Martin Scorsese – It’s Not Just You, Murray! (1964)

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Synopsis:
Now middle-aged, mobster Murray looks back at his humble beginnings as a bootlegger and his rise to becoming wealthy and highly influential. Through it he talks about how much of his success and happiness is due to the support of his “friend” Joe. Unfortunately the only one who blindly believes Joe is anything close to a friend is Murray, because it’s obvious to everyone that Joe back-stabs him at every chance and is sleeping with his wife.

— IMDb. Continue reading

Giuseppe Patroni Griffi – Il mare (1963)

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Quote:
Tourist season has not yet begun. Capri is deserted and the sky is sadly grey. An actor arrives. He’s waiting for a woman who won’t come. In the meanwhile he’s having a strange relationship with a young alcoholic man who even tries to kill him; he’s bored, with no ideals, strong and weak at the same time. The two men are shaping a strange friendship, or at least they try, until a woman comes on the isle.
“In this movie words are used in a way different from usual. When they talk to each other, the three leading actors talk about ordinary things, not about their relationship. They never talk about their feelings. The story is sombre, as it’s filled with missed attractions and hidden feelings. The actors express themselves with moves, gestures and their contribution is fundamental for that. Only good actors can do that” (Patroni Griffi) Continue reading

Manoel de Oliveira – A Caça AKA The Hunt (1964)

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Quote:
“A caça” is one Oliveira’s most distressing and mysterious films. Two boys, Roberto and José, enter a hunting ground, flooded with marshes. José falls into a quagmire and Roberto runs to the village looking for help. The locals form a human chain to save the victim…

“I conceived ‘A caça’ after reading in a newspaper that a boy was sucked down into a pit of quicksand and the other, due to fear, fled without helping him. The movie is based on this event.” In this laconic way, Oliveira summarizes his purpose. His first intention was to make a feature film about such an anguishing event. Continue reading

Gene Saks – The Odd Couple [+Extras] (1968)

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by Bill Gibron:
There was a time, a little less than four decades ago, when Neil Simon was the literary benchmark of both Broadway and the Silver Screen. After a successful stint as a TV scribe on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows, the soon to be phenomenon went on to create such Great White Way staples as Barefoot in the Park, Sweet Charity, Plaza Suite, and The Prisoner of Second Avenue. In 1966, he had four shows running at once and it wasn’t long before Hollywood came calling.

After adapting his Come Blow Your Horn and Park for the big screen, Simon was given the complicated task of translating his mega-hit The Odd Couple as a movie. While the studios would accept Oscar- and Tony-winner Walter Matthau as Oscar, Art Carney’s cinematic clout as Felix was questioned. Luckily, director Gene Saks hired friend and Fortune Cookie co-star Jack Lemmon as the notorious neat freak. The rest, as they say, is motion picture history. Continue reading

Michael Haneke – Die Rebellion (1993)

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Quote:
Die Rebellion (The Rebellion). 1993. Austria. Directed by Michael Haneke. With its silent-era aesthetic of sepia tones and muted color tints, and its interweaving of realism and fantasy, Haneke’s haunting adaptation of Joseph Roth’s expressionistic 1924 novel is an homage to the great Weimar cinema of G. W. Pabst and F. W. Murnau. In a heartbreaking performance, Branko Samarovski plays Andreas Pum, a soldier who loses his leg during the Great War and becomes an organ-grinder to earn a few coins a day. To this loyal citizen of the State, the veterans and firebrands who march in protest against society’s neglect are lazy, insubordinate “heathens.” But when an ugly tram incident condemns Pum to a life of penury and loneliness, his soul is awakened to the bitter waste of a life spent in duty to God and Empire. In German; 90 min Continue reading

Alain Resnais – Je t’aime je t’aime AKA I Love You, I Love You (1968)

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Quote:
“Je T’Aime, Je T’Aime,” which opened yesterday at the New Yorker Theater, was shown at the eighth New York Film Festival. The following is from Roger Greenspun’s review, which appeared Sept. 15, 1970, in The New York Times.

Like most of the previous films of Alain Resnais, “Je T’Aime, Je T’Aime” is science fiction of a sort. And like virtually all of Resnais’s previous films, its concern is for the past recaptured. To support this concern it proposes a story, the most fragmented of all Resnais’ stories, dealing with, perhaps intense but nevertheless transitory love affair. Continue reading

Masao Adachi & Kôji Wakamatsu – Seiyûgi AKA Sex Game (1969)

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Quote:
The film begins in a lengthy free-love session taking the form of a ‘play“ rape being enacted by a group of aimless, listless and political apathetic students. As they loaf around, reading manga and smoking cigarettes the next morning, before they turfed out onto the streets by the girl whose apartment it is, they banter about how the act of rape might add some more spice to their lives; the difference between ‘doing it’ for real and merely acting out their fantasies with their complicit girlfriends. The subtext intended by Adachi informs the rest of the film – that there is a world of difference between direct action politics, and merely talking the talk. The four bored loafers then drive to the university building (in fact Adachi’s very own Nihon University) only to find it taken over by student activists, its walls daubed with graffiti, and its doors and windows boarded over. They bundle a girl handing out flyers in the back of their car, drag her off to an abandoned lecture theater strewn with propaganda leaflets and, making their words reality, rape her. Later, when one of the assailants, Kenji, becomes stricken with remorse, he follows the girl named Taeko (played by Butoh dancer Natsu Nakajima) back to her home where she lives with her brother, part of a gang of student revolutionaries who spend their time making firebombs. Here, not entirely convincing, she falls in love with her rapist. (Jasper Sharp – Behind the Pink Curtain) Continue reading