Zivojin Pavlovic – Kad budem mrtav i beo AKA When I Am Dead and Gone (1967)

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Plot:
Janko Bugarski “Džimi Barka” is a small time wallet snatcher, and an aspiring singer, who wants to make it big with as little effort as he can, traveling through industrial areas and looking for affairs with local women and easy money. On one of his travels he meets a young girl he takes to Belgrade to accompany him on an amateur singing contest, where he fails miserably, since he can’t follow a tune, and abandoning her, teams up with his former girlfriend, also a pickpocket, which takes him to his final journey. Continue reading

Sohrab Shahid Saless – Yek Etefagh sadeh AKA A Simple Event (1974)

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Quote:
With A Simple Event Sohrab Shahid-Saless emerged on the Iranian film scene as a filmmaker with a distinctive style. Adopting an almost documentary style, Shahid-Saless records uneventful moments in the lives of ordinary people. He has said, “A Simple Event has no plot. It is only a report on the daily life of a boy”. Working with a cast of non-professional local players, Shahid-Saless constructed his film with realistic images that almost corresponded with the temporal flow of rural life. The film is so simple and unadorned that it creates the illusion of having been made with no prepared overall design.

For all its lyrical charm, A Simple Event must be considered as a prelude or a preparation for Shahid-Saless’s acclaimed film Still Life which was awarded the Silver Bear for best direction and the critics’ prize at the 24th Berlin International Film Festival in 1974. Continue reading

Yoshishige Yoshida – Rengoku eroica AKA Heroic Purgatory (1970)

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Quote:
Little exists, critically speaking, on the subject of Yoshishige Yoshida’s “Heroic Purgatory”. It is a singular experience in that it has never been the subject of much acclaim or criticism. Film sites boast very few, if any, reviews. You will not find its name amongst the more famous Japanese cinematic works. Once one has seen the film, that is all there is. There is no chance to read a critical evaluation and put the pieces together with the help of a more wise, trusted and noted critic. The film extrapolates no farther than itself and its viewer. Continue reading

Yoshishige Yoshida – Erosu purasu Gyakusatsu AKA Eros Plus Massacre (1969)

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Synopsis:
In the 20’s, the anarchist revolutionary Sakae Osugi is financially supported by his wife, journalist Itsuko Masaoka. He spends his time doing nothing but philosophizing about political systems and free love and visiting with his lovers Yasuko and the earlier feminist Noe Ito. He conveniently defends three principles for a relationship between a man and a woman: they should be financially independent (despite the fact that he is not); they should live in different places; and they should be free to have intercourse with other partners. In 1969, twenty year-old student, Eiko Sokuta, has an active sexual life, having sex with different men. Her friend, Wada, is obsessed with fire and they usually play weird games using a camera while they read about Osugi and Ito. Continue reading

Werner Herzog – Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes AKA Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972) (HD)

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Quote:
For much of the time, the location consisted of three differently-sized rafts slowly gliding down the head-waters of the mighty Amazon river: one for the action proper, a second to set up the camera on, and a third one, dangling a few miles behind so as not to be in frame, providing basic accommodation and meals. Scorching sun, high humidity and mosquitoes galore took their toll. At one point Kinski, forever true to his reputation, insisted on the fulfilment of his contract: if no air-con room at night, no work. With this luxury about 1,000 km away, Herzog saw only one chance to save his film: at gunpoint he threatened to kill Kinski and later explain his disappearance with an unfortunate incident in the perilous waters. As we all know, Kinski kept on working. Continue reading

Matthias Glasner – Der Freie Wille AKA The Free Will (2006)

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AMG: Theo (Jürgen Vogel) has raped several women and is, after several years of committing acts of sexual violence, caught. He is committed to a psychiatric prison and, after 12 years in prison, he is released to return to normal life. Theo finds work as a printer, goes regularly to therapy, and lives in a supervised group. But Theo finds that finding a normal life isn’t all that easy. Functioning more like a wooden puppet than a person, Theo wanders through his post-prison days more like an inhibited loner with severe difficulties in his social encounters with women. In spite of overwhelming loneliness and growing depression, Theo fights returning to his old violent ways. And then a ray of hope enters Theo’s life: he gets to know Netti (Sabine Timoteo), the daughter of the domineering printing house owner. Netti mistrusts men in the same way that Theo mistrusts women. The two outsiders befriend each other and eventually fall in love. But Nettie knows nothing about Theo’s past and his problems — until one night when Theo decides that he can’t keep living a lie. Der Freie Wille tells the story of a man who is given freedom but still remains a prisoner inside. Continue reading