Viggo Larsen – Løvejagten AKA The Lion Hunt (1907)

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Synopsis
Two big game hunters are on safari in the jungle with their African guide. They observe zebras, ostrich and a hippopotamus, and catch a small monkey for a pet. During the night they are awakened by a lion which kills a small goat and then the hunters’ horse. The hunters shoot the lion as it stands by the water on a beach. They discover another lion and shoot it also. The lions are gutted and skinned. The happy hunters sit and smoke cigarettes afterward. Continue reading

Bertrand Mandico – Les garçons sauvages AKA The Wild Boys (2017)

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At the beginning of the 20th century on the island of La Réunion, five adolescents of good family, enamored with the occult, commit a savage crime. A Dutch Captain takes them in charge for a repressive cruise on a haunted, dilapidated sailboat. Exhausted by the methods of the Captain, the five boys prepare to mutiny. Their port of call is a supernatural island with luxuriant vegetation and bewitching powers. Written by Ecce Films Continue reading

Ken G. Hall – Thoroughbred (1936)

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Thoroughbred (1936)
Tommy Dawson (Frank Leighton), would-be horse trainer, buys an emaciated stallion called Stormalong on a trip to New Zealand. When it loses its first race, the insecure Tommy vows to sell it, but Tommy’s fiancé Joan (Helen Twelvetrees), a much better judge of horses, rescues Stormalong. With Tommy’s mother, Ma Dawson (Nellie Ferguson), Joan turns Stormalong into the greatest racehorse in Australia. As the Melbourne Cup approaches, an international crime syndicate decides to kill Stormalong. Tommy has to foil the plot on race day. Continue reading

Tony Gatlif – Djam (2017)

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Djam, a Greek girl, is sent to Istanbul on a mission to find a motor-boat part of her uncle, a former sailor and great fan of the Greek musical style rebetiko. In the city, she meets Avril, a French woman who works as a volunteer with refugees but who has run out of money and not known in Turkey. Generous, fearless and unpredictable, Djam leaves with Avril to Mytilene – a journey of music and encounters. Continue reading

Eddie Romero – Ganito kami noon… Paano kayo ngayon? AKA This is how we were, How are you doing now? (1976)

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(from Cinemarehiyon)
The picaresque adventures of a young, naive country bumpkin named Kulas (de Leon) and his whimsical encounters with denizens of various nationalities – Spanish, American, Chinese, indio – is a metaphor for the Filipino quest for identity at a time when nationhood was still an imagined concept. Set during the liminal period when the Philippines was in transition from Spanish to American colonial rule, this masterwork shows Romero at his best and most exuberant as a filmmaker. It swept most of the awards at the 1976 Metro Manila Film Festival, and was subsequntly voted best picture at the very first Urian Awards in 1977. Continue reading

Kon Ichikawa – Taiheiyo hitori-botchi aka Alone on the Pacific (1963)

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Synopsis:
Director Kon Ichikawa’s (An Actor’s Revenge, The Burmese Harp, Tokyo Olympiad) incredible real-life tale of one man’s epic journey across the Pacific Ocean is based on Kenichi Horie’s best-selling book of the same name. A year previously, at only 23 years old, Horie took his basic sailboat (named ‘The Mermaid’) and set off from Nishinomiya in Japan, arriving in San Francisco, California 94 days later. Man’s battle against nature is amongst the timeless themes of Ichikawa’s beautifully shot, inspiring film. Continue reading

Andrew Haigh – Lean on Pete (2017)

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Fifteen-year-old Charley lives with his alcoholic father (Travis Fimmel) in a run-down house on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. In an effort to help his dad stay afloat, Charley takes a job at a local racetrack where he befriends jaded trainer Del (Steve Buscemi) and burnt-out jockey Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny) while caring for an aging horse named Lean on Pete. But as things break down at home and Del announces Pete will be sold to an uncertain fate, the burden becomes too great for Charley to bear and he heads out into the vast American wilderness with Pete in tow. Continue reading