“This critically acclaimed French drama blends film noir and science fiction elements in a story about a strange and deadly plague. A sexually transmitted disease called STBO is sweeping the country; it’s spread by having sex without emotional involvement, and most of its victims are teenagers who make love out of curiosity rather than commitment. While a serum that can treat the disease has been formulated, it’s been locked away in an inaccessible government building, and most of those suffering can’t get at it. A woman known as “The American” (Carroll Brooks) has hired Marc (Michel Piccoli), who is deep in debt and desperate for cash, to steal the drug; Marc enlists the aid of Alex (Denis Lavant), the teenage son of one of his close friends, to help pull off the robbery. Alex is in love with Lise (Julie Delpy), a girl his age that he’s been involved with, but he finds himself attracted to Anna (Juliette Binoche), Marc’s younger lover who is determined to stand by her man. Mauvais Sang received the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and the International Fantasy Film Award at the Fantasporto Film Festiva”. — Mark Deming (AMG) Continue reading
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This is a landmark film in Pakistani cinema. First and foremost, it was one of the few occasions where filmmakers attempted to do something off-beat and high-brow (not unlike the ‘parallel’ cinema of India, that had just started to show its presence amidst the typical ‘Bollywood’ fare. We’re talking about late 1970s, when the average Pakistani film roughly resembled its Indian counterpart, if a bit more gaudy). Secondly, it is notable for being one of the country’s very few (probably the first) English language film. And finally, it is a controversial film for being banned and remaining largely unseen (except on bootleg VHS) in Pakistan. That last factor certainly helped it gain cult status. Unfortunately, that also meant that to date, nobody has attempted to rescue the film from obscurity (unlike in USA, where Blue Underground, NoShame, Something Weird and other companies regularly restore and release cult classics). Continue reading
After a nuclear war, a group of children at an isolated farmhouse debate what the outside world might be like. Soon one of them leaves the house to investigate, and finds out that things aren’t the way they thought.
The French Love Without Pity strikes different people different ways. To some, it’s the last word in profundity; to others, it’s a subtitled yawnfest. We suggest that you judge for yourself this story of low-down louse Hippolyte Girardot, who regards the women in his life as little more that doormats upon which to wipe his feet. It’s “just deserts” time when Girardot falls head over heels for Mireille Perrier, who proceeds to treat him like dirt. Continue reading
Set in the not to distant apocalyptic future. Earth is under invasion from computer/arcade aliens, tensions run high and teenagers still want to ‘go out’.
Playwright, actor, director, and theatre scholar Girish Karnad conceived this film as a popularly-accessible tribute to the glories of Sanskrit drama, turning one of the most beloved of classical plays, the ca. 5th century “Little Clay Cart” (ascribed to Shudraka) into a contemporary spectacle with A-list stars and music by major filmi composers. Lavish sets and costumes, jewelry and hairstyles, all inspired by classical paintings and sculptures, evoke the glories of the Gupta age, while saucy dialog in contemporary (if properly Sanskritized) Hindi recreates the playwright’s satirical vision of the demimondaine world of the city of Ujjayini. By reminding viewers that, for ancient Indians, “pleasure” and “profit” (kama and artha) were right up there with “virtue” (dharma) among the principal Aims of Life, the film can serve as a refreshing antidote to the over-emphasized philosophical and mystical preoccupations of the much-studied texts of the classical period (e.g., Bhagavad-gita). Its Rabelaisian cast of characters — the voluptuous and talented courtesan, witty cat burglar, pompous monk, wild-eyed revolutionary — mirror those found in the worldly-wise story anthologies of the classical period (such as those translated in J. A. B. van Buitenen’s Tales of Ancient India), and thus bring to life their urbane world of fleshly delights. Continue reading
Plot Summary: In spring 1976, a 19-year-old beauty, her German-born mother, and her crippled father move to the town of a firefighter nicknamed Pin-Pon. Everyone notices the provocative Eliane. She singles out Pin-Pon and soon is crying on his shoulder (she’s myopic and hates her reputation as a dunce and as easy); she moves in with him, knits baby clothes, and plans their wedding. Is this love or some kind of plot? She asks Pin-Pon’s mother and aunt about the piano in the barn: who delivered it on a November night in 1955? Why does she want to know, and what does it have to do with her mother’s sorrows, her father’s injury, this quick marriage, and the last name on her birth certificate? Continue reading