Tomu Uchida – Kiga kaikyo aka The Straight of Hunger (1965)

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A very complete article about Tomu Uchida :
Here some words coming from it and about this particular film :
“Straits of Hunger is a definite attempt on his part to essay the modernist style and subject matter then being mined by such as Imamura (whose work in my opinion it surpasses). By this time Uchida worked invariably in colour; for this film only, the grainy look of ’60s black and white ‘Scope was aped and intensified by the decision to shoot on 16mm before blowing up to 35. The film is the story of a criminal, Inukai, who escapes justice after a theft which caused the destruction of a Hokkaido town. A brief encounter with a prostitute leads her to become romantically obsessed with him; years later, seeing his photograph in the newspaper, she goes to look for him, only to be killed by him when she threatens to betray his now hidden past. The narrative construction is masterly. The film is divided into three segments, each of different timbre: the first, an action-packed account of Inukai’s flight; the second, a bleak and realistic study of the life in Tokyo of the lovelorn prostitute; the third, an account of the psychological duel between cop and criminal. The drama moves, with geographical symmetry, from the strait dividing Hokkaido from Japan’s main island of Honshu, through northern Honshu to Tokyo, then northward again to conclude at the strait. The symmetry gives the film a sense of inevitability, as the past exerts a controlling influence on the present. Continue reading

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Akira Kurosawa – Dodesukaden [+Extras] (1970)

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By turns tragic and transcendent, Akira Kurosawa’s film follows the daily lives of a group of people barely scraping by in a slum on the outskirts of Tokyo. Yet as desperate as their circumstances are, each of them—the homeless father and son envisioning their dream house; the young woman abused by her uncle; the boy who imagines himself a trolley conductor—finds reasons to carry on. The unforgettable Dodes’ka-den was made at a tumultuous moment in Kurosawa’s life. And all of his hopes, fears, and artistic passion are on fervent display in this, his gloriously shot first color film. Continue reading

Joseph W. Sarno – Flesh and Lace (1964)

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dvdauthority.com wrote:

Beverly (Heather Hall) is about to learn a lot about herself, as she explores a side of herself she never knew existed. The way she behaves makes most people think she hates men, which would make sense, as she has been in numerous bad relationships with bad men. Her roommate Joan (Judy Young) has no such hatred, in fact she loves men and loves to have sex as often as possible. Her boyfriend Rook (John Aristedes) is not a good man, more like a street thug, but he satisfies her needs, so she keeps him around. One night, Rook decides to climb into Beverly’s bed, which sets off a sexual chain reaction. After that encounter, Bev realizes she is a nymphomaniac and as a result, she needs sex all the time. Joan catches the two in the act and beats Bev to a pulp, then tosses her into the street. She soon meets a new man who understands her condition, but when her path crosses once more with her old friends, will her new lifestyle be put in jeopardy? Continue reading

Stefan Uher – Slnko v sieti Aka The Sun in a Net (1962)

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A student, Oldrich “Fajolo” Fajtak, has a romantic attachment to two girls: his hometown love Bela, and Jana – a lover whom he meets during a summer job on a collective farm. One storyline of the film peels layers off Bela’s permanently tense home life marked by her blind mother’s helplessness, her father’s past break with his father who lives in the village where Fajolo is finding some consolation in the arms of his new lover Jana. As Fajolo begins to pry into Bela’s grandfather’s secrets, she, in turn, allows her new boyfriend Peťo to read and deride Fajolo’s remorseful letters from the farm. This lovers’ triangle provides the film with several oppositions: town and country, intelligentsia and worker, collective and personal truth in communist Czechoslovakia. The potential symbolism of the film appeared ominous to the Communist authorities bent on banning the film, but the nascent political thaw helped the filmmakers prevail and the release of “The Sun in a Net” became its harbinger in Czechoslovak film and culture.
Stanislav Szomolányi’s location cinematography and Ilja Zeljenka’s musique concrète score remain striking. Continue reading

Pierre Prévert – Mon frère Jacques [2004 restored version] (1961)

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Restored in 2004 by Catherine Prévert

Cast
Jacques Prévert … Himself
Pierre Prévert … Himself
Arletty … Herself
René Bertele … Himself
Pierre Brasseur … Himself
Jacques B. Brunius … Himself
Raymond Bussières … Himself
Marcel Carné … Himself
Marcel Duhamel … Himself
Jean Gabin … Himself
Paul Grimault … Himself
Alexandre Trauner … Himself
Jeanne Witta … Herself
Continue reading

Larisa Shepitko – Krylya (Крылья) AKA Wings (1966)

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Plot Synopsis by Clarke Fountain

The director of this film, Larisa Shepitko, was the wife of the distinguished director Elem Klimov and a very promising director herself. Based on a true story, Krylya tells of the efforts of a famous female fighter pilot from the World War II era to make a life for herself in the postwar era. At 42, the present pales before her memories of the past, and of her true love, now long dead. She is unable to come to terms with her past nor with the present, in which she is the director of a high school and the mother of an adoptive daughter. Her attempts to compensate for her distraction all lie in the direction of appearing authoritative, but the students and her daughter, with the unerring instincts of the young, distrust and despise her. In her distress, she is forced even more deeply into reliving her memories of the only time in which she was truly alive, seeking some kind of answer or resolution. Continue reading

Piotr Studzinski – Twarz AKA The Face (1966) (HD)

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Portrait of an artist as a young manic. First, a montage of still photographs of an artist’s face. Then motion. He stirs in sleep; he paints and expresses frustration. He looks for a light for his cigarette. He sketches, wads it up; makes tea; stares at his face in a mirror, then looks at canvas after canvas of self-portraits. He becomes agitated and defaces the work. He rips and tears, punches and kicks the art. Then he destroys mirrors. The catharsis over, he rests and begins again to paint. (IMDb) Continue reading