Bogdan Mustata – O zi buna de plaja aka A Good Day For A Swim (2007)

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winner of the Golden Bear 2008 for International Short Film

quote:
This harrowing short film — winner of the Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival — follows the trail of a trio of young sociopaths as they pick up a young woman they find at the side of the road and take her to the beach for a day of amoral pursuits. Not for the squeamish.

“The compelling story, sparingly told, of three juvenile delinquents who break out of prison. The beach beckons. Violence is nothing but a game. And the wedding is celebrated in handcuffs.“ (Maike Mia Höhne) Continue reading

Clifford Odets – None But the Lonely Heart (1944)

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Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Cary Grant delivered Oscar-calibre performances all his life, but only when he played against type in None But the Lonely Heart did the Academy Awards people break down and give him a nomination. Grant plays a restless, irresponsible cockney who seeks a better life but doesn’t seem to have the emotional wherewithal to work for such a life. The hero’s shiftlessness extends to his love life; musician Jane Wyatt genuinely cares for him, but he prefers the company of fickle gangster’s ex-wife June Duprez. June’s former husband George Coulouris convinces Grant that the quickest means to wealth is a life of crime, but Grant drops this aspect of his life to take care of his terminally ill mother Ethel Barrymore. While Cary Grant did not win the Oscar he so richly deserved for None But the Lonely Heart, Ethel Barrymore did cop the gold statuette. Written and directed by Clifford Odets, None But the Lonely Heart unfortunately lost money for RKO, which could have used a little extra cash after paying the expenses of temporarily closing Ms. Barrymore’s Broadway play The Corn is Green. Continue reading

? – The Opium Den (1935)

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“The Opium Den, from 1935, follows. Three jacked-up junkies pretend to bugger each other with sausages, dildos, and bananas. Lucky for them a lady shows up to provide them a heterosexual outlet for their desires. Oddly, they spend an inordinate amount of time smoking, laughing, and fiddling with their disguises. Yes, these folks are wearing fake noses, heavy make-up, and glasses. Their disguises lay bear the reality of how taboo pornography must’ve been in the 1930’s, especially when one considers the setting for their sexcapades, an opium den. Only junkies and degenerates have illicit sex and take illicit drugs, right? Well, at least the conflation of drugs and sex probably made the “upstanding” middle-class consumers of this stuff feel superior to the bodies projected on their walls. Eventually everyone gets nude, two of the men leave, and a chunky fellow slides his long screwdriver into The Night Mare. The fucking is pretty hot, The Night Mare seems to have mysterious gripping powers inside of her vagina–she almost consumes and spits out the junkie’s cock with every thrust. The junkie pulls out and ejaculates all over himself.” Continue reading

Abdullah Oguz – Mutluluk aka Bliss (2007)

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When a young woman named Meryem (Özgü Namal) is raped, her village custom requires that she be killed in order for the dishonour to be expunged from her family. A young man named Cemal (Murat Han), the son of the village leader, is given the task but at the last moment he has doubts. The pair go on the run, followed close behind by local thugs intent on killing the girl. Luckily enough, Cemal and Meryem meet up with a charismatic man named Irfan, an ex-university professor who is embarking on a sailing trip, and needs a crew. Seems Irfan is running away too–in his case from a dead marriage and an empty life. Together this unlikely trio set forth on a voyage that will change all of their lives. Continue reading

Isaac Isitan – 2 Eylül Direnisi aka La Résistance du 2 Septembre (1977)

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A slightly altered google translation of a summary:

Quote:

Here is the struggle for the border of the city. There are those who decide who is in and who stays out. Here it is in 1977, they reppress solidarity, they repress movement of those who come together to be just human. Land speculators according to the Government.

Land speculators: workers came to build shacks on the outskirts of Istanbul. No space, no place where the city does not want you: Panzers and military. In front, stone and stick and the momentum stemming from survival. The film was shot and edited in a short time, to be released immediately and support the struggle of the landless. Continue reading

Tinto Brass – Yankee (1966)

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Review from IMDB:

Early in his career, Tinto Brass tried his hands at a variety of genres. In the wake of A Fistful of Dollars the Western was hot in Italy and so even TB had a go at it. The resulting film is definitely watchable, and with interesting cinematography and decent acting it is much better than many of the other low budget atrocities Cinecitta would throw at the unsuspecting cinema-going public in the following years.

Amongst the elements one could criticise is the wiseness of the casting choices. Both Philippe Leroy and Adolfo Celi are fine actors, but they do not blend very well into this setting. Leroy is not enigmatic enough for his role (he also looks uncomfortable in his gear) and Celi is better at playing non-physical villains.

The film has little to add to the genre. The title hero, Yankee, is just a slight variant of the man with no name and throughout I watched this with a sense of deja vu. Brass certainly had a good look at the work of Leone and Corbucci. In turn, Sergio Corbucci seems to have watched this – the final scene appears to be the inspiration for Corbucci’s I Crudeli. Continue reading

Mauro Bolognini, Mario Monicelli, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Steno, Pino Zac, Franco Rossi – Capriccio all’italiana aka Caprice Italian Style (1968)

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An omnibus film that turned out to become Totò’s last movie and also features Silvana Mangano.It pokes fun at some traits of italian life and society of the late 60s. It offers something for everyone, a great pasolini episode and classical italian comedy by some of the most acclaimed representants of the genre. Continue reading