Paolo Genovese – Perfetti sconosciuti AKA Perfect Strangers (2016)

Synopsis:
Seven long-time friends get together for a dinner. When they decide to share with each other the content of every text message, email and phone call they receive, many secrets start to unveil and the equilibrium trembles. Read More »

Dan Sallitt – All the Ships at Sea (2004)

Quote:
Sallitt has written repeatedly that his favorite director is Howard Hawks. All the Ships at Sea shows the influence of Hawks. The story telling is vigorous, the characters are rich, and the logically constructed story development is character-centered, showing vivid interactions between the principal performers. Both sisters are get-up-and-go types in the Hawks tradition. The older sister spends the entire film, taking every action she can to help the younger sister, who is in trouble. She also tries to help other people, in the course of the film. The younger sister is less functional, being in the grip of a religious cult. But the film stresses the younger sister’s willingness to take personal action in accordance with her religious convictions. She is not passive or a victim; she is a person who stands up for what she thinks is right. Read More »

Eloy de la Iglesia – Una Gota de sangre para morir amando AKA Murder In A Blue World (1973)

Often described as “the Spanish A Clockwork Orange”, this controversial shocker is set in a violent near-future world. Honest citizens live in terror as gangs of leather clad, whip-wielding sadists roam the nighttime streets. Meanwhile, in a top-secret laboratory, strange mind control experiments are being conducted. Against this background a beautiful nurse tries to ease the pain of those condemned to die. But who really is this angel of mercy and what is the purpose of her mission? Read More »

Alfred Vohrer – Das indische Tuch AKA The Indian Scarf (1963)

When a wealthy man dies, his avaricious relatives look forward to inheriting all his money. However, he leaves a provision in his will that they all must spend a week together in his castle before they will be able to inherit anything. At the castle (which is cut off from the outside world), the relatives soon begin to be killed off one by one, each strangled with an Indian scarf. The estate’s executor, a lawyer, sets out to find the killer before everyone–including himself–is murdered. Read More »

Tatsumi Kumashiro – Yoi-machi-gusa AKA Evening Primrose (1974)

The Taisho era was a time of turbulence in Japan. From new marks of modernity to full-blown riots, a sense of revolution filled the air. The Dam Dam Group is a small anarchist organization lead by Daijiro, a silver tongued “Benshi”, a performer who provides narratives for silent films, playing multiple roles. In other words, he was a master at the art of deception, a handy talent when it came to ‘doing jobs’ for his group. His revolutionary ideals attracted many to his squadron, but among them was a young girl who was oblivious to his group’s activities. Her name was Shino. Read More »

Eloy de la Iglesia – Nadie oyó gritar AKA No One Heard the Scream (1973)

“No One Heard the Scream” is another terrific Spanish horror film from the troubled director Eloy de la Iglesia. The film stars two of his strongest performers, Carmen Sevilla (from de la Iglesia’s “The Glass Ceiling”) and Vincente Parra (from de la Iglesia’s “Cannibal Man”), and so with these two tried-and-true leads it is hard for this film to fail. While it is not as overtly frightening as the other two aforementioned films, “No One Heard the Scream” definitely has its moments. Sevilla plays a professional mistress who bids farewell to her older lover when she meets the handsome man next door (Parra); unfortunately for Sevilla, Parra has just murdered his wife. Read More »

Freddie Francis – The Skull (1965)

From Allmovie:
Adapted from the Robert Bloch short story “The Skull of the Marquis de Sade,” this inventive gothic chiller from Amicus stars Peter Cushing as Professor Maitland, a collector obsessed with obtaining artifacts reputed to have occult powers — including the title object, believed to be from the crypt of the notorious French nobleman. Shortly after the Professor brings home his latest find, the skull begins making nightly rounds (the gliding camera peers through the eye sockets for the nifty “skull-cam” point-of-view shots) before eventally dominating Maitland’s will. Despite the potentially cheesy premise (which sounds better suited to a William Castle project), the film is remarkably subtle and spooky thanks to the deft hand of director Freddie Francis and an excellent performance from Cushing. Read More »