Carlos Saura – El jardín de las delicias AKA The Garden of Delights (1970)

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Review Summary
Jose Luis Lopez Vasquez stars as a millionaire industrialist who is involved in an auto accident. When he comes to, Vasquez has completely forgotten who he is and how much money he has. His greedy relatives would love to put Vasquez away and claim his fortune. But there’s a fly in the ointment: the money is in a secret Swiss bank account, and the only one who knows (or who knew) the account number is the amnesiac Vasquez. Those familiar with the work of Spanish director Carlos Saura know for darn sure that he’s not about to go the expected route with this surefire material: Garden of Delights, is just that, a bountiful garden of the surreal, the symbolic, the illusory, and at times the hilarious. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Lucian Pintilie – Reconstituirea aka Reconstruction (1968)

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Synopsis:
After two friends drunkenly injure a waiter, the police force them to recreate their crime for an “educational” film—with disastrous results. Immediately banned
in communist Romania, Reenactment is one of the key films of the Romanian
cinema (voted best Romanian film of all time by 40 Romanian film critics)
and stands among the exemplary works of its region and time. Continue reading

Jean-Denis Bonan – La femme bourreau AKA A Woman Kills (1968)

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Synopsis:
‘Paris, in the 1960s. A series of crimes troubles the public tranquility. On March, 22, 1968, Hélène Picard, a prostitute sentenced to death two years before for several murders, is killed by executioner Louis Guilbeau. Immediately, the violent crimes, similar to Hélène’s ones, go on again. In parallel, Louis is having an affair with the police woman in charge of the investigation… What are the obscure relations hidden behind the executioner and the mysterious killer? Who is this dark man in reality?’
– UniFrance Continue reading

Jean-Pierre Lajournade – Les Souffrances du jeune Werther (1968)

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Free adaptation of Goethe. 68’s spleen and rebellion with Garrel Brothers…

Adaptation libre du roman épistolaire éponyme et premier roman de Goethe qui fut publié anonymement et parut en 1774. Il met en scène le suicide de son héros. Il est ici transposé à l’époque contemporaine et mêle interprétations et images d’archives (d’origine non identifiée), dans une narration qui bouscule les codes classique du genre. Ce téléfilm offre une relecture critique de l’oeuvre de Goethe à travers une remise en cause de la société bourgeoise. Le film montre la révolte hors de toute dimension spectaculaire. La présentation de Werther répond à un mouvement de libération ambiant et exprime une volonté de soulèvement, par tous les canaux que propose l’art, face à une morale vieillissante et un système pesant. Ce Werther fut réalisé en 1968, année de révolte. Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – Vargtimmen AKA Hour of the Wolf [+Extras] (1968)

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Quote:
Madness and demonism, present in many of Bergman’s films, are made the explicit themes of Hour of the Wolf. Here they are associated with artistic creativity. Alma (Liv Ullmann) tells of her life with her artist husband, who disappeared, leaving only his diary. “The first of three films featuring Max von Sydow as Bergman’s alter ego, the artist in retreat to an island (Fårö, the director’s own home) where all his demons and imagined monsters can come out to play, threatening to possess their creator and ‘disappear’ him into the darkness behind the brain. A strikingly Gothic tale of horror, Hour of the Wolf owes much to Bram Stoker’s Dracula in its evocation of the artist’s admirers and tormentors as vampires, flocks of flesh-eating birds and insects.” –Kathleen Murphy, Film Society of Lincoln Center Continue reading

Bo Widerberg – Elvira Madigan (1967)

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“Exquisite” is only the first word that surges in my mind as an appropriate description of Elvira Madigan, a Swedish film by Bo Widerberg that was put on at the late show in Philharmonic Hall last night. For exquisite it is in all the lovely and delicate sense of the word as used to define the felicities of sensuous experience. Continue reading