1961-1970

Chadi Abdel Salam – al-Mummia aka The Night of Counting the Years (1969)

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Review from Time Out London:
An impressive directorial debut by ex-art director Shadi Abdelsalam, The Night of Counting the Years is an examination of cultural imperialism in reverse: instead of selling Coca-Cola to Egypt, Western merchants are stealing rarities from Egyptian tombs. At first posed in moral terms – should the new chief of an Egyptian tribe allow his people to earn money by selling the antiquities from ‘officially’ undiscovered tombs, or stop the trade at the cost of stopping the flow of money to his poverty-stricken people – the film develops into a study of the importance of defending the past from would-be cultural exploiters. Slow-moving but absorbing, and quite beautifully shot. Read More »

    Aleksandar Petrovic – Skupljaci perja AKA I even met happy Gipsies (1967)

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    From IMDB:
    Bora the Gypsy is married to an older woman, and he falls in love with the younger Tissa, who is being offered in marriage by her father, to a young gypsy man. This marriage arrangement is according to custom. Tissa rejects her husband, claiming he is not able to consumate the marriage, and Bora joins her. They get a monk in the mountains to marry them. Unable to return to the Gypsy camp, Tissa tries to reach Belgrad on her own, but a couple of truck drivers rape her, and she does return in misery to her tribe. Meanwhile, Bora defends his honour the traditional way, in a knife duwl, and kills his opponent. Therefore he, too, must leave the tribe. And yet, we’ll find happy gypsies… Written by Artemis-9 Read More »

      Aleksandar Petrovic – Tri AKA Three (1965)

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      Here is a review from NYT from 1967 when it was nominated for Best foreign film at Academy Awards:

      Quote:
      War’s utter bestiality and waste, usually illustrated by armies, is brought into sharp focus by a talented few in “Three,” a prize-winning Yugoslav drama that treats its bleak and harrowing subject with a grim but poetic artistry. It had a showing at the New York Film Festival last year, and is now at the Studio Cinema and 72d Street Theaters. The film is mystifyingly abrupt in its transitions, but its effects, physical and intellectual, are unmistakably forceful and chilling.

      The director, Aleksandar Petrovic, with the aid of a sparse script and stunning photography by Tomislav Pinter, has pointed up war’s ravages as it affects one partisan’s fights in one small sector of the conflict. In each of three events he is part of, needless death brought about by fear, despair and defeat. In the opening sequence, as one of a milling village crowd seeking to escape by train from the approaching Nazis, he witnessed the shooting of an innocent man on suspicion by nervous Yugoslav soldiers. Read More »

        Sergei Parajanov – Sayat Nova AKA The Color of Pomegranates (1968)

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        Quote:
        The work of painter, musician, mystic and filmmaker Sergei Paradjanov (1924-1990) constantly defies categorisation. His films are notable for their lyrical inspiration and great aesthetic beauty, but riled the Soviet authorities to such an extent that Paradjanov faced constant harrassment throughout his life. Like his earlier film, Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (1965), The Colour of Pomegranates was banned…
        Ostensibly a biopic of rebellious 18th century Armenian poet Sayat Nova, The Colour of Pomegranates follows the poet’s path from his childhood wool-dying days to his role as a courtier and finally his life as a monk. But Armenian director Sergei Paradjanov warns us from the start that this is no ordinary biopic: “This is not a true biography,” he has his narrator state during the opening credits. Read More »

          Andy Warhol – Blue Movie AKA Fuck (1969)

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          Summary:

          Producer/director/cinematographer Andy Warhol presents an afternoon in a Manhattan apartment where Viva and Louis discuss social issues while lying in bed. Louis makes sexual advances and Viva giggles; they indulge in sexual foreplay and then intercourse. They talk about the Vietnam War, watch television, get dressed, eat, discuss Louis’s unhappy marriage, and finally take a shower, more and more aware of the presence of a camera. After more sex play in and out of the shower, Viva stares at the camera and asks, “Is it on?”

          Cast:
          Viva … Herself
          Louis Waldon … Himself

          In German, from German sat TV Read More »

            Carmelo Bene – Nostra signora dei turchi AKA Our Lady of the Turks (1968)

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            Independent filmmaker Carmelo Bene makes his debut in this feature that concerns the murder of the Saracens in the city of Otranto centuries ago. Our Lady appears at various time in the film, symbolic of the carnal desires and spiritual dreams of all men. Flashbacks and avant garde cinematic techniques provide passages of erotica and black humor on occasion. The story was taken from Bene’s own novel as the author oversees all aspects of writing, production and direction in this experimental and provocative film. Read More »

              Christian-Jaque – La tulipe noire aka The Black Tulip (1964)

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              In 1789, when the Revolution went on, a bandit named “Black Tulip” held the
              surroundings of village Roussillon in fear. The poor people respected him as Robin Hood,
              who declare himself a revolutioner but Count Guillaume de Saint Preux “plays” this
              benefactor. When he fought with Mouche, the policeman he was wounded … Read More »