Jaime Humberto Hermosillo – Matinée (1977)

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Synopsis (University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive)
Within the framework of a thriller, Hermosillo presents in Matinee a film that is rich in the dreams and ambiguities of childhood. Two precocious provincial boys, enamored of the movies, head out for Mexico City in search of some real-life adventure. They are kidnapped by a gang of gunmen who adopt them as mascots, but also involve them in their cutthroat activities. The criminal escapades are a dream-come-true for the boys, until the police come into the picture and they are forced to betray their kidnappers. The boys are returned to the provinces as hometown heroes–returned to the quiet streets and the dubious thrill of the Saturday matinee. Hermosillo recalls the black humor of Buñuel and the boyhood adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson and Mark Twain; and like them, he rejects the innocence of childhood for something more complex, which, though it is never defined, is the subject of Matinee. Continue reading

Eric Rohmer – Perceval le Gallois (1978)

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Veteran French New Wave director Eric Rohmer’s Perceval is a unique film faithfully based on the 12th-century Arthurian poem by Chrétien de Troyes. It combines medieval music, bright colors, mime, stylized acting and theatrical sets that reflect a wonderful feel for the period. This elegant adventure film is shot entirely in the studio. Rohmer highlights Perceval (Fabrice Luchini) as a young innocent who uses this to his advantage to gain the confidence of his enemies. The naïve Perceval’s odyssey is depicted as a moral investigation, but is shot with a deft touch exhibiting great humor, wit and style… It’s more involving than either Bresson’s Lancelot du Lac or Syberberg’s Parifal. Continue reading

Wojciech Has – Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie aka The Saragossa Manuscript (1965)

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Quote:
During the Napoleonic Wars a young French officer seeks shelter in an abandoned building in the town of Saragossa. In this building he discovers a rather odd book, and when an enemy officer attempts to arrest him, the the second officer is also drawn to narrate the book which seems to have been written by his own grandfather (Zbigniew Cybulski). Soon the officer’s grandfather finds himself immersed within a story of fleeing gypsy cannibals, married to Muslim sisters … in his dreams, and on the run from the Spanish Inquisition. But when he meets up with a Cabalist and his storytelling friends, that is when things start to get truly interesting.
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John Huston – Sinful Davey (1969)

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synopsis

Davey Haggart (John Hurt) wishes to follow his father’s footsteps and become a highway robber. He also wishes to avoid his father’s fate — which was death by hanging at the tender age of 21 after a botched robbery of the Duke of Argyle (Robert Morley). Davey commits a daring robbery in broad daylight with the help of two henchmen (Ronald Fraser and Fidelma Murphy) and heads for the highlands of Scotland to hide out. The local Constable (Nigel Davenport) warns young Davey he will end up just like his father but helps him escape the fate of dancing on the end of a rope. Annie (Pamela Franklin) is the kind-hearted farm girl who tries to make sweet Davey give up a life of crime and settle down. This comedy was taken from the autobiographical diary”The Life Of David Haggart.” Continue reading

Georg Wilhelm Pabst – The Mistress of Atlantis AKA The Lost Atlantis (1932)

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Synopsis:

Two soldiers–searching the Sahara for Atlantis–are captured by raiders from the lost city. They are taken before its beautiful queen who has over 50 mummified ex-lovers! What follows is an endless nightmare, climaxing with the murder of one of the soldiers. There are some brilliant moments in this sci-fi fantasy classic.

A pair of Legionnaires discover the remains of the lost city of Atlantis in the middle of the Sahara desert. It is ruled by a strange and beautiful demi-goddess. (guess who). Continue reading