1961-1970

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Koncert zyczen AKA Concert of Wishes (1967)

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A young man and his girlfriend are staying at a camp site near to where a group of other young men are all camped together. The busload of boys leave first but, having packed all their stuff away, the couple pass them on their motorbike – ignoring their catcalls on the way. The couple soon realize that they have dropped their tent somewhere on the road and turn back to look for it – only to find that the busload of boys has stopped and found it first. The boys make a simple proposal – the tent in exchange for the girl. –bob the moo (uk) Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Bylem zolnierzem AKA I Was a Soldier (1970)

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a description by one of IMdB members:
A group of veterans recount a horrifying experience when trapped in a minefield, resulting in each losing their sight.

This is an incredibly powerful anti-war film, showing the horrors of war first hand, in stark close-ups without gratuitous gore. The physical injuries are not quite so emphasized as much as the emotional scaring, with the soldiers expressing their deep regret and longing for a better quality of life.

The film is edited in such a way that story becomes one detailed account, with each character providing his piece of the story. Their collective suffering seems akin to witnessing an AA meeting, except that this group wish to make it clear to the world that they were victims of misguided patriotism, with no control over their fate. Read More »

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Z miasta Lodzi AKA From the City of Lodz (1968)

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a description by one of IMdB members:

This is something like a school assignment from when Kieslowski was a film student in Lodz. It is a simple visual celebration of the passing of old Lodz (what was left of it from the war) as new building replace the old and new people replace the old. The old are really resentful at being displaced. This expresses itself in the music. The old people, long time workers at the factory, are upset because the factories traditional mandolin band is being, well, disbanded, to be replaced by pop music. Believe me when I tell you that the pop music, taking on all sorts of forms from the kind of euro rock derived from misheard American and British bands to rumba rhythms with corny lyrics. Really the old stuff was great and now its gone. The women of the factory are being pensioned off one by one and they’re all reluctant to leave but leave they must. Of course Lodz is something of an interesting case. A village which was chosen to be the Manchester of the Russian empire it became known as The Promised Land because of the availability of work in the huge textile plants and became the second largest city in Poland. The Polish population was further shaken by the war and virtually no one lives where either their parents or grand parents lived. The turnover has be the one constant of this synthetically created place. Kieslowski is unable to display his nostalgia except reflected from the hard surface of this little gem. Read More »

Charles Frend – Girl on Approval (1961)


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Sheila’s 14. Her father abandoned her as a baby, her mum’s in jail and she’s stuck in a
children’s home. Every family that’s tried to look after her has found her too difficult. Now
Anne and John Howland want to foster Sheila. But if they can’t make a home for her, her
future looks bleak…

Starring Oscar Nominated actress Rachel Roberts (This Sporting Life, O Lucky Man!) as
Anne and sensitively directed by Charles Frend (The Cruel Sea, Scott of the Antarctic) Girl
on Approval is a major example of the British New Wave, a brilliant study of troubled lives. Read More »

Ruy Guerra – Os Cafajestes aka The Unscrupulous Ones (1962)

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Quote:

A Brazilian masterpiece, fascinating, powerful and still contemporary, waiting to be (re)discovered by the world, 12 October 2006

The first thing you’ll remark when you see “Os Cafajestes” today (if you are lucky enough to find a copy of it) is how surprisingly modern, daring and mesmerizing it still is. The existential drama of 4 characters — two men (low-life scum Jandir, small-time playboy Vavá) and two women (used up Leda, provocative Vilma), who indulge in dangerous, deceitful games that include sex, photos, cars, beaches, drugs and blackmail — is amazingly contemporary in its visual style, boldness and acid criticism of amorality and egotism. That, combined with the virtuoso camera-work by Tony Rabatoni, the blazing summer whiteness of Cabo Frio beaches and dunes, the surprising turns in the plot, the edgy dialog and the non-linear treatment of sound vs image make this an unforgettable film, one of the most impressive directing debuts in the history of cinema (that’s not an overstatement), regrettably little known outside Brazil. Read More »

Satyajit Ray – Charulata aka The Lonely Wife (1964)

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Calcutta 1879. Bhupati Dutta (Sailen Mukherjee), a wealthy intellectual edits and publishes a political weekly in English called ‘The Sentinel.’ His sensitive and beautiful, young wife Charu (Madhabi Mukherjee) spends her time doing needlework and reading Bengali novels. Sensing her loneliness, Bhupati invites her older brother Umapada and his wife Mandakini to live with them. Umapada becomes the manager of the magazine but Mandakini, a rustic and unlettered woman is no companion for Charu. Bhupati’s cousin Amal (Soumitra Chaterjee) arrives to spend his vacation with Bhupati. At Bhupati’s suggestion, the literary minded Amal helps and encourages Charu with her writing. The two get more and more drawn to each other. Bhupati, busy with the magazine as usual, is unaware of this development… Read More »

Sam Peckinpah – Pericles on 31st Street (1962)

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Sam Peckinpah directs, produces and co-writes this episode of The Dick Powell Show. Read More »