Plot Synopsis from ALLMOViE:
Though he made allusions to his own life in all of his films, Fanny and Alexander was the first overtly autobiographical film by Ingmar Bergman. Taking his time throughout (188 minutes to be exact), Bergman recreates several episodes from his youth, using as conduits the fictional Ekdahl family. Alexander, the director’s alter ego, is first seen at age 10 at a joyous and informal Christmas gathering of relatives and servants. Fanny is Alexander’s sister; both suffer an emotional shakedown when their recently-widowed mother (Ewa Froling) marries a cold and distant minister. Stripped of their creature comforts and relaxed family atmosphere, Fanny and Alexander suddenly find their childhood unendurable. The kids’ grandmother (Gunn Wallgren) “kidnaps” Fanny and Alexander for the purpose of showering them with the first kindness and affection that they’ve had since their father’s death. This “purge” of the darker elements of Fanny and Alexander’s existence is accomplished at the unintentional (but applaudable) cost of the hated stepfather’s life. Ingmar Bergman insisted that Fanny and Alexander, originally a multipart television series pared down to feature-film length, represented his final film, though within a year after its release he was busy with several additional Swedish TV projects, and he returned to make one more theatrical release movie before his death – the 2003 Saraband. Oscars went to Fanny and Alexander for Best Foreign Film, Best Cinematography (Sven Nykvist), Best Costume Design and Best Art Direction/Set Decoration. Continue reading Ingmar Bergman – Fanny och Alexander [TV Version] (1982)
After witnessing the brutal murder of an elderly lady, a man has an encounter with a bizarre woman who claims to an old lover of his… A lover who apparently committed suicide years ago. Continue reading Dino Risi – Fantasma d’amore (1981)
The elusive first film about that “new” disease of the 80s, AIDS.
Gay-porn-director-turned-indie-film-maker Arthur Bressan (who also made ABUSE) deals directly with the subject of the disease by having David, a young typesetter (David Schachter) undertake volunteer work as a ‘buddy’ to visit AIDS patients in a New York hospital. His assignment is Robert (Geoff Edholm), who’s down and nearly out for the count, but still passionate about the politics behind the disease. Although David is currently processing a book about the illness from all points of view – medical, religious, etc – he finds there’s more to learn first-hand about attitude.? Continue reading Arthur J. Bressan Jr – Buddies (1985)
A masterpiece of Sri Lankan cinema, “Suddilage Kathawa” or “A Woman in a Whirlpool” is the third film by Dharmasiri Bandaranayake. Swarna Mallawarachi plays the role of Suddi who is married to Romiel, a hired assassin played by Cyril Wickramage. Suddi’s life becomes complex when her husband ends up in prison and she is forced to have multiple affairs in order to support herself. Joe Abeywickrama plays the role of the village head whose brother-in-law is a shop owner played by Sommie Rathnayake. Observe how the lives of these characters are intricately nested around love, hate, deception, crime and murder. Witness the facets that greed takes in this exceptional feauture film, beautifully shot and portrayed by accomplished cinematographer Udaya Perera. Continue reading Dharmasiri Bandaranayake – Suddilage Kathawa (1984)
THIS VERSION IS COMPLETE (3h 09′) AND INCLUDES EPISODE ‘JAR’.
The film consists of four stories plus epilogue, set in 19th-century Sicily. THE OTHER SON – A mother spends her life waiting for news from her two sons (emigrated to America) while ignoring her third, because he is the reincarnation of the bandit who raped her. MOON SICKNESS – a newly-wed peasant girl discovers that her husband goes mad every full moon. She arranges for a male friend to protect her, but they end up in bed together just as the moon emerges from behind a cloud. THE JAR – a rich landowner hires a master craftsman to repair a giant olive jar, but the craftsman gets trapped inside. REQUIEM – villagers band together in an attempt to force their landlord to let them bury their dead. CONVERSATIONS WITH MOTHER – the writer Luigi Pirandello talks with his aged mother about a story he always wanted to write, but which he never managed to capture in words. Continue reading Paolo Taviani & Vittorio Taviani – Kaos (1984)
This is a sensitive film about human solidarity filled with humor and poetry.
A young actor with his backbone broken (he is crippled after a bad fall on the stage) is
being treated in a hospital. He is invalidated for good and he wills not to live further on.
He gets acquainted with a 10-year-old boy, Leonid, from the adjoining room. The boy is
spending time in hospital with an arm in a plastic cast. They make friends. In fact, the
actor intends to use the kid to provide him with poison. He starts telling a marvelous fairy
tale. “Yo-ho-ho” – this old refrain of a pirate song is all too familiar. For the sake of the
boy the Actor invents stories about the good buccaneer who is fighting the evil ruler
Alvarez who must be punished for his crimes. Little by little the real people in hospital are
transformed into the imaginary heroes of the pirate stories that the Actor and the child
vanquished by goodness, honesty and self-denial. The boy is fascinated. Gradually… Continue reading Zako Heskija – Yo ho ho (1981)
Herbert in plaster
In the films of Herbert Achternbusch the plot is more of a space in which the Bavarian filmmaker, poet and painter improvises. For example as artist and soldier Herbert in Heilt Hitler!, which premiered 25 years ago at the Berlinale. At night Herbert sits with his last comrade in the trenches of Stalingrad. While his comrade is writing with his finger one last letter to the Fuehrer into the air, Herbert starts to plaster himself with the last bucket of plaster, so the Russians find only a statue. Suddenly Herbert finds himself in the Munich of the eighties. At the war memorial in Munich’s Hofgarten is written “They will rise again”. That’s the miracle of Stalingrad. Herbert does not know where he is and tries to scrounge cigarettes, in Russian. Maybe the Germans have won the war, have rebuilt Stalingrad after the model of Munich and renamed it Hitlergrad. On the Munich Marienplatz and Lake Starnberg Herbert observes that all Germans are sick. Like Hitler: “No one is healed.” Heilt Hitler! is an absurd farce, shot in eleven days in Super-8 and blown-up to 35 mm, a histrionic, avant-garde artist’s film with wonderful monologic passages, where Achternbusch’s later conversion to Buddhism is already indicated.
Detlef Kuhlbrodt in DIE ZEIT, 7th July 2011 Continue reading Herbert Achternbusch – Heilt Hitler! AKA Heal Hitler! (1986)