Alain Robbe-Grillet – Glissements progressifs du plaisir AKA Successive Slidings of Pleasure (1974)

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When you think of art house directors you probably think of some of the more famous filmmakers like Werner Herzog (Aguirre, the Wrath of God), Peter Greenaway (The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover) or Alejandro Jodorowsky (Holy Mountain). Someone you may not know is French writer and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet. Robbe-Grillet was part of the “nouveau roman” novelist movement which diverted from the classical style of writing and deviated from the norm with experimental prose. The same could be said with his film Glissements progressifs du plaisir (literal translation is “Gradual shifts of pleasure”) aka Successive Slidings of Pleasure where he blends dreamlike visuals with eroticism and, oddly, nunsploitation. Continue reading

Václav Vorlícek – Jak utopit doktora Mrácka aneb Konec vodniku v Cechách AKA How to drown Dr. Mracek (1974)

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Synopsis:
There are still water spirits among us. One group lives in Prague, led by Mr. Wassermann, who is using his wife’s family as a servants. All they need is their old house near the river. But the house is to be demolished. They have to stop it. And the only way is to drown Dr. Mrácek, who is responsible for the demolition. But he falls in love with Wassermann’s niece Jana. He changes to fish, is mistaked for water spirit from Germany, is drowned and revived again. The other problem is the flour with ears… and so on… Continue reading

Yves Robert – Le Grand blond avec une chaussure noire aka The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1972)

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Two factions of the French Secret Service involve a seemingly normal orchestra player, Francois Perrin, into their battle as one side uses him as a decoy. Soon, agents are all over the place, and one of them, Christine, is sent to seduce Francois. Meanwhile, Francois has his own problems, tangled up in an affair with his best friend’s wife. Continue reading

Peter Adam – Omnibus: Signs of Vigorous Life: New German Cinema (1976)

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Pithy half-hour documentary concerning New German Cinema (when it was on fire), focusing on and featuring interviews with “the big five”: Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, Volker Schlöndorff & Hans-Jürgen Syberberg

Most notable being the rare interview with a young Herzog, and behind-the-scenes footage of him at work.
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Bo Widerberg – Mannen på taket AKA Man on the Roof (1976)

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Police lieutenant Nyman is murdered in his hospital bed and Martin Beck and his colleagues have another murder to solve. They discover that Nyman was a very brutal and tough policeman who received many complaints about his brutality. Particularly interesting is a complaint from Åke Eriksson, whose wife died in police custody because of Nyman. Eriksson climbs up on a roof in central Stockholm and starts to shoot at people on the street below… Continue reading

Alain Tanner – Messidor (1979)

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Two Swiss girls around twenty, one a history student and the other a store clerk, meet while hitch-hiking. Out of a whim and with nothing better to do, they decide to go on hitch-hiking together around Switzerland as long as they feel like it. After a couple of days, their money is spent in restaurants and cheap hotels, so they continue their tour by sleeping in cattle sheds and asking for money and accommodation from people. An unexpected discovery, a gun found in a car’s glove compartment, gradually turns their methods somewhat more dramatic. Written by Markku Kuoppamäki (IMDB). Continue reading

Yves Yersin – Les Petites Fugues aka Little Escapes (1979)

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Synopsis
Pipe (Michel Robin) has worked on the same farm for forty of his 66 years of living. Now he is in his “salad” years, and in retirement is free to explore the world in ways he never did before. He buys a small motorcycle with the help of an Italian migrant laborer and begins touring the countryside. Formerly somewhat docile, he gets into scrapes and fights, and eventually loses his cycle. Nonetheless, he has a chance to see the Alps from the sky. He has always wanted to see these legendary mountains, and is disappointed to realize that they are just big piles of rock. Continue reading