Nikos Papatakis – I Fotografia AKA La Photo (1986)

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During the dictatorship, a young man goes to Paris, where he seeks help from a solitary and almost misanthropic distant relative who works as a furrier. The young man carries with him the photograph of a singer whom he presents as his sister, thus causing a series of misunderstandings which trap him in a vicious circle of lies and fantasies. An allegory in the form of a modern-day tragedy of the “misunderstandings” and deceits of modern Greek History, as seen through the eyes of a Greek of the Diaspora Continue reading

Damiano Damiani – L’inchiesta (1986)

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Tito Valerio Tauro is sent by the emperor Tiberius in Galilee to investigate the disappearance of the body of Jesus. Tito thinks quickly attend to his duties and return to Rome, but meets Claudia Procula, Pilate’s wife, fascinated by the personality of Jesus, who reveals that Mary Magdalene was a witness to the resurrection of Jesus. Tito became convinced that Jesus is still alive and that is in place and a conspiracy to hide it, pretending to be Christian, begins to search for Mary Magdalene. Continue reading

Kei Kumai – Umi to dokuyaku aka The Sea and Poison (1986)

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Uni to Dokuyaku (1987)
July 22, 1987
FILM: ‘SEA AND POISON,’ FROM JAPAN
By Walter Goodman
Published: July 22, 1987

LEAD: EARLY in ”The Sea and Poison,” the harrowing Japanese movie now at Film Forum 1, a surgical team performs a lung operation on a young woman. It is probably the most graphic view that most of its audience will ever have had of the scalpel and forceps doing their work, and you may find yourself joining the young intern Suguro, who confesses, ”Today in the operating room, I had to close my eyes.

EARLY in ”The Sea and Poison,” the harrowing Japanese movie now at Film Forum 1, a surgical team performs a lung operation on a young woman. It is probably the most graphic view that most of its audience will ever have had of the scalpel and forceps doing their work, and you may find yourself joining the young intern Suguro, who confesses, ”Today in the operating room, I had to close my eyes.” Continue reading

Francis Veber – Les fugitifs AKA The Fugitives (1986)

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Francis Veber directs this hilarious comedy about François (Pierre Richard), a desperate, novice, bumbling bank robber who takes an ex-con hostage during his attempted hold-up. They are both chased by the police. Jean (Gérard Depardieu) plays the convicted bank robber just released from jail and forced to escape with François. Anaïs Bret portrays François’ 6-year-old autistic daughter, and is the reason why he needed money so badly that he would steal for it. An inventive series of farcical situations and witty dialogue keeps the two men moving one step and several missteps ahead of the police. This comedy was so successful that Veber repeated it in 1989 for English-speaking audiences as Three Fugitives, starring Nick Nolte and Martin Short.

— Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Leonard Bernstein – Little Drummer Boy: Essay on Mahler by Leonard Bernstein (1985)

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Quote:
Wow!–I just finished watching “The Little Drummer Boy.”
Previously I had thought that I knew quite a bit about Gustav Mahler, but Leonard Bernstein showed me more.

What Bernstein does is show you–through biographical commentary and excerpts from Mahler’s music–just what it was that made this masterful composer and conductor so obsessed with Life and Death.

Yes, part of it was Mahler’s being born Jewish, and part was seeing so many of his brothers and sisters die so early in life. But Bernstein shows us how Mahler was, like most of us, striving to try to come to terms with life–to understand why death has to come and deprive us of the joys of life.

To give you an idea of how concrete, knowledgeable and specific this program is, Lenny takes a few minutes, using musical excerpts, to illustrate how there is a funeral march in each of Mahler’s nine symphonies. Continue reading