Campbell X – Stud Life (2012)

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Stud Life takes the viewer into a slice of life of an urban gay scene where casual sex, and drug taking is not treated as deviant behaviour. Where gender is up for grabs but desire follows very strict rules. Where violence can be part of sex as well as random attacks on the street. JJ and Seb inhabit a world where white queers are familiar with Black street culture and reject the mainstream “G.A.Y” world. This is Stud Life. Continue reading

João Botelho – Quem És Tu? AKA Who Are You? (2001)

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Quote:
Aged 13, Maria Noronha is an estremely pale and fragil girl, sick with tubercolosis. In order to alleviate her suffering, she gathers poppies from her garden, and at night puts them on the pillows on her bed. But the poppies have a devastating effect. Her deep sleep is disturbed by terrible ghosts and hallucinations: about the decadence of the Portuguese XVII century, the Jesuits’s power and the terrible Inquisition. Continue reading

António da Cunha Telles – O Cerco AKA Besieged AKA The Circle (1970)

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Quote:
A young woman leaves her abusive husband to become the mistress of a married American living in Lisbon. He pays for her apartment, and she becomes a model. After an affair with a photographer and a small-time drug dealer, she manages to liberate herself from her dependency on male authority figures. She brings a new attitude and newfound personal freedom into her life while fighting in a society not ready to accept her views in this poignant drama. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

A portrait of the Portuguese urban society of the seventies. The story of Marta, a young and pretty girl who leaves her husband in search of her true identity. She doesn’t quite know what she wants, but at least she knows what she’s escaping from. Soon she encounters financial difficulties and finds herself involved with shady characters, a situation that leads to a mysterious murder.
She is trapped…
An outstanding performance by Maria Cabral. Continue reading

Sepideh Farsi – Le voyage de Maryam AKA The Journey of Maryam (2003)

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A poignant and poetic piece exploring the nature of memory, longing, loss, and the people and places that make us who we are. Shot entirely from the vantage point of Maryam, the invisible heroine in search of her father, the film recalls the visual sophistication of Vertov or Farsi’s compatriot Kiarostami. However, in the end, a unique voice rises to the top befitting this intimate and personal journey through the neighborhoods, alleyways, and people of Tehran. Continue reading

Maurice Pialat – La gueule ouverte AKA The Mouth Agape (1974) (HD)

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Monique Mélinand portrays a woman in the late stages of terminal illness. Her son Philippe (Philippe Léotard), Philippe’s wife Nathalie (Nathalie Baye), and her husband Roger (Hubert Deschamps) attempt to comfort her as she navigates through her ordeal. However, those two closest men in her personal life begin to get more involved in their relationships with multiple mistresses. Her husband flirts with customers in their clothing and haberdashery store while her son flirts with her nurses. The film incorporates elements of Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte to poetic effect, relating to these scenes. In the end scenes, she goes through several final, deeply emotional moments as the disease claims her life. (Wikipedia) Continue reading

Philippe Garrel – La cicatrice intérieure AKA The Inner Scar (1972)

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Synopsis:

This is a highly experimental French film consisting of no more than 23 camera shots, total. It resembles nothing so much as one of Warhol’s earlier films, except that it is more episodic. Nico of the Velvet Underground portrays a different woman in each of the episodes. The first three concern her “rescues” from Death Valley, Egypt and Iceland by a young man to whom she eventually says “stay away from me.” Following that, she recites from various texts in German, French and English, makes various gnomic observations and encounters various men in various guises. All the men are played either by director Philippe Garrel or Pierre Clementi.

~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi Continue reading

Vera Chytilová – Pasti, pasti, pasticky AKA Traps (1998)

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From starburstmagazine
For anyone feeling a little squeamish, of vegetarian inclination or just full from a hearty meal, the graphic opening scenes of Traps (or Pasti, Pasti, Pasticky to give its original title) that feature pig castration may prove a little difficult to stomach. These images also feel burned into your retina somehow; a poignant, pre-emptive piece of filmmaking that becomes disturbingly relevant later in the film. For Czech new wave director Vera Chytilovà, filmmaking was a mission. She became a dominant force in the industry and was often described as a militant feminist, although she preferred the term individualist. Traps bears many of the hallmarks that justify both these labels, and even now remains both boldly ambitious and deeply flawed. Continue reading