One of my favorite list of the year is MUBI Notebook’s Fantasy Double Features and it is the second year I’m contributing with the list. If you are not familiar with the list, here is a very short introduction: ” How would you program this year’s newest, most interesting films into double features with movies of the past you saw in 2015? Looking back over the year at what films moved and impressed us, it is clear that watching old films is a crucial part of making new films meaningful. Thus, the annual tradition of our end of year poll, which calls upon our writers to pick both a new and an old film: they were challenged to choose a new film they saw in 2015—in theatres or at a festival—and creatively pair it with an old film they also saw in 2014 to create a unique double feature. All the contributors were given the option to write some text explaining their 2015 fantasy double feature. What’s more, each writer was given the option to list more pairings, with or without explanation, as further imaginative film programming we’d be lucky to catch in that perfect world we know doesn’t exist but can keep dreaming of every time we go to the movies.”

Here is my list for Notebook’s 8th Writers Poll: Fantasy Double Features of 2015:

NEW: Arabian Nights: Volume 1 – The Restless One, Arabian Nights: Volume 2 – The Desolate One and Arabian Nights: Volume 3 – The Enchanted One (Miguel Gomes, Portugal)
OLD: Arabian Nights (Pier Paolo Pasolini, Italy/France, 1974)
WHY: It took cinema more than 40 years to go beyond the “liberated” cinema of Pasolini and specially what he did in Il fiore delle mille e una notte. Arabian Nights by Gomes is at the same time an homage to Pasolini’s style and also a new milestone in liberated narrative; a kind of storytelling abundant with bawdy tales and absurdity that abandons all the rules while preserving them, where stories are like free radicals and each has its own form and agenda. Gomes introduces himself as the narrator in the first installment only to run away from the scene and then it is Scheherazade who takes his place and tells us about contemporary Portugal in a mythical way. In the third installment, Scheherazade appears on the screen for the first time to see the world for the last time. In this way Arabian Nights becomes the most daring experimental film of the year, a movie that mixes myth and reality, past and now, sadness and joy to create a liberated form free from any rules but its own.

NEW: Noc Walpurgi (Marcin Bortkiewicz, Poland) + OLD: In Darkness (Agnieszka Holland, Poland/Germany/Canada, 2011)

NEW: The Brand New Testament (Jaco Van Dormael, Belgium) + OLD: The Last Temptation of the Christ (Martin Scorsese, 1988)

NEW: Love (Gaspar Noe, France) + OLD: Nymphomaniac – Vol 1 and Vol 2 – Director’s Cut (Lars von Trier, 2013)

You can read the whole story and other critics list here, it is abandant with good sugestions and intersting films.

 

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