FILM CLUB

Film clubs, as an alternative to the mainstream cinema repertoire, have longtime traditions all over the world. Taip Toliau is inviting you all to gather for the monthly film screenings @SODAS 2123 and stay for informal discussions after them. We hope this will be the start of a beautiful tradition enriching the cultural life of Vilnius.

We are hoping the meetings will become a tradition of every last Thursday of the month. The upcoming screenings will take place on April 25th and June 6th (instead of May 30th).

25 / 04 / 24

For the last screening of the cinema club’s Asian cycle we will travel to Taiwan. Director Hou Hsiao-hsien belongs to Taiwan’s New wave and has created many significant works that reflect upon issues of changing Taiwanese society, often delving into historical topics too. For the cinema club screening and discussion we chose a very special film – Millenium Mambo, which was impressively shot by cinematographer Lee Ping-bing. He shot many Hou Hsiao-hsien’s films, in addition he also shot Wong Kar-wai’s film In the Mood for Love.

Taiwan | 2001 | 119 min. | Taiwanese | English subtitles.

Hou Hsiao-hsien’s entrancing film delves into Taipei’s nightlife with style and atmosphere to spare. Disaffected bar hostess Vicky (Shu Qi) is bored with the life she shares with her jealous boyfriend Hao-Hao, and she soon finds herself gravitating toward a cool gangster named Jack (Jack Kao) - but this enigmatic new connection can only go so far toward lending a sense of purpose and belonging to her drifting existence. Told as a techno-scored, neon-lit memory from the year 2011, Millennium Mambo taps into the modern-day malaise of a generation longing for the future so that the present can become the past.

28 / 03 / 24

South Korean cinema is unimaginable without prolific filmmaker Hong Sang-soo. With the debut film „The Day a Pig Fell into the Well“ made in 1996, he became a part of the New Korean cinema movement. Influential film magazine „Cine21“ described that film as „a gunshot that shook Korean film history“. Since then Hong Sang-soo has developed a unique style, which is easy to recognize and interesting to analyze. In this film club we invite you to watch and to discuss his film „Woman on the Beach“.

South Korea | 2006 | 127 min. | Korean | English subtitles

Filmmaker Jung-rae, suffering from writer’s block, takes a trip to the coast with his production designer Chang-wook, who brings along the vivacious Mun-sook. Soon after their arrival, Moonsook falls for Joongrae and they begin an affair. Customary in Hong’s doubled-narrative structures, the film’s second half inverts this triangle when Jung-rae returns to the beach and meets Sun-hee, a woman who resembles Mun-suk. The film revisits the kind of listless coastal resort town, but now during their wintry offseason, where Hong deftly captures the subtle layers of monotony, humor and sadness that connect Jung-rae’s two trips.

29 / 02 / 24

We’re starting a new cycle of the film club screenings and moving to Asia. We will begin with one of the most important Asian women director’s Trinth T. Minh-ha film SURNAME VIET GIVEN NAME NAM.

JAV | 1989 | 108 min | Vietnamse | subtitles in English

Vietnamese-born Trinh T. Minh-ha’s profoundly personal documentary explores the role of Vietnamese women historically and in contemporary society. Using dance, printed texts, folk poetry and the words and experiences of Vietnamese women in Vietnam—from both North and South—and the United States, Trinh’s film challenges official culture with the voices of women. A theoretically and formally complex work, SURNAME VIET GIVEN NAME NAM explores the difficulty of translation, and themes of dislocation and exile, critiquing both traditional society and life since the war. Emotionally, the film leaves you with an impression of the courage and persistent strength of Vietnamese women, not in terms of propaganda-poster heroics but on the human level.

Daughter, she obeys her father/ Wife, she obeys her husband/ Widow, she obeys her son.

25 / 01 / 24

The fourth screening of the Taip Toliau FIlm Club will close the cycle of contemporary South American cinema and will be dedicated to Peru. We will watch and discuss MADEINUSA (2006), a strong and controversial debut feature of director Claudia Llosa (winner of Berlin Film Festival in 2010 with MILK OF SORROW).

Peru | 2006 | 100 min | Spanish, Quechua | subtitles in English

A 14 year old virgin named Madeinusa is living in a remote Andean village of Manayaycuna (meaning the town no one can enter in Quechua). A geologist from Lima passing through the town gets stuck in this unwelcoming village due to the floods. A yearly celebration of Tiempo Santo (Holy Time) is approaching – it is believed by the villagers that during the three days between Crucifixion and Resurrection the God is dead therefore he can not see the sins. Everything is allowed.

For us – just like for this stranger from the city in the remote mountain village – delving into the cinema and cultural or historical contexts of faraway regions of the world comes with the risks of misunderstanding, misreading of nuances. That is why we find MADEINUSA to be so important for our ongoing effort to learn from film, to learn to discuss film and recognise our own political and unconscious biases. Claudia Llosas debut provoked both harsh criticism and high praise in Peru and abroad. One of the main issues for the critics of the film is that the director – a young white middle class woman from the city – portrays Quechua people of remote Andes. But there is more than one way to see this problem of representation and we will be discussing that after the screening.

A woman walks through the field.

Surrounding her, the dogs run, and whirl, and roll, and spread all over the frame, undoing fiction like the legendary weaving of Penelope.

Further on, the world, and the outskirts.

Seasons, day

and night

and the different versions

of the sky.

21 / 12 / 23

The third screening of the Taip Toliau FIlm Club will continue the cycle of contemporary South American Cinema and will be dedicated to Argentina. We will watch and discuss DOG LADY (2015) directed by Laura Citarella and Verónica Llinás. We chose this film, because TRENQUE LAUQUEN, directed by Citarella, was one of the most beloved films of this year by all three of us, and recently Cahiers du Cinéma named it the best film of the 2023.

Argentina | 2015 | 98 min | Spanish | subtitles in English

DOG LADY is part of the New Argentine Cinema wave and one of the productions of the independent and experimental film collective El Pampero Cine, founded in 2002 by Mariano Llinás, Alejo Moguillansky, Agustin Mendilaharzu and Citatella herself. They have been creating a counter-example for film production and distribution against the dictates of dominant international festival and financing systems and gained a cult status in Argentina.

One of the film directors Véronica Llinás, known mostly for her theatre work also plays the unique, intriguing lead role. With a pack of dogs, a woman leads a self-imposed, autarchic existence on the periphery of Buenos Aires where the buildings start to give way to the Pampas, defending herself from the elements and other threats.

The second Taip toliau film club will go into Mexico. We will further explore contemporary South American filmmakers’ work. This time we will watch adn later discuss about Carlos Reygadas JAPÓN (2002).

29 / 11 / 23

In this preternaturally assured feature debut by Carlos Reygadas, a man (Alejandro Ferretis) travels from Mexico City to an isolated village to commit suicide; once there, however, he meets a pious elderly woman (Magdalena Flores) whose quiet humanity incites a reawakening of his desires. Recruiting a cast of nonactors and filming in sublime 16 mm CinemaScope, Reygadas explores the harsh beauty of the Mexican country­side with earthy tactility. We dive into a landscape where life coexists with death, and the animal and spiritual sides of human experience become indistinguishable. A work of soaring ambition and startling visual poetry, Japón is an existential journey through uncharted cinematic territory that established the singular voice of its director.

Mexico | 2003 | 134 min | Spanish | subtitles in English

The first few screenings will be dedicated to learning more about the contemporary cinema of South America. We chose to start with one of the most interesting voices from Brazil – film critic and director Kleber Mendonça Filho, who might be already familiar from the films like Aquarius (2016) or mystical Bacurau (2019).

26 / 10 / 23

We will be watching and discussing his film Neighboring Sounds, made in 2012 and named as one of the greatest feature debuts of the past decade. Previously, the independent cinema directors often turned their gaze and told stories of favelas, but Mendonça Filho turned the camera towards his own surroundings – a district of fastly growing middle class in the city of Recife.

Everyday life in the neighborhood is interrupted by a private security company, which convinces the locals to hire them to look after the peace from 7 pm to 7am. This should make everyone feel safer, but the anxiety is growing. Meanwhile, constant barking and howling of a neighbor’s dog is driving housewife Bia mad. Layers of neighboring sounds and noises intertwine and corridors are haunted by the fears and tensions. Architectural structures, interior details, fragments of locals’ interactions are knit into a tight web reflecting on the history, violence, and transformations of the class differences in contemporary Brazil.

dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho
Brazil | 2012 | 124 min | Portugese | subtitles in English