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Claude d’Anna – L’Ordre et la sécurité du monde aka Last In, First Out (1978)

Synopsis:
In the film, Helen (Laure Dechasnel), a married woman, leaves Paris for Zurich after breaking up with her lover. Near the border, a fellow passenger, mistakenly takes her passport. This sets up a situation which plunges her into the midst of international intrigue, a violent struggle between multinational corporations abetted by national secret agencies. This production features such international stars as Joesph Cotten, Donald Pleasence, Dennis Hopper and Bruno Cremer. Read More »

Paul Mazursky – An Unmarried Woman (1978)

Quote:
Erica is unmarried only temporarily in that her successful, wealthy husband of seventeen years has just left her for a girl he met while buying a shirt in Bloomingdale’s. The film shows Erica coming to terms with the break-up while revising her opinions of herself, redefining that self in its own right rather than as an extension of somebody else’s personality, and finally going out with another man. Erica refuses to drop everything for Saul, an abstract expressionist painter, simply out of love for him because he expects her to. It is not so much loneliness that is her problem, and the problems that men, flitting around this newly “available” woman like moths round a flame, bring to her sense of independence. Read More »

Richard Brooks – The Happy Ending (1969)

Quote:
The triumphs and failures of middle age as seen through the eyes of runaway American housewife Mary Wilson (Jean Simmons), a woman who believes that ultimate reality exists above and beyond the routine procedures of conscious, uninspired, everyday life. She feels cheated by an older generation that taught her to settle for nothing less than storybook finales, people who are disillusioned and restless and don’t know why, people for whom life holds no easy answers. Great supporting cast includes John Forsythe, Teresa Wright, Lloyd Bridges, Shirley Jones, Bobby Darin, Tina Louise, Dick Shawn, and Nanette Fabray. Read More »

Arthur Penn – The Missouri Breaks (1976)

Synopsis:
When vigilante land baron David Braxton (John McLiam) hangs one of the best friends of cattle rustler Tom Logan (Jack Nicholson), Logan’s gang decides to get even by purchasing a small farm next to Braxton’s ranch. From there the rustlers begin stealing horses, using the farm as a front for their operation. Determined to stop the thefts at any cost, Braxton retains the services of eccentric sharpshooter Robert E. Lee Clayton (Marlon Brando), who begins ruthlessly taking down Logan’s gang. Read More »

Jacqueline Audry – Olivia AKA The Pit of Loneliness (1951)

Quote:
Olivia captures the awakening passions of an English adolescent sent away for a year to a small finishing school outside Paris. The innocent but watchful Olivia develops an infatuation for her headmistress, Mlle. Julie, and through this screen of love observes the tense romance between Mlle. Julie and the other head of the school, Mlle. Cara, in its final months. Although not strictly autobiographical, Olivia draws on the author’s experiences at finishing schools run by the charismatic Mlle. Marie Souvestre, whose influence lived on through former students like Natalie Barney and Eleanor Roosevelt. Colette wrote the screenplay for the 1951 film adaptation of the novel. Read More »

Fernando Pérez – José Martí: el ojo del canario AKA Martí, the Eye of the Canary (2010)

This historical drama, depicting different phases in the late childhood and youth of the so-called “Apostle of Cuba” José Martí, is most of the time a biopic full of commonplaces often found in this genre, directed by Fernando Pérez, one of the most respected names in Cuban cinema.

Narrated in four movements, in the first two (“Bees” and “Arias”), the 9 year old Martí (endearingly played by Damián Rodríguez) is bullied in school by schoolmates and abused by his schoolmaster, while he learns notions of justice and oppression from his father. He discovers the beauties of Mother Nature with an old slave, explores his sexuality and enters into the world of high art in a Havanan theater. The boy also becomes aware of the high price a poor child has to pay for education. Read More »

Alfred Machin & Henry Wulschleger – Le manoir de la peur AKA The Manor House of Fear (1924)

Quote:

Since a mysterious stranger and his servant settled in a manor near a Provençal village, a wave of crimes has beenfall the country and spread terror among the inhabitants. Young Jean Lormeau, refusing to give in to fear, leaves to meet the disturbing owner to discover his secret. Read More »