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 The Berlin School and Beyond 
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Post Re: The Berlin School and Beyond

That first one definitely appeals to me, but I thought anything pre-2001 wasn't considered part of the movement?

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:34 pm
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I bookmarked most of those, btw.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:39 pm
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"Beyond" goes in both directions, apparently. :)

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:40 pm
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Hm. In that case, I'll set my sights a bit wider. That first one Jedi linked to, along with another black and white one, appealed to me above all others. Maybe it's the black and white. Maybe it's Maybelline.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:42 pm
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B-Side wrote:
That first one definitely appeals to me, but I thought anything pre-2001 wasn't considered part of the movement?

It's difficult to put a date on it. I mean, Schalenec's Places in Cities, Arslan's Dealer and Petzold's The State I Am In are considered integral films, but came out in '98, '99 and '00 respectively.

But yeah, what Maiden said. :D

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:45 pm
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B-Side wrote:
Hm. In that case, I'll set my sights a bit wider. That first one Jedi linked to, along with another black and white one, appealed to me above all others. Maybe it's the black and white. Maybe it's Maybelline.
Ha, the Stöhr? I called it! :)

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:50 pm
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nooooo if someone else watches it then it loses its cache and i'm not allowed to watch it

these are the rules of hipsterism

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:54 pm
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I'm not watching it, silly! I just guessed that would be the one you picked.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:56 pm
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While the amount of Berlin School films set abroad is a mere fraction, many of them may as well be. The likes of Ulrich Köhler's Windows on Monday, as well as Ann-Kristin Reyels' Jagdhunde and Thomas Arslan's Ferien, exist in a Germany largely untouched by human hands. I disagree with Jennifer Ruth Hosek's description of these particularly insular settings as "unattractive provincial spaces", since the sun-dappled acres used by Arslan are far from it, but they are certainly less idyllic than they appear on the surface. Maren Ade's Everyone Else is very much an augmentation of this idea, despite being set on the island of Sardinia; a location that in itself seems at once exotic yet also primitive. Given its successful festival run, many western critics have been quick to liken Ade's work to that of Cassavetes or Bergman - the director, by her own admission, states Scenes from a Marriage as a key influence, as well as Antonioni's La Notte. Though ultimately, Everyone Else is somehow incomparable given its distinctly precise treatment of modern themes - particularly, the idea of gender roles and a pronounced fear of the bourgeoisie. In one memorable early scene, the topic of emasculation is raised, resulting in a rather shrewd line from girlfriend to boyfriend: "Do something manly, I'll tell you if I notice it." This sentence in itself, not to mention the lines that frame it, tells us all we need to know about this central couple and how the potency is shared; she at once admonishing the very concept of manliness, yet at the same time inviting it. Ade doesn't leave it there, however. During an arduous afternoon hiking trip that arrives mid-way into the film, she then has the unsympathetic boyfriend leave his puffing girlfriend far behind, as both a response to this earlier challenge and a neat metaphorical representation of the growing distance between them.
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Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:04 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
I'm not watching it, silly! I just guessed that would be the one you picked.


Ha. I'm pretty predictable, I suppose. :P

I was joking, btw. Anyone can feel free to watch any of those if they want to before I get to them. But my reputation as a contrarian must live on.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:05 pm
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A contrarian who recommends nearly every movie they see.


Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:05 pm
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Everyone Else was a big grower for me.


Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:06 pm
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elixir wrote:
A contrarian who recommends nearly every movie they see.


but if someone else has seen it before me, then what good is it

i'm literally the only person in the world who had seen something to remind me for this thread before others here decided to

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:08 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
Though ultimately, Everyone Else is somehow incomparable given its distinctly precise treatment of modern themes - particularly, the idea of gender roles and a pronounced fear of the bourgeoisie.
Incomparable is right! Very nice, Jedi. I'll rewatch it tomorrow so I can say more.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:29 pm
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I started it last year, but the subs didn't worked so I stopped. Boom.

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Thu Apr 25, 2013 11:29 pm
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Trip wrote:
I started it last year, but the subs didn't worked so I stopped. Boom.

Get on it!

Mini video essay by Kevin B. Lee -


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Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:44 am
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didn't worked

btw I meant something to remind me, not everyone else, which I saw and loved before absolutely everyone else

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Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:45 am
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Trip wrote:
everyone else, which I saw and loved before absolutely everyone else

:D

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Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:53 am
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Everyone Else is basically a masterpiece. Ade is probably the saviour of modern cinema sorrynotsorry

The Forest for the Trees is not to be ignored, though

re: the Berlin School, I've basically only seen those two + The Days Between (yy), Marseille (y), At Ellen's Age (ok), Sleeping Sickness (ok) and Barbara (n)

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Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:14 am
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snapper wrote:
re: the Berlin School, I've basically only seen those two + The Days Between (yy), Marseille (y), At Ellen's Age (ok), Sleeping Sickness (ok) and Barbara (n)

You need to catch up!

There's a nice article at Reverse Shot, if you can forgive the chunky synopsis in the middle: http://www.reverseshot.com/article/everyone_else

And while I don't necessarily agree with the initial comparison, this discussion gets interesting: http://mubi.com/topics/everyone-else-20 ... cassavetes

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Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:25 pm
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One I've actually seen!

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Fri Apr 26, 2013 4:32 pm
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Everyone Else is probably my favorite of all the films I've seen from this movement so far. And yes, it's incomparable / stands apart from the movement to my mind. I plan on re-watching it tonight/tomorrow as well. And thanks for that video essay. That dancing scene <3

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Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:37 pm
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Marcus Lenz's debut film might be set on the streets of Berlin, with the director himself graduating from the DFFB alongside the likes of Angela Schanelec and Christian Petzold, but Close displays few of the traits typically associated with the Berlin School. Shot in grainy Super 16, its bleak urban aesthetic and apparently permanent nocturnalism do recall that of Maria Speth's The Days Between, only less clinical. Christoph Bach, Lenz's male lead, has been dubbed Germany's answer to Robert De Niro in the national press, and on reflection they probably have a point. There is an emptiness and lack of intention, but also a burning resentment in his eyes here that resembles a young Travis Bickle. His character, a drifter named Jost who literally careens through the Berlin night destroying anything that happens upon his path, can much more aptly be compared to Johnny in Mike Leigh's Naked - there is the same idle yet destructive curiosity, though much less of the sardonic wit. Indeed, at times it seems as though entire sequences here - the taunting of a solitary security guard through his pristine window, for example - are practically dedicated to Leigh's great film, though there is no neat narrative to speak of. There is no preamble, and precious little culmination by the end. Jost's first night-time collision, like many of Johnny's, is with a drunk person just trying to get home, though it is his subsequent encounter with a beautiful recluse named Anna that really sets Close up as the chamber play it later becomes. While Jost's solitude is expressed outwardly and misanthropically, Anna has used hers to build walls - both physical and psychological - around herself. It is her conscious insulation from the outside world that defines not only the character but also the film itself, and can be seen to represent one of two meanings behind its title. The other, of course, comes when Jost arrives and the two damaged mindsets collide with an impact that is silent yet reverberates.
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Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:36 am
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No?

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Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:39 pm
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whoa

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Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:58 pm
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indeed. nice eyebrows.

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Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:03 pm
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Opening post updated!

Also, while I wouldn't necessarily push anyone to see Close, it's an interesting exercise. Reminded me a little of Anne Émond's Nuit #1, in that regard, for those who've seen it.

Nobody? Really? Rouge?

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Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:23 pm
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Bearing little resemblance to any of the Berlin School films featured thus far, Philip Gröning's L'Amour, L'Argent, L'Amour is essentially a road movie at heart; an initially spontaneous, eventually reckless journey that starts in Berlin and ends in Paris via the frosty landscape of Germany's wintry lowlands. As one would expect, and as is the case in most road movies, love and money are key themes here. At least, the economy of love and money. Gröning has his young couple, a DIY prostitute and a useless labourer, make almost daily trips to a local ATM in order to deposit their meager earnings. It becomes almost a ritual for the both of them, as though parting with one's hard-earned cash to the jaws of a cold machine is akin to social acceptance - though, the money disappears as quickly as it reaches their hands. Likewise, the besotted pair must part with each another while she plies her trade; he locked in the bathroom nearby, just in case. As Ekkehard Knörer notes, and as the film's title all but suggests, love feeds money which in turn feeds love, in an "unruled kind of circulation" with no apparent way out. Perhaps the most notable thing about L'Amour, L'Argent, L'Amour is its fidgety aesthetic; a restless camera that reflects the restlessness of the two young protagonists it follows. Gröning also employs a number of techniques to complement this: time-lapse recordings of nocturnal cityscapes, for example, or the jarring use of transitions/double-exposures - all of which is layered further with a prominent selection of music. While Velvet Underground's Candy Says isn't exactly the most original choice as an almost continuous background theme for reckless young love, one could certainly do a lot worse.
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Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:03 pm
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Ooh, that looks beautiful.

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Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:27 pm
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Wow, I'm turning into quite the Petzold fan! Something to Remind Me is lovely and sad and strangely satisfying. Even when it's improbable and predictable, it still feels just about perfect. From the beginning sweetness, through the anxious build, to the gut-punch at the end, it has a warmth (in colors and music, in gentleness) that outweighs the tragic contents. B-Side called it, more succinctly, "a warm blanket," and I can't improve on that. In part, it's our reluctance to let go of those first twenty minutes that keeps us warm, setting a pattern of mournful regret and making the stubborn machinations of the characters believable.


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Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:30 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Ooh, that looks beautiful.

I know, right? It's all soft and pink and everything. :heart:

...

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Mon Apr 29, 2013 10:02 pm
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I told you guys! There's something irreconcilably warm about Something to Remind Me.

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Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:29 pm
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B-Side wrote:
I told you guys! There's something irreconcilably warm about Something to Remind Me.

Will watch it tonight!

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Mon Apr 29, 2013 11:43 pm
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Barbara is a rather straightforward tale of a talented doctor in political disgrace in East Germany. There's no ellipsis or ambiguity here; its strength is in the smallest of details, as Petzold brings a painterly eye to the drab surroundings and Nina Hoss tells the whole story with the set of her mouth. The latter's no exaggeration. The action is revealed in her face, in flashes of kindness, glances of suspicion, and, especially, in deep lines of exhaustion, both physical and mental, as the strain of oppression takes its toll. The narrative simplicity is offset by complexity of motive and well-drawn characters. Barbara herself is no saint. Her single-minded resolve to escape what is unendurable wouldn't be particularly noteworthy, and, if it weren't for her growing attraction to her colleague, with his own brand of determination, she might never have considered the more complex alternatives. I admire this one, more than love it. I miss the mesmerizing sensory experience of Ghost . But, it is tense and engrossing, and Hoss elevates it with an unforgettable performance.


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Barbara was the first thing I thought of when I read that Köhler article Jedi linked to, about political films.
Quote:
Contemporary cinema exploits German history and is, in doing this, at best apolitical, but most often reactionary. Export champions thanks to Hitler and the Stasi! And the East German masses are rehabilitated by the Oscar. The little man is cleared of all guilt. Now, united Germany can bawl: It wasn’t us, Hitler and Mielke did it.
This film rehabilitates no one. Not everyone around Barbara is a spy for the Stasi, but enough are that everyone is suspect. Those guarded looks at cleaning women, co-workers, and passing cars speak volumes. I can't imagine living under that kind of pressure!

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Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:35 am
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Barbara was the first thing I thought of when I read that Köhler article Jedi linked to, about political films. This film rehabilitates no one. Not everyone around Barbara is a spy for the Stasi, but enough are that everyone is suspect. Those guarded looks at cleaning women, co-workers, and passing cars speak volumes. I can't imagine living under that kind of pressure!

I love this.

And Something to Remind Me is certainly lesser Petzold, but still infinitely watchable. More soon!

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Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:28 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Thanks. What didn't you like about it? Was it her game playing? The harshness of the ending?

Have you seen any more Arslan?

A very delayed response here, but "game playing" is the exact phrase that I would have used. I find the idea that a filmmaker is trying to play games with me rather irritating, and it's all over this film. I find myself in the interesting position of agreeing with much of what you are saying and then disagreeing completely with the resultant conclusion, which is fun.

Then this other film was mentioned and I realised that it's probably the best one of these that I've seen even though Everyone Else seems to be more enthusiastic about it than I am. So I decided to watch something else that's relevant to this thread at some point in the near future. Goodbye.


Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:15 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
This film rehabilitates no one. Not everyone around Barbara is a spy for the Stasi, but enough are that everyone is suspect. Those guarded looks at cleaning women, co-workers, and passing cars speak volumes. I can't imagine living under that kind of pressure![/box]

Yep, exactly. And Barbara isn't my favorite Petzold either but then again, I think they're all really strong. Can't wait for the semester to be over so I can participate in this thread more regularly.

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Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:44 pm
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Circus Freak wrote:
A very delayed response here, but "game playing" is the exact phrase that I would have used. I find the idea that a filmmaker is trying to play games with me rather irritating, and it's all over this film. I find myself in the interesting position of agreeing with much of what you are saying and then disagreeing completely with the resultant conclusion, which is fun.
I know what you mean, and I've certainly resented it in other films. But, here, I never thought of myself as being played with. I enjoyed it the way I would good wordplay from an author, as a sign of intellectual enthusiasm and lightheartedness. The latter may seem like a stretch, considering humor isn't a strong suit with this group, but it's a feeling I've gotten from all of Schanelec's films, despite her rather mopey characters; it's in the structure.

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Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:53 pm
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I felt a real warmth while watching Marseille. The last thing on my mind was irritation or resentment. I dunno.


Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:01 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
I know, right? It's all soft and pink and everything. :heart:

...

Those three dots still make sense? It *is* pretty, but some of those overlays are a bit much, yeah? Got some problems with the narrative, mostly in the second act. But I still like it a good deal despite those reservations.


Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:02 pm
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elixir wrote:
Those three dots still make sense? It *is* pretty, but some of those overlays are a bit much, yeah?

IT'S ALL SOFT AND PINK AND EVERYTHING.

...

The perfect bum. :heart:

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Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:28 pm
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Yeah, pretty.


Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:32 pm
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didn't u say u had less time to watch movies or something and now u go and watch like 20 wow liar


Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:32 pm
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elixir wrote:
didn't u say u had less time to watch movies or something and now u go and watch like 20 wow liar

If there are bums like that involved, one does whatever he can.

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Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:35 pm
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JediMoonShyne wrote:
...
Oh! I didn't get it either. :P

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Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:35 pm
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Shieldmaiden wrote:
Oh! I didn't get it either. :P

Yeah, sorry. :oops:

Those transitions were a bit much, though.

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Wed May 01, 2013 1:00 am
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I thought Barbara was so dull. Is that kind of film indicative of his shtick, or should I keep going?

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Wed May 01, 2013 5:35 am
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snapper wrote:
I thought Barbara was so dull. Is that kind of film indicative of his shtick, or should I keep going?

Most films of the Berlin School are quite dull, really.

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Wed May 01, 2013 5:49 am
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cept not tho

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Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston
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Edward Hopper / Peck
Les signes / Green
Time and Tide / Hutton
* Ordinary Matter / Frampton
Vertical Features Remake / Greenaway
* Chickens / Amiralay


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Wed May 01, 2013 6:03 am
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yep, all of them are dull.


Wed May 01, 2013 6:03 am
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