Rollin creates a scenery in an aristocratic atmosphere where a group of friends come together to have a party. However in the woods surrounding the castle a kleptomaniac is hiding and waiting to take advance of the partygoers. She introduces herself as countess Ixe a lady that nobody knows but with a legendary life. Legendary because she often dances naked in front of her guests. The thief however wants to go a bit further and poisons the champagne with an aphrodisiac so that in no time all partygoers are deeply involved in a big orgy. Meanwhile the real countess Ixe arrives on the scene… A masked burglar (Rachel Mhas) roams the house in search of papers. She finds the papers, but is discovered and flees into the woods. Later the burglar gatecrashes a cocktail party at the house, drugs the drinks, and turns it into an orgy so that she can steal from the guests. But she is spotted in the act of spiking the drinks by one of the guests, who keeps his mouth shut until later.
The Countess X” is one of the finest classics from the golden age of French porn. Beautifully shot on 35mm film, it and features some of the best actors and actresses from the period. This release of ”Countess X” was restored from the original negatives in HD-quality, making this the best possible version of the film. Continue reading
Based on the short story A Step Beyond the Gate / Krok za brame by Lech Borski).
A television feature that is considered to have been one of the pioneering films in the cinema of moral anxiety. The story of worker Antoni Gralak who is released from prison and wishes to settle down to a calm life. He fails to find peace though he does find a woman to marry and a place to live. The realities of the Polish People’s Republic cause him to enter into conflict with his construction worker colleagues who decide at one point to organise a strike, and with the manager of the construction site who wishes to make an informer of him. These complications conclude tragically. Premiered on television in 1980. @culture.pl
A true underground satire, 11 October 1999
Author: Dave Godin (Dave G) from Sheffield, England
THUNDERCRACK! is, in a strange way, a scurrilous precursor of DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID, and with wicked wit and precision, subverts not only the entire `grammar’ of film, but an endless succession of Hollywood images, situations and clichés in the process. It even manages to satirise pornography; no mean feat when such images still retain their power to shock and unsettle some people! Using the familiar “lonely-house on a storm-swept night acting as a safe haven for lost and confused travellers” scenario, (some chance!!), it explores the manners and mores of `normal’ society with such wicked wit that only the most puritanical would not be capable of responding. Thankfully made in black-and-white, the entire cast and, it appears, crew, throw themselves into the venture without inhibition or qualm, and the result is Hollywood turned on it’s head, and all those previously `hidden’ and subliminal subplots exposed for what they really are. For broad-minded adults, a most amusing and entertaining tonic, showing perhaps, that even sex should not be taken TOO seriously. Continue reading
First, the long awaited release of Bruce Baillie’s 1971 Masterpiece with a capital M (the first five minutes will make your head spin) Quick Billy. This third release is available through Canyon Cinema , $50 for home use and $300 for institutional use. An immense amount of sacrifice and effort went into the creation of this DVD, so sincere gratitude is owed to many (especially Baillie himself and John Carlson, who aided with the transfer and color coding). The beauty of the film is difficult to put into words, but as Bruce Elder says of the film: Continue reading
Eloquent, expressive and altogether haunting, Jean Rollin’s fourth feature film,
1971’s Vierges et Vampires (Requiem for a Vampire) shows him as an artist totally in control of his own art and totally separate from anyone else in cinema before or since. Continue reading
Returning to the dysfunctional family dynamic and generational saga of Anna and the Wolves in its psychological exposition into the root of ingrained human cruelty and repression, Mama Turns 100 Years Old is a wry, eccentric, and provocative, if underformed satire on the latent trauma and moral repercussions of emotional subjugation, manipulation, and corruption. On the eve of the indomitable family matriarch, Mama’s (Rafaela Aparicio) centenary, former domestic servant Ana (Geraldine Chaplin), now the happily settled wife of a devoted, bohemian husband named Antonio (Norman Briski), has received a personal invitation from Mama herself to stay as a guest in the secluded family estate and celebrate the festivities – an unexpected request that, as Mama subsequently reveals, stems from the inescapable conviction that her family, goaded in part by her conniving daughter-in-law, Luchi (Charo Soriano) and enabled by her dotty, gullible son, Fernando (Fernando Fernán Gómez), has been underhandedly plotting to kill her before she reaches the all-important milestone. However, as Ana and Antonio alternately settle into their awkward roles as accommodating guests of absurd, idiosyncratic rituals and bemused observers of a deeply rended (if superficially intact) familial intimacy, the couple, too, inevitably becomes caught up in the corrosive atmosphere of petty infighting, superficial civility, aimless distraction, nebulous alliances, and emotional deception (a figurative entrapment that is visually encapsulated in Anna accidentally stepping into a rabbit trap within the estate grounds). Continue reading
A detective (inspector Rogas) is assigned to investigate the mysterious murders of some Supreme Court judges. During the investigation he discovers a complot that involves the Italian Communist Party Continue reading