Eddie Romero – Ganito kami noon… Paano kayo ngayon? AKA This is how we were, How are you doing now? (1976)

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(from Cinemarehiyon)
The picaresque adventures of a young, naive country bumpkin named Kulas (de Leon) and his whimsical encounters with denizens of various nationalities – Spanish, American, Chinese, indio – is a metaphor for the Filipino quest for identity at a time when nationhood was still an imagined concept. Set during the liminal period when the Philippines was in transition from Spanish to American colonial rule, this masterwork shows Romero at his best and most exuberant as a filmmaker. It swept most of the awards at the 1976 Metro Manila Film Festival, and was subsequntly voted best picture at the very first Urian Awards in 1977. Continue reading

Víctor Erice – El Espíritu de la colmena aka The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

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Plot Synopsis [AMG]
Widely regarded as a masterpiece of Spanish cinema, this allegorical tale is set in a remote village in the 1940s. The life in the village is calm and uneventful — an allegory of Spanish life after General Franco’s victory in the Spanish Civil War. While their father (Fernando Fernán Gómez) studies bees in his beehive and their mother (Teresa Gimpera) writes letters to a non-existent correspondent, two young girls, Ana (Ana Torrent) and Isabel (Isabel Telleria), go to see James Whale’s Frankenstein at a local cinema. Though they can hardly understand the concept, both girls are deeply impressed with the moment when a little girl gives a flower to the monster. Isabel, the older sister, tells Ana that the monster actually exists as a spirit that you can’t see unless you know how to approach him. Ana starts wandering around the countryside in search of the kind creature. Instead, she meets an army deserter, who is hiding in a barn. The film received critical accolades for its subtle and masterful use of cinematic language and the expressive performance of the young Ana Torrent. Continue reading

Liliana Cavani – Al di là del bene e del male aka Beyond Good and Evil (1977)

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About the movie
Beyond Good and Evil (Italian: Al di là del bene e del male, UK title: Beyond Evil) is a 1977 drama film directed by Liliana Cavani. It stars Dominique Sanda, Erland Josephson and Robert Powell. The film follows the intense relationship formed in the 1880s between Friedrich Nietzsche, Lou Salome and Paul Rée. This is the second part of “The German Trilogy” directed by Liliana Cavani. In The Night Porter she described connection between perversion and fascism. This time she describes life of Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher who wrote Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Beyond Good and Evil. Virna Lisi won Nastro d’Argento Best supporting Actress award Nastro d’Argento (Silver Ribbon) from the ‘Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists’. Continue reading

Frederick Wiseman – Basic Training (1971)

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Quote:
BASIC TRAINING follows a company of draftees and enlisted men through the nine weeks of the basic training cycle. The varieties of training techniques used by the army in converting civilians to soldiers are illustrated in scenes of drills, M-16 and bayonet use, a gas chamber, mines, night crawls, an infiltration course and the many forms of ideological training familiar to millions of men and women who have served in the armed forces. Continue reading

Sogo Ishii – Kuruizaki Sanda Rodo aka Crazy Thunder Road (1980)

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Synopsis
Jin, an antagonistic youth, tries to take over a motorcycle gang once its leader, Ken, announces he’s going to retire and settle down with his girlfriend. But things aren’t so easy for Jin. The other gangs have united, and decide that Jin’s reckless ways are a thing of the past, so they band together to take him and his four followers out. Continue reading

Luigi Zampa – Bello, onesto, emigrato Australia sposerebbe compaesana illibata AKA A Girl in Australia (1971)

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Early 1970s. Amedeo is a poor Italian immigrant living in Australia for twenty years. Seeking to marry an Italian wife, he corresponds with Carmela, a pretty girl from Rome. They do not reveal their true identities and do not mention their hardships in their letters. Carmela is actually a prostitute seeking an opportunity to change her life style. Amedeo, embarrassed about his looks, sends a photograph to Carmela of his handsome friend Giuseppe. Finally, Carmela lands in Melbourne. Amedeo meets Carmela at the airport and he is struck by her beauty. Thinking he will be rejected because of his looks, he decides to tell Carmela that he is Giuseppe, and he reserves to tell her the truth at a later moment. This starts a three day eventful journey across Eastern Australia. Carmela will soon become better acquainted with Amedeo and she learns of his hardships as an immigrant. She eventually meets the real Giuseppe, however, she believes that he is her betrothed groom, Amedeo. She quickly learns Giuseppe’s true shady intentions. In fact, she finds herself living in a red light district and then escapes. Amedeo and Carmela finally find true happiness together. Continue reading

Barbara McCullough – Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (1979)

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acqueline Stewart wrote:
Made in collaboration with performer Yolanda Vidato, Water Ritual #1 examines Black women’s ongoing struggle for spiritual and psychological space through improvisational, symbolic acts. Shot in 16mm black-and-white, the film was made in an area in Watts that had been cleared to make way for the I-105 freeway, but ultimately abandoned. At first sight, Milanda (Vidato, wearing a simple dress and scarves on her head and waist) and her environs (burnt-out houses overgrown with weeds) might seem to be located in Africa or the Caribbean, or at some time in the past. This layering of locations and temporalities continues to the film’s striking conclusion, in which a now nude Milanda squats and urinates inside an urban ruin. By making “water,” Milanda evokes the numerous female water-based figures in African-Diaspora cosmology as she attempts to expel the putrefaction she has absorbed from her physical environment, while symbolically cleansing the environment itself. Continue reading