1961-1970

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Katzelmacher (1969)

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Quote:
Katzelmacher was a revelation. One of only a handful of Fassbinder films which I had not seen before, it seems among his best, and most challenging, works.

Fassbinder’s second feature film, Katzelmacher (1969) is a tour de force of stark visual beauty and ambiguous but riveting characters. Fassbinder adapted his own original play, of the same title, which he had also starred in on stage. (The theatrical script is included in the anthology Fassbinder’s Plays.) Read More »

    Michelangelo Antonioni – L’Eclisse (1962)

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    Synopsis :
    Leaving her lover of four years, Vittoria starts an affair with a stockbroker. But as the film progresses, her emptiness becomes more obvious, echoed in the buildings and the landscape, and she finally decides on a life of solitude rather than marriage or a failing relationship. Completing what is now seen as a trilogy of films on alienation after The Adventure and The Night, The Eclipse paints a picture of how modern industrial society can obliterate the emotions between men and women. Antonioni uses his symbols boldly: the final shots – 52 of them – hauntingly reflect a city empty of life. Read More »

      Koji Wakamatsu – Otoko goroshi onna goroshi: hadaka no zyudan (1969)

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      Description: Welcome in the underworld, on your left there’s some gangsters, on your right be careful there’s shootings, murders, betrayals… Enjoy the jazzy mood !

      Three killers stole money and drugs from a gangsters meeting. They left with a hostage and a lot of dead bodies behind. Well, that’s not a big deal for them, they stay relax, and don’t rush to sell the drugs. After the massacre, they just go back to their flat and spend a good time. Except one of them, who decides otherwise. He’s tired of staying there doing nothing, and so leave with the hostage. Does he want to start his life again or he’s just too ambitious ? Read More »

        Claude Lelouch – Un homme et une femme AKA A Man and a Woman (1966)

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        Quote:
        A man and a woman meet by accident on a Sunday evening at their childrens’ boarding school. Slowly they reveal themselves to each other, finding that each is a widow/widower. Each is slow to reveal anything personal so that each revelation is hidden by a misperception. They become friends, then close friends, and then she reveals that she can’t have a lover because, for her, her husband’s memory is still too strong. Much of the film is told wordlessly in action, or through hearing one of their thoughts as they go about their day. Read More »

          Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Liebe ist kälter als der Tod AKA Love Is Colder Than Death (1969)

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          Quote:
          Love is Colder Than Death was Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s first feature-length film (he had directed two shorts three years earlier: The Little Tramp and The Little Chaos), the story of a small-time pimp, Franz (Fassbinder), and his complicated relationship with his prostitute girlfriend, Joanna (Hanna Schygulla), and a criminal associate, Bruno (Ulli Lommel), who mysteriously and erotically enters their lives. Had the film been made at a later point in Fassbinder’s all-too brief but remarkably illustrious and prolific career, the film’s static aesthetic could have been read as a deliberate attempt on the director’s part to show his critics that his camera need not move on inch to convey the same rapturous feeling of his greater films. Except Love is Colder Than Death is not a great Fassbinder film. Read More »

            Paul Newman – Rachel, Rachel (1968)

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            Paul Newman made his directorial debut and Newman’s wife, Joanne Woodward, stars as Rachel Cameron, a 35-year-old unmarried schoolteacher who feels as though she’s wasted her life. Rachel’s best friend, Calla Mackie (Estelle Parsons), invites her to attend a religious revival meeting. Here Rachel is swept up in the emotional fervor orchestrated by a young guest preacher (Terry Kiser). This is the first of several cathartic incidents which convince Rachel to kick over the traces and express her own needs and emotions. She has a brief sexual liaison with an old family friend (James Olson), and is delighted at the notion that she might have become pregnant. Rachel ends up alone and childless (her “pregnancy” was nothing more than a benign cyst), but still determined to forge a new life for herself. Based the novel A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence, Rachel, Rachel won New York Film Critics awards for both Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, and an Oscar nomination for Joanne Woodward. Read More »

              Mauro Bolognini – Senilità (1962)

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              Based on Italo Svevo’s great novel so admired by James Joyce, this atmospherically photographed film is set in old Trieste and centers on a middle-aged public official and his unrequited love for a flirtatious but unpossessable girl who blithely betrays him. The melancholy hero is played by Anthony Franciosa; Claudia Cardinale is the girl. The man’s sister (Betsy Blair) is a depressive also disappointed in love. Upon her death by her own hand our hero faces a life of continued solitude.
              Bolognini’s misty evocation of perennial “tristezza” (sadness of spirit) and its equivalent in damp gloomy ambiance is the kind of thing he does so well. One only has to think of what he achieved in “La viaccia” and “Fatti di gente perbene”. This is one of his very best films and was only given a limited release in the U.S.A. under the title of “Careless”. Director of photography Armando Nannuzzi gave the “old postcard” look to the city.
              Gerald A. DeLuca @VIMDb Read More »