1971-1980

Richard T. Heffron – Trackdown (1976)

SYNOPSIS: IMDB review:
“Rugged Montana rancher Jim Calhoun (an earnest and effective performance by Jim Mitchum) searches the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles for his naive 17-years-old runaway sister Betsy (the comely and appealing Karen Lamm), who has become entangled in a dangerous world of drugs, vice, and prostitution. Director Richard T. Heffron, working from a taut and involving script by Paul Edwards, relates the gripping story at a brisk pace, makes excellent use of authentically gritty urban locations (sleazy bars and clubs, grimy back alleys, Hollywood Boulevard in all its grungy neon glory), maintains a tough seamy tone throughout, and stages a couple of last reel action set pieces with real skill and verve (a sequence involving two elevators is both original and very exciting). Read More »

Maurice Dugowson – Au Revoir à Lundi aka Bye, See You Monday [English Dub] (1979)

Bye, See You Monday is a French Canadian relationship drama based on a novel by Roger Fournier. Miou-Miou and Carole Laure star as a pair of attractive young housemates. Both ladies are involved with married men. Both approach these delicate relationships in different fashion and both learn a little something about what happens when one plays with fire. Au Revoir a Lundi, was filmed in 1979, but withheld from general release until the 1981 Moscow Film Festival. Read More »

Yu Wang – Du bi quan wang da po xue di zi AKA Master of the Flying Guillotine (1975)

Storyline:
The one-armed boxer is stalked by a vengeful flying guillotine expert, after his disciples were killed in the first ‘One-Armed Boxer’ film. But as the flying guillotine master is blind, he starts his quest by becoming a serial killer of one-armed men. Meanwhile, the one-armed boxer is running a martial arts school, where he teaches his pupils to control their breath so they can run up walls and along ceilings. And there’s an Indian fakir whose arms can extend until they’re ten feet long. As you may have gathered, a rational plot summary is pretty pointless – but rest assured there are epic martial arts battles and ludicrously inspired moments galore. Read More »

Edwin Sherin – King Lear (1974)

Quote:
This historic 1974 recording of King Lear brings to audiences today both a great production of Shakespeare’s classic, but also a performance of towering brilliance from the formidable James Earl Jones. This recording, made at Joseph Papp’s legendary open air New York Shakespeare Festival, also captures the brilliant performances from the late Raul Julia, alongside a great cast that includes Paul Sovrino, Ellen Holly, Rosalind Cash, and Lee Chamberlain. Read More »

Shinji Sômai – Tonda kappuru AKA The Terrible Couple (1980)

Aspiring to be admitted to a good university and to become a lawyer, Tasiro Yuusuke, a tenth-grader from Kyushu, enrols in a prestigious high school in Tokyo. Plans are made for him to live in his uncle’s house, part of which is rented out while his uncle is abroad on business. A realtor’s mistakes leaves Tasiro sharing the house with Kei Yamaba, the most beautiful girl in the school, who is also his classmate. There is the risk that their unexpected ‘co-habitation’ will be discovered by the school authorities. While he grows increasingly attracted to her, he is often irritated by her innocent and nonchalant attitude towards their predicament. They each develop other romantic attachments, but end up turning to each other. Read More »

Jean-Jacques Annaud – La victoire en chantant AKA Noirs et blancs en couleur AKA Black and White in Color [+extras] (1976)

Synopsis:
French colonists in Africa, several months behind in the news, find themselves at war with their German neighbors. Deciding that they must do their proper duty and fight the Germans, they promptly conscript the local native population. Issuing them boots and rifles, the French attempt to make “proper” soldiers out of the Africans. A young, idealistic French geographer seems to be the only rational person in the town, and he takes over control of the “war” after several bungles on the part of the others. (IMDb) Read More »

Liliana Cavani – Milarepa (1974)

Quote:
Tibetan yogi Milarepa is one of the main teachers of Buddhism. His autobiography is filmed here parallel with a story of a youth of our days, both seeking answers to same questions. They have masters whose decisions they don’t fully catch, and there are women whose roles are ambiguous. Master and disciple depend in each other, in fierce search for truth; only belief and honor count. Cavani made an extraordinary movie which has not lost any of its charm within years. It is a meditation of man’s destiny and also a narrative of the parallel but non- tangential lives of man and woman. This film can be read as a visual philosophical tract and an homage to Milarepa. Aside of that, the film is very beautiful visually and the great actors fully contribute to the ideas of both Milarepa and Cavani.
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