Portugal

Some people think apples are the most maligned fruit simply because of the whole bible thing where one of their ilk (along with a woman) was responsible for cursing all of mankind. Others think it’s the unfortunately-named ugly fruit because they’re forced to live with the constant reminder of their homeliness on a daily basis. Still others claim it’s the tomato simply because no one even believes the damn thing is a fruit. But none of those are correct. The most maligned fruit is clearly the banana. Not only are bananas stripped and eaten thousands of times per day, but they’re also misused in other violent and sexual ways. Don’t pretend you’ve never imagined a banana was a gun before. Or taken advantage of its phallic shape by eating it in a seductive manner. Or stuck one in an orifice other than your mouth. And now there are even rumors that mankind is driving bananas extinct! Well no more. Bananas are about to get their revenge on humanity. Check out the trailer for the new short film Banana Motherfucker below.

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Criterion Files

The emergence of Pedro Costa’s films into American cinematic consciousness remains something of a conundrum that discerning audiences continue to wrestle with. On the one hand, for those who desire for a radically unconventional cinema as far from Hollywood (geographically, aesthetically, ideologically) as one can get, for those who seek respite from the increasingly conventional American “independent” cinema, and for those tired of “global cinema” and its associated mandate of universal accessibility, Costa seems to be the pill to quell cinematic frustration.

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Out of the few favorites in this competition, City of God and Os Imortais, despite both being fantastic films from down South America way (that’s a joke) remain underdogs in the overall competition. However, fans of drama and international cinema should rise up in defense of both of them. It’s a tough draw that they see each other in Round Two because one of them will be knocked out, but one will live on to face the big boys in the intensifying battle when only 8 films are left. Which one will it be?

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Cote d

In the underdog match of the day, Ivory Coast and Portugal (two countries not known for the strength of number of films they put out each year) go head to head, ensuring the possibility of surprises in Round Two. The sweaty reality of Adanggaman tries its luck against the high-intensity crime of Os Imortais. It’s anyone’s ball game at this point, so the winner will depend heavily on which country (and which fans) show up to make their voices heard. For those who haven’t seen them, they are both great films that deserve a spot on your rental queue.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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