Abel Gance – Napoléon Bonaparte (1935)

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2011 restoration by La Cinémathèque Française of the re-edited sound version of Abel Gance’s 1927 epic silent film “Napoleon”.

French language only, no english subtitles.

One of the most high-profile casualties of the transition from silent to sound cinema was the French filmmaker Abel Gance. In the silent era, Gance had proven himself to be as great a cineaste as the other legendary pioneers of cinema, D.W. Griffith and Sergei Eisenstein, through a series of groundbreaking masterpieces that included J’accuse! (1919), La Roue (1923) and Napoléon (1927). It was the latter film that was to earn Gance particular acclaim and lasting recognition as one of the architects of cinema art, a five hour visionary epic that presented the early career of Napoléon Bonaparte with a visual artistry and panache that is, to this day, virtually unrivalled. As he struggled to make much of an impact with his sound films, it was inevitable that Gance would return to his earlier great achievement and give it a voice. His sound version of Napoléon would prove to be both a monumental piece of cinema in its own right and a terribly prescient foretaste of the cataclysmic events that would soon overtake Europe in the mid-to-late 1930s. Continue reading

Alejandro Jodorowsky – The Holy Mountain [+Extras] (1973)

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Synopsis
A Christlike figure wanders through bizarre, grotesque scenarios filled with religious and sacrilegious imagery. He meets a mystical guide who introduces him to seven wealthy and powerful individuals, each representing a planet in the solar system. These seven, along with the protagonist, the guide and the guide’s assistant, divest themselves of their worldly goods and form a group of nine who will seek out the Holy Mountain, in order to displace the gods who live there and become immortal.
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Pedro Aguilera – Naufragio aka Wreckage (2010)

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Quote:
Illegal immigration is one of the most challenging problems facing Spain over these
last few years. From among the thousands of immigrants entering the country by
various means, there are hundreds and hundreds trying to reach Spanish territory on
rudimentary open-decked vessels, most of them setting out from along the African
coast. Many of these African immigrants fail to reach Spain and find their death in the
sea. Others reach the coast exhausted and dehydrated from days on the open sea and
yet still hoping to find a new future. For many, there is no future as they are promptly
returned to their land of origin and even those who are allowed remain for whatever
reason, find that things are much more difficult for them than they had ever expected. Continue reading

Henri-Georges Clouzot – La Vérité AKA The Truth (1960)

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Plot summary from IMDB:

Dominique Marceau is on trial for the murder of Gilbert Tellier. The counsels duel relentlessly, elaborating explanations for why the pretty, idle and fickle girl killed the talented and ambitious conductor freshly graduated from the conservatory. Was it passion, vengeance, desperation, an accident? The acquaintances of Gilbert testify, as well as Dominique’s former lovers, and her sister, Annie, the studious violin player engaged to Gilbert. The evidence they give progressively paints a more finely-shaded picture of the personalities of Dominique and Gilbert, and of their relationship, than the eloquent and convincing justifications of the counsels. Continue reading

Paul Schrader – Hardcore (1979)

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Description: Jake Van Dorn is businessman from American heartland who shares strong Calvinist convictions with most of his countrymen. His teenage daughter is missing from the trip in L.A. and Van Dorn hires private investigator. Result of the investigation is his daughter being spotted in cheap X-rated movie. Van Dorn decides to bring her back personally and during the quest he becomes familiar with the pornographic underworld. Continue reading