Frederick Wiseman – Basic Training (1971)

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BASIC TRAINING follows a company of draftees and enlisted men through the nine weeks of the basic training cycle. The varieties of training techniques used by the army in converting civilians to soldiers are illustrated in scenes of drills, M-16 and bayonet use, a gas chamber, mines, night crawls, an infiltration course and the many forms of ideological training familiar to millions of men and women who have served in the armed forces. Continue reading

Francoise Wolff – Jacques Lacan Speaks (1971)

Jacques Lacan (1901-1981) is widely regarded as one of the most influential psychoanalysts of the 20th century, one whose work has refashioned psychiatry both as a theory of the unconscious mind and as a clinical practice. His seminars and writings have also had a widespread influence throughout the humanities and social sciences, especially in education, legal studies, literary and film studies and women’s studies. Continue reading

Charles Burnett – Killer of Sheep [+Extra] (1979)

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The first feature film from acclaimed independent African American filmmaker Charles Burnett, this intensely emotional drama concerns a man who makes his living at a slaughterhouse as he struggles for economic and emotional survival and tries to patch up his often strained relationship with his family. Shot on weekends over a period of several years and first shown publicly in 1977, Killer of Sheep slowly but surely began to develop a potent reputation among film enthusiasts; in 1981, it won honors at the Berlin International Film Festival and an enthusiastic reception at the Sundance Film Festival. It was added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 1990. Continue reading

Jesus Franco – Eugenie AKA Eugenie Sex Happening (1974)

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the IMDB wrote:
Eugenie, a beautiful but shy young girl, lives with her stepfather, a famous writer specializing in stories of erotica. One day she happens to read one of his “erotic” books and its power so affects her that begins to find herself sexually attracted to her stepfather. He notices this, and eventually brings her into his dark world of sexual perversion and murder. Continue reading

Gustav Wiklund – Exponerad aka Exposed aka The Depraved (1971)

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Quote:
With periodic flashbacks and fantasy sequences, Exposed, in terms of its narrative structure at least, is a bit more complicated than your average sexploitation picture. While on the surface Lena is a typical, if flawed, central character the film lets us get into her head enough that even if we don’t completely see her as an innocent, we can at least feel for her. Her plight with Helge and his blackmailing ways is a sticky situation to be sure and while his coercion into the world of kinky sex allows for many titillating sequences, you can’t help but feel sorry for Lena. That said, she uses her sexuality to put herself in rather precarious situations and at times you almost wonder if she subconsciously wants the dysfunction that seems to follow her around. Consider this alongside the way that she’s treated by most of the men in the film, whose eyes linger on her quite voraciously, and you’re left trying to figure out how much of her dire situation she’s put herself in, rather than found herself in. Continue reading

Jacques Rivette – Duelle (une quarantaine) AKA Twilight (A Quarantine) (1976)

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It all began (as things Rivettian tend to do) auspiciously enough. There were to be four films in a series originally entitled Les Filles du Feu (after Gerard de Nerval) before the more expansive Scenes de la vie parallele replaced it. Each would center on a “non-existent myth” of a battle between goddesses of the sun and the moon for a mysterious blue diamond that has the power to make mortals immortal and vice versa. Each film was to be in a different genre: a film noir, a pirate adventure, a love story, and finally a musical – the last-mentioned of whose scenario particulars hadn’t been completely worked out when the four-film project went into production. Two films were ultimately completed – Duelle (the film noir) and Noroit (1976, the pirate adventure). But two days into the shooting of the third, Histoire de Marie et Julien the metteur en scène (as Rivette always chose to call himself, auteurism be damned) suffered a nervous breakdown, and the entire project fell apart – though traces of it linger in Merry-Go-Round (1981, a paranoid conspiracy jape that has everything but the goddesses) and the semi-demi-musical Haut/Bas/Fragile (1995). Continue reading