Babis Makridis – L (2012)

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A Man lives in his car. He is 40 years old and although he does not have a lot of free time, when he does, he chooses to spend it with his family. He meets his wife and two children at a specified day and time in car parking lots. His job is to locate and bring the finest honey to a 50-year old man. A New Driver shows up and the Man gets fired. The Man’s life changes and he finds it absurd that no one trusts him anymore. Continue reading

Waldemar Krzystek – 80 milionów aka 80 millions (2011)

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*The official submission of Poland to the Best Foreign Language Film of the 85th Academy Awards 2013.

A new film by Waldemar Krzystek. Poland, Lower Silesia, the beginning of a very cold winter 1981. After the series of entrapments by the Security Service a confrontation between the opposition and the communists seems to be inevitable. Just before the proclamation of martial law a group of young Solidarity activists decide to play va banque and organize a rash action to take out 80 million of the Union money from one of the Wroclaw’s banks before the account would be blocked. Security Service officers follow their steps. It’s the beginning of a gripping tournament in which also priests and curb dealers will play their parts. Each side has aces up their sleeve. Continue reading

Rasit Çelikezer – Can (2011)

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After eloping to Istanbul to escape the objections of their families, Cemal (Serdar Orcin) and Ayse (Selen Uçer) are happy in their marriage. The only thing missing in their lives is the baby they would both like to have. Unable to get pregnant, they eventually consult a doctor, who reveals to Cemal that he’s infertile. Frustrated and ashamed, he embarks on a face-saving scheme to have Ayse fake a pregnancy, while they adopt a baby who will arrive nine months later. But when the baby does arrive, under dubious circumstances, Ayse finds herself unable to summon any maternal feeling whatsoever. As she and Cemal grow increasingly resentful of one another, the marriage begins to crumble under the strain and, appalled at the mess he’s made, Cemal flees. In this 2012 Sundance Special Jury Prize winner, set against the backdrop of a city with a thriving market in the human trafficking of children, director Rasit Çelikezer has created a complex and surprising exploration of what it means to be a parent. Continue reading

Seyfi Teoman – Bizim Büyük Çaresizligimiz AKA Our Grand Despair (2011)

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Our Grand Despair: Berlin Review:

BERLIN — Don’t be fooled by the somber title of Our Grand Despair, which after a grief-laden opening turns out to be one of the frothier entries in a Berlinale competition slate predictably chock-full of weightier fare. A bromantic Jules et Jim-lite love-triangle set in a snowy Ankara, it’s an accessibly droll, bittersweet comedy (rather more sweet than bitter) which has considerable English-language remake potential.

Though hardly an especially significant example of contemporary Turkish cinema, it’ll prove catnip for festivals worldwide and could well click at domestic box offices in its native land. Continue reading

Jordan Scott – Cracks (2009) (HD)

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CRACKS
Directed by Jordan Scott
Produced by Kwesi Dickson, Julie Payne, Andrew Lowe, Christine Vachon & Rosalie Swedlin
Written by Caroline Court & Ben Ip, based on the novel by Sheila Kohler
Released by IFC Films
UK/Ireland/Spain/France/Switzerland. 107 min. Not Rated
With Eva Green, Juno Temple, María Valverde, Imogen Poots, Sinead Cusack, Ellie Nunn, Clementine Dugdale, Zoe Carroll & Adele McCann

Cracks is standard English period fare. Forbidding setting: check. Emotional repression: check. Beautiful costumes work: check. With all the items on the laundry list crossed off, there’s nothing much to do than to see if the story unfolds with either style or intrigue. Based on Shelia Kohler’s 1999 novel of the same name, Cracks examines the relationship between the charismatic young teacher Miss G (Eva Green) and her impressionable students in an all-girls English boarding school in the 1930s. A psychological thriller mixed with a coming-of-age story, director Jordan Scott’s first feature is The Children’s Hour meets Dead Poets Society, except creepier and with less quality. Continue reading