Abbas Kiarostami – Ta’m e guilass AKA Taste of Cherry (1997)

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Winner of the Gold Palm at the 50th Cannes Festival, Taste of Cherry follows along with Mr Badii’s trajectory. He is a man in his fifties, and he is driving about in his car over points in the city where the unemployed are available for odd, occasional jobs.
Mr Badii tries, in the midst of all these people, to find someone willing to get into his car and earn himself some quick, easy money in exchange for a small job. A small job that is difficult to explain and that no one seems willing to accept.

Mr Badii dialogs with a series of characters who are more or less marginalized by society and who receive his suggestion with varied reactions. Continue reading

Atom Egoyan – Calendar [+Extras] (1993)

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Atom Egoyan directs and stars in this painfully honest account of an Armenian photographer’s search for love in spite of himself. His marriage in tatters, he starts dating again, but can’t quite jump in with both feet, and his heart, first. With every date, he puts the women through the paces, asking them to make sexually charged phone calls to others. When he finally meets his match, his ex suddenly comes back into the already murky picture.
-netflix synopsis Continue reading

Louis Malle – Vanya on 42nd Street (1994)

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A group of actors arrive in a rundown theater in the heart of New York City. For the next couple of hours, they are going to rehearse Anton Chekhov’s play Uncle Vanya.

The actors gather around a small table placed in the middle of the stage and begin acting.

Uncle Vanya has spent the majority of his life working for Serybryakov, the snobbish husband of his late sister. For the modest amount of 500 rubles per year, he has carefully managed Serybryakov’s estate, which the old man is now planning to sell.

Uncle Vanya is frustrated – but not only because Serybryakov wants to sell the estate. The old man has returned home with his beautiful wife, Yelena (Julianne Moore), whom Uncle Vanya loves. She knows about his feelings but has chosen to ignore them because she understands that having a relationship with another man after years of marriage simply isn’t right. But Uncle Vanya has incorrectly assumed that Yelena is ignoring him because he is poor. Continue reading

Robert Altman – Short Cuts [+Extras] (1993)

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Quote:
From two American masters comes a movie like no other

Quote:
While helicopters overhead spray against a Medfly infestation a group of Los Angeles lives intersect, some casually, some to more lasting effect. Whilst they go out to concerts and jazz clubs and even have their pools cleaned, they also lie, drink, and cheat. Death itself seems never to be far away, even on a fishing trip. Continue reading

Hal Hartley – The Book of Life (1998)

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from movie martyr:

Set on the eve of the millennium (December, 31, 1999), Hal Hartley’s The Book of Life manages to send up the notion of the apocalypse in Hartley’s typically offbeat way. The film, which is shot on digital video, follow Jesus (Martin Donovan) as he wanders around Manhattan, pondering whether or not he should unleash his judgment upon the world. He is accompanied by Magdalena (P.J. Harvey) who is his personal assistant and confidante. In a little over an hour, with only about a half dozen main characters and only the barest special effects, Hartley weaves a fugue of hope, resignation, and a generalized sense of millennial tension. Few writers are better than Hartley at spinning memorable dialogue, and his stuff here is as good as anything that he’s turned out. For example, when Jesus calls Lucifer (Thomas Jay Ryan) on his cell phone, he greets him with a simple, “It’s me…” Hartley always underplays things, even when the world’s about to end. Continue reading

Andrzej Zulawski – Fidelite (2000)

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Quote:
“Taking his cue from “La Princesse de Cleves”, France’s first serious historical novel, director Andrzej Zulawski boots it into the modern world and filters this story of fidelity versus desire through an ever-earnest – and very modish – photographer (Sophie Marceau) who is hired by a sleaze-merchant to add class to one of his scandal-sheets. She falls for the charming gaucheness of an editor (Pascal Greggory) but becomes hooked on a blunt, loutish photographer who looks unnervingly like a perfectly-realised mix of Liam and Noel Gallagher.” (Reviewed by Michael Thomson – bbc.co.uk/films/2000/11/28/la_fidelite_2000_review.shtml) Continue reading