Close Up

14 - 28 July 2009: Essential Cinema X


Killer of Sheep
Charles Burnett
1977 | 81 min | B/W | Digital  

Killer of Sheep is an undisputed masterpiece of African-American filmmaking and one of the most poetic, perceptive dramas ever made about family and community. This acclaimed tale of a disillusioned slaughterhouse worker, and the solace to be found in the simplest moments of life, is tender, witty and affectionate. With lovely neorealist photography – capturing the long, hot days of 1970s Los Angeles – and a gorgeous blues soundtrack (Dinah Washington, Paul Robeson and Little Walter all feature) the film has a quiet emotional power. It received widespread critical acclaim following its recent rediscovery and restoration.  

Paris, Texas
Wim Wenders
1984 | 147 min | Colour | Digital  

With his outsider's view of America, Wim Wenders transforms Paris, Texas into a haunting tale of loss, redemption and the ties that bind families together, and is arguably Wenders' greatest achievement. Beautifully shot by Robbie Muller, Sam Shepard's beguilingly simple story is stunningly realised by Wenders, whose stark imagery is accompanied by Ry Cooder's acclaimed score. Paris, Texas is rightly regarded as one of the artistic triumphs of contemporary world cinema.  

David Holzman’s Diary
Jim McBride
1967 | 74 min | B/W | Digital  

Shot in 1967, David Holzman's Diary is a milestone in contemporary film history. Brilliantly conceived and executed, it manages to simultaneously be very much of its time and very many years ahead of its time. The film tells the story of David Holzman, a young man infatuated with film and filmmaking. Newly unemployed and beset with doubts and worries, Holzman thinks that filming his everyday existence will bring life into focus. Staged to seem like a documentary of a real person's life, Holzman's filming of his life starts to take over his life.