spend most of his time at the Parisian Cinemas. Upon his return to New York, Jarmusch transferred to Columbia University, where, though he eventually received a degree in English literature. With no film experience, he was accepted into New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and soon found himself a teaching assistant to legendary maverick filmmaker Nicholas Ray. Ray helped him get funding for his thesis project, Permanent Vacation (1980). Though the film was later released to critical acclaim, his professors were underwhelmed by his final project and Jarmusch never got a degree from N.Y.U.
Jarmusch’s break came with his next film; the 30-minute short eventually… read more
Aki Kaurismäki did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville, une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965)) with his older brother Mika Kaurismäki, also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific film-makers, and together have been responsible for one-fifth of the total output of the Finnish film industry since the early 1980s, though Aki’s work has found more favour abroad. His films are very short (he says a film should never run longer than 90 minutes, and many of his films are nearer 70), eccentric parodies of various genres (road movies, film noir, rock musicals), populated by lugubrious hard-drinking Finns and set to eclectic soundtracks, typically based around ‘50s rock’n’roll.
In the 1990s he has made films in Britain (I Hired a Contract Killer (1990)) and France (La vie de bohème (1992)). —IMDb
As a writer, director, actor, producer, author, and entrepreneur, Spike Lee has revolutionized the role of black talent in Hollywood, tearing away decades of stereotypes and marginalized portrayals to establish a new arena for Afro-American voices to be heard. His movies, a series of outspoken and provocative socio-political critiques informed by an unwavering commitment toward challenging cultural assumptions not only about race but also class and gender identity, both solidified his own standing as one of contemporary cinema’s most influential figures and furthered the careers of actors including Denzel Washington, Wesley Snipes, Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, and Laurence Fishburne. Born Shelton Jackson Lee in Atlanta, GA, on March 20, 1957, he was raised in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. After attending Atlanta’s prestigious Morehouse College, returned to New York to make his first movie, 1977’s Last Hustle in Brooklyn, a portrait of the area’s Black and Puerto Rican communities… read more
Born in Dusseldorf just after the end of World War II, German film director Wim Wenders grew up with an insatiable appetite for American movies. Not all that interested in big-budget products, he, instead, developed a fascination with B-movies, notably melodramas and Westerns. After studying Medicine and Philosophy in his native country, Wenders took up art in Paris (a mecca for viewing American films), and then returned to his homeland to attend Munich’s Academy of Film and Television. Like many of his French movie-fan brethren, Wenders began his career writing film criticism before directing a few short subjects of his own, and, in 1970, he and several other young filmmakers formed a production-distribution firm, Filmverlag Der Autoren. Summer in the City (1970) was Wenders’ first feature film, but it was his 1973 adaptation of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter that first brought him attention outside of Germany. The film included many accomplishments, most notably coaxing… read more
Aki Kaurismäki (★★★) / Victor Erice (★★★★) / Werner Herzog (maaaybe ★★ )Jim Jarmusch (★) / Wim Wenders (★) / Chen Kaige (★★★ — concept was nice) /// The only actually GOOD one was Victor Erice's film.