Tinto Brass – Miranda [+Extra] (1985)

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In late World War II and shortly thereafter, the husband of Miranda Rostogni (Serena Grandi) is missing and presumed dead. She takes a string of lovers representing the seasons of the year: the elderly councilman Carlo (Franco Interlenghi) in Winter, young truck driver Berto (Andrea Occhipinti) in Spring, American pipeline worker Norman (Andy J. Forrest) in Summer and tavern worker Tony (Brass regular Franco Benciaroli) in the Autumn. She wildly expresses her attitude as a free spirit pursued by these four men (not to mention others), trying to decide whether to marry any of them. Continue reading

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Liliana Cavani – Interno Berlinese AKA The Berlin Affair (1985)

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Review I

In 1938 Berlin, Gudrun Landgrebe, wife of Nazi functionary Kevin McNally, begins taking art lessons. She makes the acquaintance of another student, Japanese ambassador’s daughter Mio Takaki. Soon afterwards, the two women begin a passionate lesbian affair. This leads to a chain reaction of disaster and tragedy, culminating with the inevitable intervention of the Gestapo. Despite the film’s galloping sexual passions, The Berlin Affair is an exercise in aloofness, keeping the characters at arm’s length-surprising, considering that the director was Liliana Cavani, auteur of the erotic classic The Night Porter (1974). The film was based on The Buddhist Cross, a novel by Junichiro Tanizaki. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Continue reading

John Waters – Polyester (1981)

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Polyester is a 1981 comedy film directed, produced, and written by John Waters, and starring Divine, Tab Hunter, Edith Massey, and Mink Stole. It was filmed in Waters’ native Baltimore, Maryland, and features a gimmick called “Odorama”, whereby viewers could smell what they saw on screen through scratch and sniff cards.

The film is a satirical look at suburban life involving divorce, abortion, adultery, alcoholism, foot fetishism, and the Religious Right.
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John Waters – Cry-Baby – Directors Cut [+Extras] (1990)

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Various excerpts:
“Cry-Baby is a 1990 American teen musical film written and directed by John Waters. It stars Johnny Depp as 1950s teen rebel “Cry-Baby” Wade Walker, and also features a large ensemble cast that includes Amy Locane, Iggy Pop, Traci Lords, Ricki Lake, Kim McGuire, David Nelson, Susan Tyrrell, and Patty Hearst. The film did not achieve high audience numbers in its initial release, but has subsequently become a cult classic and spawned a Broadway musical of the same name which was nominated for four Tony Awards.

The film is a parody of teen musicals (particularly Grease) and centers on a group of delinquents that refer to themselves as “drapes” and their interaction with the rest of the town and its other subculture, the “squares”, in 1950s Baltimore, Maryland. “Cry-Baby” Walker, a drape, and Allison, a square, create upheaval and turmoil in their little town of Baltimore by breaking the subculture taboos and falling in love. The film shows what the young couple has to overcome to be together and how their actions affect the rest of the town. Continue reading

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Trop tôt/Trop tard AKA Too Early, Too Late (1982)

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D’après La Question paysanne en France et en Allemagne et une lettre à karl Kautsky de Friedrich Engels et de La lutte des classes en Egyptes de 1945 à 1968 de Mahmoud Hussein.

Film en deux parties dont la première est consacrée à la France, la seconde à l’Egypte. Sur les images de la campagne bretonne est lu un texte de Hengels décrivant la misère des paysans en 1789. Pour l’Egypte, c’est un texte de l’historien Mahmoud Hussein sur la lutte des classes dans ce pays depuis Bonaparte jusqu’au règne de Sadate. Continue reading

Philippe Garrel – Elle a Passé Tant d’Heures Sous les Sunlights… AKA She Spent So Many Hours Under the Sun Lamps (1985)

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Faceted, fragmented, and oneiric, Philippe Garrel’s Elle a passé tant d’heures sous les sunlights… (She Spent So Many Hours Under the Sun Lamps) is more exorcism than expurgation, elegy than lamentation – an abstract, yet lucid chronicle of love and loss, death and birth sublimated through textural, self-reflexive impressions, visceral gestures, and metaphoric tableaux. A profoundly personal film dedicated to the memory of friend and fellow filmmaker (and May 68 idealist) Jean Eustache, and haunted by the unreconciled specter of Garrel’s failed relationship with Nico, the film opens to a crepuscular image of a couple – perhaps an actor and his lover (Jacques Bonnaffé and Anne Wiazemsky) as apparent surrogates for Garrel and Nico … more on SFS Continue reading

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