Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project No. 2
In 2007, Martin Scorsese founded the World Cinema Project, a nonprofit organization committed to restoring neglected and marginalized cinema from countries where major restorations are unlikely and unprecedented. Modeled after The Film Foundation in the US, an organization Scorsese was also involved in founding, the first title was unveiled at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Morocco’s music documentary Trances (1981) from Ahmed El Maanouni. Since then, the World Cinema Project has collaborated with releasing several of their restorations either as standalone films (Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl, 1966) or in majestic box sets, the first of which was released by the Criterion Collection in 2013 (notably featuring Kim Ki-young’s The Housemaid, 1960). Volume 2 arrives a whole three years later, a six title set combining rare titles from lauded auteurs with select obscurities spanning various time periods across the globe.

This collector’s set gathers six works, from the Philippines (Insiang), Thailand (Mysterious Object at Noon), Soviet Kazakhstan (Revenge), Brazil (Limite), Turkey (Law of the Border), and Taiwan (Taipei Story). Each title is an essential contribution to the art form and a window onto a distinct filmmaking tradition unfamiliar to many.

Insiang (Philippines, Lino Brocka, 1976)
The film tells the story of the eponymous Insiang, played by the striking Hilda Koronel. Insiang lives in the slums of Manila and lives with her mother Tonya (Mona Lisa) who doesn't like her that much. One day, Tonya's lover rapes Insiang, and in the aftermath of this event, Insiang's boyfriend decides he doesn't want to be with her anymore. Insiang then decides she wants to plot revenge, against the man who raped her, against her mother, against just about anyone who wronged her in any way.

Mysterious Object at Noon (Thailand, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2000)
This film is a little experimental in nature and even could be considered on the documentary side of things, as Apichatpong Weeresethakul shot the film over two years over every corner of his homeland, playing the ‘exquisite corpse' game, where people add their own words to a story that starts with a boy and his teacher, and it builds incrementally with each interview subject.

Revenge (Soviet Union, Ermek Shinarbaev, 1989)
As its title indicates, this 1989 Soviet Union title from Ermek Shinarbaev is a flavorful and formidably ambitious narrative on vengeance (and is also known as The Red Flute, where it screened at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard sidebar). Credited with jumpstarting the New Kazakhstan Wave, Shinarbaev pairs with Korean Kazakhstanian novelist Antaoly Kim for this densely structured narrative which jumps timelines and characters wrapped in this dark fairy tale.

Limite (Brazil, Mario Peixoto, 1931)
Based on the introduction alone, this may be perhaps the most coveted release of this boxed set. Made as a silent film in 1931 by Brazilian director Mario Peixoto, it was inspired by a photograph on a cover of a French magazine. It looks at the lives of a man and two women who are stranded at sea, their lives told by flashback. By seeing their past, Peixoto tries to show us what their future may look like.

Hailed by many as the best Brazilian film of the 20th century, Limite features interesting performances by Raul Schnoor, Olga Breno and Tatiana Ray in the main roles, approaching larger themes of life and death with that have an emotional connection to the viewer, and Peixoto's handling of them set to a varied score that includes Stravinsky is amazing to watch.

Law of the Border (Turkey, Lutfi O. Akad, 1966)
This black and white film from Turkey highlights the struggle of life in southeastern Turkey near the border with Syria. A father named Hidir (Yilmaz Guney) eventually resorts to smuggling as a way of life, but does not want this life for his son, and sets about forging a different path for him.

Starring action star Yilmaz Guney (who also wrote the novel this was based on), who would become Turkey’s most infamous director a decade later (he would win the Palme d’Or in 1982 for Yol but eventually was forced to flee the country, his citizenship revoked), this is a gritty piece of social realism which plays like a mixture between an American Western and De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948).

Taipei Story (Taiwan, Edward Yang, 1985)
Wrapping things up is this 1985 film from Taiwan, which on the surface looks at an ex-baseball player (Hou Hsiao-hsien) and his girlfriend (Tsai Chin), but on a larger scale, looks at how Taiwan's modernization put optimism and hope in many, such as the couple we experience here. The baseball player Hung has a sense of loyalty and sentimentality which presumably leans towards the older sensibility, while his girlfriend has dreams larger than could be realized.

3xBD50, 6xDVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 588 minutes
Language: various
Subtitles: English
Genre: Drama

Extras:

DISC ONE (Blu-ray)
*** "Insiang"
*** "Mysterious Object at Noon"
"Insiang" extras
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (2:04)
• Interview with Pierre Rissient (14:38)
"Mysterious Object at Noon" extras
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (1:40)
• Interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul (18:16)

DISC TWO (DVD)
*** "Insiang"
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (2:04)
• Interview with Pierre Rissient (14:36)

DISC THREE (DVD)
*** "Mysterious Object at Noon"
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (1:39)
• Interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul (18:14)

DISC FOUR (Blu-ray)
*** "Revenge"
*** "Limite"
"Revenge" extras
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (1:48)
• Interview with Ermek Shinarbaev (18:51)
"Limite" extras
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (1:55)
• Interview with Walter Salles (14:12)

DISC FIVE (DVD)
*** "Revenge"
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (1:47)
• Interview with Ermek Shinarbaev (18:50)

DISC SIX (DVD)
*** "Limite"
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (1:55)
• Interview with Walter Salles (14:11)

DISC SEVEN (Blu-ray)
*** "Law of the Border"
*** "Taipei Story"
"Law of the Border" extras
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (2:38)
• Interview with Mevlut Akkaya (16:54)
"Taipei Story" extras
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (2:21)
• Interview with Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edmond Wong (18:04)

DISC EIGHT (DVD)
*** "Law of the Border"
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (2:38)
• Interview with Mevlut Akkaya (16:52)

DISC NINE (DVD Copy)
*** "Taipei Story"
• Martin Scorsese Introduction (2:21)
• Interview with Hou Hsiao-hsien and Edmond Wong (18:02)

Download Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project No. 2: Insiang (1976), Mysterious Object at Noon(2000), Revenge (1989), Limite (1931), Law of the Border (1966), Taipei Story (1985) 6 x DVD9 and 3 x Blu-Ray Criterion Collection:

Hitfile:

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