Bob Kelljan – Black Oak Conspiracy (1977)

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Black Oak Conspiracy stars Jesse Vint (Forbidden World) as Jingo Johnson, a struggling Hollywood stunt man who comes back home after hearing his mother is sick. He is greeted by his friend Homer (Seymour Cassel) and is saddened to find that the old girlfriend he left behind (who is also Homer’s sister) is now going out with local rich kid Harrison Hancock. Jingo also finds out that his mother signed over her house in return for medical care and that the house is going to be demolished. Jingo soon discovers that there is corruption going on in town and it is up to him to stop it. Continue reading

Jacques Rivette – Céline et Julie vont en bateau aka Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)

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Jacques Rivette continues with his improvisatory tactics, allowing lead players to invent quite freely and also collab on the script. He mixes a modernized takeoff on Alice in Wonderland and a period tale of Henry James for an over indulged, overlong film that has some gem-like moments but also repetitiveness and preciosity.

Film just does not have the sustaining humor and more irrepressible madcap inventiveness to stave off an arbitrary, intellectual heaviness.

One day a girl reading a book of magic in the park, Julie (Dominique Labourier), sees a spindly, overdressed girl scuttle by dropping things. She follows this comic figure, Celine, played with wit by Juliet Berto, loses her but finds her on her doorstep. Continue reading

Serge Gainsbourg – Je t’aime moi non plus AKA I Love You, I Don’t (1976)

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IMDB:
The petite waitress Johnny works and lives in a truck-stop, where she’s lonely and longs for love. She develops a crush on the garbage truck driver Krassky, although her sleazy boss Boris warns her that he’s gay. Maybe because of her boyish looks, Krassky likes her too. Both don’t notice the growing jealousy of Krassky’s boyfriend Padovan – until an escalation. Continue reading

Robert Altman – 3 Women (1977)

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David Kehr, Chicago Reader wrote:
Robert Altman’s would-be American art film (1977) is murky, snide, and sloppy, but the director’s off the hook because he dreamed it all. Sissy Spacek and Shelley Duvall are two Texas girls who meet while working in a California sanatorium (courtesy of 81/2) and exchange identities while Altman struggles with feminism and the American dream. As usual, the director plainly despises his characters but offers no alternative to their pettiness, although his sneaky jokes at their expense give the film its only glimmer of style. Continue reading

Gilles Carle – La tête de Normande St-Onge aka Normande (1975)

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Synopsis:
The demands of her family and the stress of daily life drive the mind of a woman into permanent fantasy as a way to cope.

Quote:
Normande St-Onge (Carole Laure) works in a drug store and dreams of being a cabaret dancer. Her mother, Berthe (Renée Girard), has been confined to a mental institution by Normande’s uncle, Jean-Paul (Denys Arcand). But Normande, who does not believe her mother is insane, releases her from the institution and brings her home. They live in a large house with a variety of eccentric characters, including Normande’s sister, Pierrette (Carmen Giroux), her boyfriend, Bouliane (Raymond Cloutier), and a strange magician named Carol (Reynald Bouchard). Also in the mix is a sculptor (J.-Léo Gagnon) who lives in the basement and is obsessed with creating a life-sized, nude replica of Normande. Continue reading

Mike Leigh – Bleak Moments (1971)

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Synopsis:

The quiet desperate life of a secretary and her retarded sister depicted in a halting sequence of improvised fragments. The uncompromising cinematic debut of British director Mike Leigh

Review:

“Might be too bleak a look at reality for some but it nevertheless is an uncompromising way of brilliantly telling its harrowing story.” Continue reading

Kinji Fukasaku – Gunki hatameku motoni AKA Under the Flag of the Rising Sun (1972)

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User comment from IMDB: Author: ben morris (shiryuo) from Munich, Germany:

First of all I have to say that this film is really tough.

It’s a bit like Rashômon. A widow wants to find out the truth about her husband being apparent executed in the Second World War by Japanese soldiers.

But the administration isn’t ready to hand out the documents about his dead. So the woman (Hidari Sachiko) tries alone to find out what really happened, by questioning four survivors who knew her husband. And everybody tells a different story (that’s why I compare it with Rashômon, although they are set in different sceneries) and they have different opinions about the dead husband. The end turns out to be more horrible than any of you hard-boiled-audition-viewers might expect. Sorry, just kidding. Kinji Fukasaku does its best to disturb the audience. Compared with Battle Royale, Gunki hatameku motoni is much more real and in its way not entertaining at all, what Battle Royale certainly was. Continue reading