Costa-Gavras – L’aveu AKA The Confession (1970)

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Costa-Gavras might be the European filmmaker most influential on American directors of the 1970s. Although this honor often goes to Jean-Luc Godard and other compatriots of the Nouvelle Vague, films like The French Connection, The Parallax View, or Blow Out are most clearly engaged with a clamorous mode of political cinema that’s as fundamentally enraged as it is delicately assembled. Typically, Costa-Gavras’s Z is credited as the key film in this regard, not simply for its humanistic, injustice-as-thriller construction, but also for the way it “opened up critical perceptions,” as Armond White states it, for filmmaking’s lasting cultural effects. Such an assessment is backed by historical fact, but one would be remiss to overstate the terrain for Costa-Gavras, since none of the director’s subsequent films received a similar degree of accolades, either from filmmakers or critics. The neglect is easier to ascertain once it’s understood just how different The Confession is from its predecessor, a nearly two-and-a-half-hour film that shirks the frantic chase sequences of Z by dialing back its proceedings to a nearly singular setting, literally within the confines of Czechoslovakian torture camp, but more figuratively within the mind and body of Anton Ludvik (Yves Montand), a high-ranking communist official held prisoner by Stalinist extremists. Continue reading

Bertrand Tavernier – Une semaine de vacances AKA A Week’s Vacation (1980)

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Here are some ways that Bettrand Tavernier, in production notes for his new film ”A Week’s Vacation,” describes his film: ”A portrait of a woman against the background of almost murmured questions that concern us all, approached without didacticism.” ”A laughing fit before you realize it’s going to snow.” ”An old man who knows a lot.” ”A motorcycle engine more familiar than a Moliere play.” ”A letter you read at the end of summer.” Continue reading

Sang-soo Hong – Yourself and Yours (2016)

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Korean maestro and Festival favourite Hong Sang-soo (Right Now, Wrong Then) embarks on an intriguing foray into the uncanny with this ingenious spin on Luis Buñuel’s final masterpiece That Obscure Object of Desire.

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Painter Youngsoo (Kim Joo-hyuk) hears secondhand that his girlfriend, Minjung (Lee Yoo-young), has recently had (many) drinks with an unknown man. This leads to a quarrel that seems to end their relationship. The next day, Youngsoo sets out in search of her, at the same time that Minjung—or a woman who looks exactly like her and may or may not be her twin—has a series of encounters with strange men, some of whom claim to have met her before. Continue reading

Sang-soo Hong – Hahaha (2010)

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Movie director Jo Moon-Kyeong (Kim Sang-Kyung), who recently decided to immigrate to Canada, takes a trip down to the small sea-side town of Tongyeong, South Korea. There he meets acquaintance Bang Jong-Sik (Yu Jun-Sang) who is a movie critic. The film director and movie critic sits down to have drinks and talk about their past.

They also come across Yang Seong-Wook (Moon So-Ri), who is an amateur poet and cultural guide in Tongyeong and a charming young woman (Kim Gyu-Ri). Continue reading

Silvio Tendler – Os Anos JK – Uma Trajetoria Politica AKA The JK Years – A Political History (1980)

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PLOT SYNOPSIS
Documentary about Brazilian history, from 1945 until the 70s, focusing on president Juscelino Kubitschek, his political rise, his philosophy of economical development, his gigantic project of constructing a new capital city for the country, Brasília, in the middle of the jungle, and his last years, after the military takeover, when he was deprived of his political rights and went into a temporary exile. Continue reading

Marco Bellocchio – Salto nel vuoto AKA A Leap in the Dark (1980)

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imdb summary
Mauro, a judge, is worried about his older sister Marta, who took care of him since he was a boy, and is now affected by psychic problems and suicide fantasies. She seems to recover from her depression when Mauro acquaints her with Giovanni, a brilliant actor at the edge of legality. Mauro become unconsciously jealous of this relationship, and try to get Giovanni arrested. Continue reading