Jérôme de Missolz – La mécanique des femmes AKA The Mechanics of Women (2000)

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The Mechanics of Women is based on the novel by Louis Calaferte and directed by Jerome De Missolz. It concerns one man’s obsession and one woman’s appetite, and the consequences of their ultimate meeting. A man is entering the final stages of a love affair. His girlfriend tells him a tale of a woman, lurking of the streets of Paris in a search of men to conquer. The man, obsessed with this image of the woman, embarks on a quest. He enters a series of brief sexual encounters in hopes of finding her. His mind flows between fantasy and reality as he relives a lifetime of hapless affairs and one-night stands. One night, he attends a party in the projects when he comes face-to-face with the object of his obsession…

Jerome de Missolz is a well-known documentary film -maker. He has also directed a number of television films on fashion, politics and social issues, including a potrait of Yves Saint-Laurent; < fascism: The Return >. < La Mecanique des Femmes > is his first feature. Continue reading

Jesus Franco – El ojete de Lulú AKA Lulu’s Talking Ass (1986)

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Jess Franco and Lina Romay co-directed this film, which is a vile, rather disgusting and lazy “comedy/porno”. The American title is Lulu’s Talking Ass so that should tell you something. In the film, a talking ass (provided by Romay) tells various sexual stories and we get to see the scenes. Even by Franco standards this thing here is pretty useless and the sex scenes never enter the erotic zone but instead go towards the vile level. Once again it seems this film was shot in the matter of days if not hours and it really shows on screen. I had to view the film in Spanish without any subs so I’m not sure if the “talking ass” has any good dialogue or not. The funniest moment of the film is when one of the male actors goes to switch positions and accidentally falls off the bed. Being Franco, he left it in the film. Franco’s opinion of the Academy Awards also gets a special mention since the talking ass comes upon an Oscar and does something to it, which I won’t mention here. Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios AKA Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)

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Though the kinky characters and aberrant social behavior common to the works of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar are very evident in his Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the film is at heart a door-slamming farce in the grand tradition. The tiny apartment of pregnant actress Carmen Maura is the “Grand Central Station” setpiece for this dizzying tale. Distraught over her recent breakup with her lover, Carmen prepares to overdose on sleeping pills, which she blends into a gazpacho so they’ll go down easier. She is diverted from her suicide by her best friend Maria Barranco, a fugitive from justice (her boy friend is a Shi’Ite terrorist) who needs a place to stay. Later, when Carmen’s apartment is empty, her ex-lover’s grown son (Antonio Banderas) comes to the apartment with his fiance (Rossy de Palma) in answer to Carmen’s “room to let” newspaper ad. The wife inadvertently ingests Carmen’s “pill sauce,” and as she blissfully snoozes, the husband inaugurates an affair with Carmen’s friend Barranco. Continue reading

Mario Camus – Los santos inocentes AKA The Holy Innocents (1984)

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based on the novel of the same name by Miguel Delibes

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Somewhere in the spanish country, in the 60s. Paco and his wife Regula are very poor. They work as tenant farmers for a very wealthy landowner. They have 3 children. One is backward. The others can not got to school because the master “needs” their work. When Regula’s brother is fired from where he has worked for 61 years, he settles down at their little place… An attack against the archaism of the spanish country of the 60s. Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – Átame! AKA Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989)

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Just released from residential psychiatry, where he became an all-round handyman, gentle orphan Ricky pursues his sole pathological obsession. Penniless, hence without a chance to court her, he kidnaps porn actress Marina from the set of crippled director Maximo’s last movie. At first she hates her abductor. Once she realizes he risks and bares everything for her, she gets feeling for him to. But won’t she still escape and return to her family and career? Continue reading

Maroun Bagdadi – Liban, le pays du miel et de l’encens AKA Lebanon, the Land of Honey and Incense (1988)

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Doctor Fournier arrives in Beirut as the civil war is raging. He finds himself with a colleague working in a hospital controlled by a Shiite militia and treating the injured. Driven by his doctor’s oath, he crosses the demarcation line to treat Christian casualties of the ongoing clashes. This causes Muslims in his neighborhood to brand him a traitor. He is kidnapped to be exchanged for a fighter captured by Christian militiamen. The film is part of the TV series Médecins des hommes (Doctors of Men). It was considered the best movie in the series. Continue reading