Lynn Fernie & Aerlyn Weissman – Forbidden Love: The unashamed stories of lesbian lives (1992)

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From IMDB:
Ten women, most of them in Vancouver or Toronto, talk about being lesbian in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s: discovering the pulp fiction of the day about women in love, their own first affairs, the pain of breaking up, frequenting gay bars, facing police raids, men’s responses, and the etiquette of butch and femme roles. Interspersed among the interviews and archival footage are four dramatized chapters from a pulp novel, “Forbidden Love”: Laura leaves her hick town and heads for the city, where she meets Mitch in a bar. Sparks fly, and so do laughter and joy. Ann Bannon, one of the writers of those paperback novels about forbidden love, talks about the genre.

***Not erotica or porno – this is a documentary.*** Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – Skammen AKA Shame [+Extras] (1968)

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The middle segment of Ingmar Bergman’s late ’60s trilogy of films set on the island of Fårö, Shame is less enigmatic than Hour of the Wolf and more harrowing than The Passion of Anna. It’s impossible to think that Bergman wasn’t in some way affected by the worldwide debate over American involvement in Vietnam when he wrote the script for Shame, though its politics are neutral. Bergman is much more interested in exploring the inability of civilians to get out of the way of a war and what the consequences are when it does touch them. Precisely because Jan and Eva Rosenberg take no sides in the civil conflict they are trying to avoid, their basic reaction to danger is one of pure survival… When Eva tries to recall a remark that would comfort her, her memory fails her; it’s one of the most powerful scenes in the career of one of the world’s greatest filmmakers.

— Tom Wiener, AllRovi Continue reading

Oliver Schmitz – Life, Above All (2010)

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Strong narrative drive and a lived-in sense of community distinguish “Life, Above All,” helmer Oliver Schmitz’s traditional but emotionally rich adaptation of Allan Stratton’s novel “Chanda’s Secrets.” A forceful account of a courageous 12-year-old fighting small-minded prejudice in her South African village, well-made pic maintains a tight enough focus on its heroine to avoid becoming a topical tract on the issues it grapples with, namely the AIDS epidemic, infant mortality and child prostitution. Positive critical response should give this Un Certain Regard hit a strong shot at offshore play. Continue reading

Frigyes Bán & Vladislav Pavlovic – Szent Péter esernyöje AKA St. Peter’s Umbrella (1958)

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Plot / Synopsis

The movie St. Peter’s Umbrella, is an adaptation of one of the best-known works of Kálmán Mikszáth, and based on a real-life story. In the plot, a new priest is appointed in Glogova, a town in the Hungarian highlands. The priest has to take care of his two-year-old orphaned sister, Veronka. On a summer day, she is sheltered from a shower by an umbrella put above her. As people begin to gossip that the mysterious helper was Saint Peter himself, the umbrella becomes a holy relic bringing a lot of money. Yet one day the truth is revealed: the benefactor was not Saint Peter and the umbrella is indeed worth a fortune. A bitter chase begins, at the end of which something far more precious than money is found. The enchanting story is in fact a fully elaborated anecdote about finding happiness in discovering sincere love rather than in the pursuit of wealth. Continue reading

Mircea Daneliuc – Legiunea straina aka The Foreign Legion (2008)

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Plot / Synopsis

For many years, three Romanian village boys, Stelica, Aurel and Mitu, have remained the closest of friends. In their youths, they planned to pursue careers as shepherds, but in time their individual paths diverged – leading Mitu into the military, Stelica into the local police force and Aurel into the employ of Maricel, a wealthy resident of the community. The men’s worlds change forever when a newcomer arrives in the hamlet – a young woman named Lilica, accompanied by Maricel. She’s toting two trucks full of Dutch chickens with her, which inadvertently spreads the bird flu to much of the local populace. The boys, however, soon realize how they can ingeniously turn this potential crisis into a solid profit-making venture for themselves. Continue reading

Götz Spielmann – Antares (2004) (DVD)

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Quote:
A housing development on the outskirts of a big city, common, ubiquitous – high-rise apartment complexes, lots of concrete, sparse plots of perfunctory green. Graffiti-scrawled entryways, intercoms, long stairwells, thousands of faceless windows. From out of this uniform coexistence three couples emerge whose lives intersect over the course of three days and will never be the same again. Continue reading

Lina Wertmüller – Notte d’Estate Con Profilo Greco, Occhi a Mandorla, e Odore di Basilico aka Summer Night (1986)

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DVD Verdict Review :

After a weak effort at an English-language film (A Night Full of Rain, with a miscast Candice Bergen), Wertmüller needed to reclaim her reputation. Hence, Summer Night, a recapitulation of Swept Away with fancier dress.

Signora Bolk (Mariangela Melato), a rich woman who fancies herself an ecological activist, hires a former intelligence operative (Roberto Herlitzka, camping it up with an eyepatch and plastic hand, as if he had walked out of a ’60s spy farce) to help her kidnap an eco-terrorist (Michele Placido, because, well, maybe Giannini was busy that week). She chains her prize up in a room, then seduces him. It is all supposed to be funny, I suppose. Continue reading