1961-1970

Frantisek Vlácil – Adelheid (1970)

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The first colour film by Czech master director František Vlácil ADELHEID is an emotional tale of two lovers trapped in the march of history.

In the aftermath of WWII, a Czech airman returns home from his tour of duty with the British RAF, intending to claim a German factory located in the Sudetenland along the Czech-German border. There he meets the beautiful Adelheid, the former owner’s daughter who once lived in the estate but is now reduced to servitude. The Czech airman falls in love with Adelheid, but lingering resentment and bitter political strife stand in the way of their happiness. (-Second Run) Read More »

Michael Powell – Age of Consent [Extras] (1969)

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An elderly artist thinks he has become too stale and is past his prime. His friend (and agent) persuades him to go to an offshore island to try once more. On the island he re-discovers his muse in the form of a young girl.
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Arthur Penn – Alice’s Restaurant (1969)

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Arlo Guthrie’s song is converted into a motion picture.
Arlo goes to see Alice for Thanksgivng and as a favor takes her trash to the dump. When the dump is closed, he drops it on top of another pile of garbage at the bottom of a ravine. When the local sheriff finds out a major manhunt begins. Arlo manages to survive the courtroom experience but it haunts him when he is to be inducted into the army via the draft. The movie follows the song with Arlo’s voice over as both music and narration.
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Louis Malle – Vive le Tour (1962)

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Vive le tour is director Louis Malle’s affectionate homage to one of France’s most treasured institutions, the Tour de France cycle race. In this short documentary film, Malle and his camera team marvellously capture the ambience of the Tour: the unbridled enthusiasm of the crowds of spectators, the beauty of the French countryside setting, and the gruelling ordeal of the participants.
We see how the cyclists refresh themselves during their marathon races, the sorry effects of dope-taking, the pain and disappointment of injured cyclists and, finally, the indescribable delight of the victors on the podium. With its eloquent and evocative photography, accompanied by Georges Delerue’s enchanting music, this is less a documentary and more a visual poem which says almost all there needs to be said on the greatest cycle race in the world. James Travers (filmsdefrance) Read More »

Andrei Konchalovsky – Dyadya Vanya AKA Uncle Vanya (1970)

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Synopsis from IMDB:

A retired professor has returned to his estate to live with his beautiful young wife, Yelena. The estate originally belonged to his first wife, now deceased; her mother and brother still live there and manage the farm. For many years the brother (Uncle Vanya) has sent the farm’s proceeds to the professor, while receiving only a small salary himself. Sonya, the professor’s daughter, who is about the same age as his new wife, also lives on the estate.
The professor is pompous, vain, and irritable. He calls the doctor (Astrov) to treat his gout, only to send him away without seeing him. Astrov is an experienced physician who performs his job conscientiously, but has lost all idealism and spends much of his time drinking. The presence of Yelena introduces a bit of sexual tension into the household.
Astrov and Uncle Vanya both fall in love with Yelena; she spurns them both. Meanwhile, Sonya is in love with Astrov, who fails even to notice her. Finally, when the professor announces he wants to sell the estate, Vanya, whose admiration for the man died with his sister, tries to kill him.
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Paul Mazursky – Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)

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Plot Summary from IMDb: After the ultra sophisticated couple, Bob (a filmmaker) and wife, Carol attend a secluded therapy group (only to observe) they become modernized in their sexual thinking and behavior. Can Bob and Carol’s new thinking rub off onto best friends, Ted and Alice?
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Elia Kazan – America, America (1963)

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Quote:
One of the greatest movies about immigrant experience of coming to America is Elia Kazan’s epic journey America, America based on the stories of his uncle coming from Turkey to the United States in the early 1900’s. The title has been available previously in France and in 2010 it was released as part of Fox’s mega-set Elia Kazan Collection, but this film marks its debut on stand-alone region 1 disc. The dual-layered disc features a progressive black-and-white transfer with very good contrast and no damages on the print. There are a few problematic shots, but those were mostly from the stock footage.
The decent mono soundtrack is in English only and the disc features English and French subtitles. The lone extra is an informative commentary by Foster Hirsch. This is a highly recommended release of an underrated film that needs to be rediscovered by a wider audience.

– Gregory Meshman @ DVD Beaver Read More »