Iván Zulueta – Arrebato AKA Rapture (1979)

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Synopsis:
Madrid,1980. Jose Sirgado, a labouring bohemian b-movie filmmaker finishes editing the sequel to a previous film. Visibly displeased he journeys home to his girlfriend strung out on heroin. After attempting to tidy his home and taking some heroin himself he opens a mail package from an old acquaintance Pedro P. containing a reel of super-8 film, a cassette tape and a key to his apartment. Watching the film and listening to the accompanying tape on which Pedro talks through the pair’s first meeting, their ensuing friendship and how he developed an addiction to filmmaking, notably recording himself in bed as he reached a state of rapture induced by the camera manifested in a series of flashbacks. As Pedro’s gravelly voice over wears on it becomes clear that his camera has taken on a vampiric life of its own absorbing its subjects and ultimately erasing them from the real world. Pedro’s final recording informs Jose of his suspected fate and informs him to visit his apartment where he too is absorbed by the camera. Continue reading

Johan van der Keuken – To Sang Fotostudio + Leven met je ogen aka Living with your eyes (1997)

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Description: Those familiar with van der Keuken’s films are aware of his extraordinary capacity to observe with a camera, to make the everyday magical and to slowly reveal the marvelous complexity of individuals’ lives. In his captivating new short, the delightful van der Keuken focuses on photography, in particular the extraordinary figure of a Chinese immigrant portrait photographer. A man of great authority, To Sang poses his various clients, all of whom work on the same street, with a precise sense of what constitutes a good photograph. He “directs” his clients into old- fashioned poses with a deft series of gestures: a Pakistani daughter stands between her visiting mother and father, a Kurdish son with his parents, a Surinamese travel agent sits alone. For van der Keuken, these photographs are “dream images,” more revealing of illusions and role-playing than reality. To Sang Fotostudio is not only a reflexive meditation on what an image is but also a complex portrait of a colorful, diverse neighborhood. Continue reading

Yasuzô Masumura – Daichi no komoriuta AKA Lullaby of the Earth (1976)

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Quote:
The story of an orphan girl, brought up in naive, rustic innocence by an elderly relative, who is suddenly exposed to the brutality, greed and deceptiveness of the outside world when her grandmother dies. Notwithstanding her healthy distrust of all strangers, which her upbringing instilled in her, it is not long before a cunning racketeer finds her weak point, that temptation which she cannot resist, that weakness, different as it may be, that each of us has, and brings her into his power. What follows is a depiction of her cruel descent into the depths of moral decay, as she becomes a collaborator in a system of exploitation, unbridled lust, vanity, and greed, in which she and other victims are always the losers. Continue reading

Marco Ferreri – L’udienza aka The Audience (1972) (HD)

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Quote:
Amedeo (E. Jannacci), a mild officer on leave, comes to Rome from a town in the North to speak eye to eye with the Pope, “also in his interest.” He tries unsuccessfully for months until one night, sick with pneumonia, dies in front of a papal building.
Kafka (The Castle) is there, but somewhat far.
Morandini Continue reading

John Hayes – Hot Lunch (1978) (HD)

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Andrew’s life has hit rock bottom. After being fired from his job and discovering that his girlfriend is having an affair, he hits the streets looking for work only to discover a non-stop series of sexual delights waiting for him at every turn.

Quote:
When a country boy arrives in the Big City with nothing but starry eyes and dreams of making a success of himself, he finds that his best asset might just be the one between his legs.
Jon Martin stars as the naive young man, a guy whose sexual prowess ends up getting him anything he wants out of life. His job search initially lands him in the back of a restaurant, washing dishes even as the saucy siren who runs the joint is dabbling in lesbian hi jinx right there behind the counter!
Jon leaves that job soon enough, this time to try his luck at selling encyclopedias. Well, he doesn’t move many volumes, but he does end up in the clinch with a buxom beauty who prefers him to his reference books.
In the end, Jon finds himself working as an account executive for a publishing company — another job that he got thanks to some tireless trysting with just the right woman. Continue reading

Ken Loach – Family Life (1971)

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A young woman, Janice, is living with her restrictive and conservative parents, who lead a dull working-class life, and consider their daughter to be “misbehaving” whenever she’s trying to find her own way in life. When she becomes pregnant, they force her into abortion, and hypocritically blame her for “upsetting them” when she is unable cope with the emotional and mental effect this has on her. The film is depressing and excruciatingly painful and hard to watch, as Janice is subjected to brain-washing and reproach by her parents and shockingly self-righteous and ignorant doctors (could this have been only 25 years ago???). A masterpiece, a stark and painful portrait of a hypocritical society. Continue reading