D.W. Griffith – The Painted Lady (1912)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

A lonely young woman lives with her strict father who forbids her to wear make-up. One day at an ice cream social, she meets a young man you seems interested in her. However, unknown to her, he is a burglar who is only interested in breaking into her father’s house. One night she is awakened by a noise. Grabbing a pistol, she enters her father’s downstairs office where she confronts a masked intruder . . . Continue reading

Lucian Pintilie – Reconstituirea aka Reconstruction (1968)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
After two friends drunkenly injure a waiter, the police force them to recreate their crime for an “educational” film—with disastrous results. Immediately banned
in communist Romania, Reenactment is one of the key films of the Romanian
cinema (voted best Romanian film of all time by 40 Romanian film critics)
and stands among the exemplary works of its region and time. Continue reading

Srdjan Karanovic – Virdzina aka Virgina (1991)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The story takes place in Yugoslavia at the end of the 19th century, in an isolated village near the Adriatic sea. Because of the extreme patriarchal culture there is a superstition that families without male heirs are cursed. When the wife of a farmer gives birth to their fourth daughter, father decides that the child will be brought up to become a so-called “Virgina” and that she will live as a man, so that she can work and be the family heir. This heartbreaking story of Virginas life is told with strong words, augmented with harsh inviroment. Continue reading

Hector Babenco – At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

PLOT SYNOPSIS
In a remote branch of the Brazilian Amazon, Americans Lewis (Tom Berenger) and Wolf (Tom Waits) are stranded when their plane runs out of gas. They are kept company by an evangelist missionary (John Lithgow) and his wife (Darryl Hannah). The preacher and his followers want to preach to the primitive Niaruna Indians, while others are interested in the Niaruna for more diabolical reasons-specifically, business concerns that would like to claim the Indians’ land for development. The local police chief cuts a deal with the mercenaries Lewis and Wolf: if they will agree to bomb the Niarunas out of existence, they will be paid enough money to leave the country. Instead, Lewis, part Native American himself,aligns himself with the Niarunas. From this moment on, he and the tribe are doomed. A long-standing pet project of producer Saul Zaentz, At Play in the Fields of the Lord was adapted from the best-selling novel by Peter Matthiesen. Continue reading

Jeremy Geltzer – Dirty Words & Filthy Pictures: Film and the First Amendment (2016)

Dirty Words & Filthy Pictures: Film and the First Amendment
by Jeremy Geltzer
Foreword by Alex Kozinski
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: University of Texas Press (January 4, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1477307435
ISBN-13: 978-1477307434

From the earliest days of cinema, scandalous films such as The Kiss (1896) attracted audiences eager to see provocative images on screen. With controversial content, motion pictures challenged social norms and prevailing laws at the intersection of art and entertainment. Today, the First Amendment protects a wide range of free speech, but this wasn’t always the case. For the first fifty years, movies could be censored and banned by city and state officials charged with protecting the moral fabric of their communities. Once film was embraced under the First Amendment by the Supreme Court’s Miracle decision in 1952, new problems pushed notions of acceptable content even further. Continue reading

Jean-Denis Bonan – La femme bourreau AKA A Woman Kills (1968)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
‘Paris, in the 1960s. A series of crimes troubles the public tranquility. On March, 22, 1968, Hélène Picard, a prostitute sentenced to death two years before for several murders, is killed by executioner Louis Guilbeau. Immediately, the violent crimes, similar to Hélène’s ones, go on again. In parallel, Louis is having an affair with the police woman in charge of the investigation… What are the obscure relations hidden behind the executioner and the mysterious killer? Who is this dark man in reality?’
– UniFrance Continue reading