Sohrab Shahid Saless – Yek Etefagh sadeh AKA A Simple Event (1973) (DVD)

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Sohrab Shahid-Saless was born in Tehran in 1943 and lived in Tehran. He studied film in Vienna and Paris. After returning to Iran, he first worked for the Ministry of Arts and Culture, where he made 22 films. In 1976, he left Iran for Germany, where he worked as a filmmaker until 1991, then moving to Chicago. He died in Washington DC in June 1998.

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In his first feature, the milestone film A Simple Event (1973), he describes the everyday life of a ten-year-old boy living in a small town with an ill mother and a father struggling to make a living smuggling fish. Continue reading

André Delvaux – Belle (1973)

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Mathieu returns home. He tells no one of his encounter with the strange woman. He goes back to his studious but airless life in the archives of a provincial town, cataloging several centuries of births, marriages and deaths. Days later, he goes back to the farmhouse in the woods only to discover the mysterious woman lying in an upstairs room deliriously ill. He recklessly rushes back into town and returns with medicine and food. She recovers. Emboldened by his restorative powers, Mathieu teaches her his name and, realizing she doesn’t comprehend him, he calls her “Belle.” Continue reading

Giles Walker – I Wasn’t Scared (1977)

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Plot Synopsis from IMDB:

Adolescent Debbie reluctantly looks after her younger brother Todd for the day. Todd wants to go fishing and the two decide to fish in the creek located in a fenced off and restricted WWII bombing test site. The military has the area fenced off since there may still be remnants of dangerous materials there. Todd stumbles across an undetonated bomb, which he believes to be a dud. He takes the propeller off the bomb and plans on taking the bomb with him as a keepsake. Debbie is more concerned about Todd’s find, she believing the bomb could still be active, as it started to smoke after Todd took off the propeller. Debbie is unable to convince Todd to do what she believes is the correct thing to do, which is to tell the police. As Debbie runs off to tell someone in authority of the bomb, Todd goes back to retrieve it. When news of the bomb gets back to the military and their bomb squad, they have to rush back to save Todd from what sounds like a live bomb. Continue reading

Robert Downey Sr. – Moment to Moment (1975)

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Also known as TWO TONS OF TURQUOISE TO TAOS TONIGHT, and even as JIVE, this is a movie you’ve most likely never seen. Highly personal and at the same time completely illogical, this cacophonous comedy has virtually no semblance of a storyline or plot. The great Elsie Downey, the director’s then-wife and the mother of his children (who are featured prominently throughout), drives the film with her boisterous performance in what may very well be more than 10 roles. Shot and edited piecemeal over a few years, MOMENT TO MOMENT is a collage of everything from staged scenes to home movies, and features a soundtrack by the legendary Jack Nietszche and David Sanborn. No matter what you call it, this film is surely Downey at his most avant-garde and absurd.—Anthology Film Archives. Continue reading

René Vautier – Avoir 20 ans dans les Aurès AKA To Be Twenty in the Aures (1972)

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Summary
In 1961, a group of pacifist Bretons are sent to fight in France’s war against Algeria. Reluctant warriors, they are moulded into killing machines by the inspirational lieutenant Perrin and soon find their first taste of conflict. One of the group continues to rebel against the folly of the war and goes on the run with an Algerian prisoner. For all concerned, the experience will not be easily forgotten – for those that survive, that is… Continue reading