Yuliya Solntseva – Povest plamennykh let aka The Story of the Flaming Years (1961)



The war is over. Soviet troops are marching past the captured Reichstag (former seat of government) in Berlin. A young soldier with a submachine gun in hand, a Ukrainian peasant from the Dnipro region, Ivan Orliuk pauses, towering by the Brandenburg Gates. He stands like a magnificent monument. Before the war, Orliuk’s was the most peaceful of occupations—he tilled the soil. With the war, he took to arms to cover a difficult road from the Dnipro all the way to Berlin. Read More »

Barbet Schroeder – More (1969) (HD)


Stefan (Klaus Grünberg) hitchhikes to Paris and there at a party meets Estelle (Mimsy Farmer), a beautiful but elusive American. Soon afterwards, she leaves for Ibiza and an already smitten Stefan vows to follow her, but he has to help out in a robbery to raise the cash to do so. Finally, he meets up again with Estelle and the two become lovers. In an atmosphere of easy sex, nude sunbathing and lots of drugs, Stefan\’s hold on his life begins to crumble.
More was Barbet Schroeder\’s directorial debut and it set the Iranian-born, French-national writer, director, producer and occasional actor on a fascinatingly wayward career. He has made films all over the world, often tackling \’difficult\’ subject matter (drugs here, sadomasochism in Maitresse, also available as a DVD from the BFI). Unfortunately the last decade or so has been spent making increasingly routine material in Hollywood. Read More »

Costa-Gavras – Z [+Extras] (1969)


A pulse-pounding political thriller, Greek expatriate director Costa-Gavras’s Z was one of the cinematic sensations of the late sixties, and remains among the most vital dispatches from that hallowed era of filmmaking. This Academy Award winner—loosely based on the 1963 assassination of Greek left-wing activist Gregoris Lambrakis—stars Yves Montand as a prominent politician and doctor whose public murder amid a violent demonstration is covered up by military and government officials; Jean-Louis Trintignant is the tenacious magistrate who’s determined not to let them get away with it. Featuring kinetic, rhythmic editing, Raoul Coutard’s expressive vérité photography, and Mikis Theodorakis’s unforgettable, propulsive score, Z is a technically audacious and emotionally gripping masterpiece. Read More »

Franco Giraldi – La bambolona aka Baby Doll (1968)


A bachelor attorney with a roving eye for beautiful women stets his sights on a 17-year-old student for his next amorous conquest. He meets with her parents, an economically troubled couple who soon give their consent for the couple to date. Using an engagement ring as an enticing lure to initiate sex, the lawyer gets more than he bargained for with the wily female who is wise far beyond her years. The tables are turned on the lawyer as she withholds her affections, feigns a pregnancy and ends up holding all the cards in the relationship with the older, “more experienced” attorney. Read More »

Jean-Gabriel Albicocco – Le rat d’Amérique (1963)


This South American adventure drama finds Charles (Charles Aznavour), a youthful
Frenchman traveling to Paraguay to start a new life. Seeking out a rich uncle, the
idealistic nephew is rejected by his miserly relation, and he goes on to get involved with
a shady woman and a band of gun runners who supply arms for the revolution of the
week. Charles and his new girlfriend head for the border after a shootout with federal
troops, and a kindly railroad worker hides the couple in an abandoned copper mine.
Charles is later thrown in prison while the girl becomes a concubine, but her violator is
killed when Charles escapes to rescue her and exact revenge. A pretty harrowing
composition could be written by the young couple on “How I Spent My Summer
Vacation.” ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi Read More »

Nikos Papatakis – Les abysses aka The depths (1963)

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Inspired by “Les Bonnes”, Jean Genet’s play (itself based on the true story of the Papin sisters), adapted by Jean Vauthier (a writer and avant-garde playwright, which is probably why the dialogue is so theatrical. He died in 92 but he was born in 1910 so his centennial was this year, but he is totally forgotten) and by an uncredited Louis Jouvet (according to imdb)
André Malraux, then Minister of Culture (yes, there was, still is, such a Minister in France) wanted the movie to the Cannes Festival. The followers of the Surrealism movement took the Papin sisters case as paradigm of class revolt, and a signal that a social revolution was already taking place. Romantics saw in these grisly murders the emergence of absolute Evil, like Lautréamont in `Les Chants de Maldoror’. Philosophers engaged in the socialist movement wrote passionate texts in defence of those maids, like Jean-Paul Sartre in `Le Mur’, and Simone de Beauvoir in `La Force de l’âge’. Jacques Lacan, in `Écrits’, will develop his first scientific essay on psychoanalysis, following the Papin criminal case. (imdb’s only user comment) Read More »

Grigori Aronov & Aleksei German – Sedmoy sputnik aka The Seventh Companion (1968)



From imdb:

The film is set in St. Petersburg, Russia after the Russian revolution of 1917. Based on the eponymous book by Boris Lavrenev. Maj. General Yevgeni Pavlovich Adamov (Popov) was a lawyer in the Tzar\’s Army and a professor of law at the Military Academy before the Russian Revolution. In the fall of 1918 he was arrested on false accusations and suffered the loss of all his property and honors. During the turbulent times of Revolution he managed to use all his experience and professionalism to prove his innocence. He was released from prison and all charges against him were dropped. He became a free man, but the reality is changed, and his adaptation to the post-revolutionary life was not easy. Written by Steve Shelokhonov

The film is based on a novel by Boris Lavrenev. Read More »