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Alan Rafkin – How to Frame a Figg (1971)

Hollis Alexander Figg (Don Knotts) is a bumbling but earnest accountant working for the city hall of a small town. When the richest man in town concocts a get-rich scam of the taxpayers with the mayor and other local bigwigs, they decide to fire all the city hall accountants except for Figg, who they have determined to be too dumb and oafish to ever catch on to what they’re doing. They even go so far as to bring in a wall-sized “supercomputer” to help fudge the numbers, but in spite of this, Figg starts to realize that something is wrong. When the corrupt civic leaders realize they cannot shake the relentless Figg, they decide to frame Figg for their crimes, and it is up to Figg, with help from his garbage man best friend (Frank Welker) and waitress girlfriend (Elaine Joyce), to prove his innocence and expose the wrongdoing of the civic leaders. Read More »

León Klimovsky – La noche de Walpurgis AKA The Werewolf Versus the Vampire Woman AKA Werewolf Shadow (1971)

Synopsis:
Elvira is travelling through the French countryside with her friend Genevieve, searching for the lost tomb of a medieval murderess and possible vampire, Countess Wandessa. They find a likely site in the castle of Waldemar Daninsky, who invites the women to stay as long as they like. As Waldemar shows Elvira the tomb that supposedly houses the countess, she accidentally causes the vampire to come back to life, hungrier than ever. Daninsky has a hidden secret of his own, but will it be enough to save the two girls from becoming Wandessa’s next victims? Read More »

José María Forqué – El ojo del huracán AKA La volpe dalla coda di velluto AKA In the Eye of the Hurricane (1971)

Synopsis:
Ruth and Michel separate after Ruth finds another man, Paul. Ruth and Paul go to her sunny, idyllic beach side villa to spend summer. They are having a great time together, and then things start happening. The brakes of the car fail, and Ruth narrowly escapes death. The driving equipment goes faulty, and Ruth almost drowns. Michel turns up at their doorstep for an uninvited social call, and Paul asks him in. Ruth suspects Michel of being the person behind the mechanical faults of the car and the diving equipment, but Paul dismisses such a possibility – but he does suggest it to Michel. Then, the heat does go up… Read More »

Aldo Lado – La corta notte delle bambole di vetro AKA Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971)

Synopsis:
Greg Moore, an American journalist visiting Prague with his girlfriend Mira is found dead. However, he’s actually only temporarily paralyzed, but the coroner fails to realize this and proceeds to prepare him for the autopsy. While Moore awaits his doom, he tries to recollect what has happened to him. It all starts when his girl disappears. He asks his friend, a local journalist, for help. They discover that this was just the latest in a series of disappearances of young pretty girls in the area. Their investigation leads them to a strange high profile private club, whose affluent members practice odd ritualistic orgies and bizarre dark rites. Read More »

Noriaki Tsuchimoto – Shiranuikai AKA Minimata Part 2: The Shiranui Sea (1975)

Quote:
The Shiranui Sea is the second of the Minamata documentaries released by Zakka Films and widely considered to be Tsuchimoto’s masterpiece. If Minimata: The Victims and Their World follows the victims in their struggle for compensation for suffering from Minimata Disease, Japan’s most notorious case of environmental pollution, The Shiranui Sea provides a beautifully lyrical and compelling portrait of their everyday lives and difficulties. It is both a profound expose of how government and industry can undermine the environmental foundations of daily life, and a model for how documentary can humanely reveal human suffering.

“One of the monuments of Japanese documentary”. Read More »

Manoel de Oliveira – O Dia do Desespero AKA The Day of Despair (1992)

Quote:
In 1992 Oliveira made O Dia do Desespero, which deals with the last days and suicide of Romantic novelist Camilo Castelo Branco and is based largely on the writer’s letters. Most of it was filmed in the house where Castelo Branco in fact committed suicide. The film opens, midway through the credits, with a 50-second static shot of a pen-and-ink portrait of the writer. Other portraits, always shot with a static camera, punctuate the film’s narrative, lending it a documentary tone from the outset. Read More »

François Ozon – Les amants criminels AKA AKA Criminal Lovers (1999)

French bad boy director François Ozon, who caused a stir with his controversial first feature Sitcom (1998) and his shorts A Summer Dress (1997) and See the Sea (1997), creates a dark and brooding tale of transgression and sexuality for his second feature outing. Alice (Natacha Régnier) is a bored, spoiled high schooler with a gorgeous body and a sociopathic mind. She persuades one of her suitors, the naive and trusting Luc (Jeremie Renier), to murder another suitor, the handsome, rakish Said (Salim Kechiouche). Read More »