John Cassavetes – Cassavetes Gazzara Rowlands 1978 Interview (1978)

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This is a raw-footage version of a group interview for some unspecified TV station at a restaurant from 1978 with Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Seymour Cassell and Paul Stewart on the occasion of Opening Night being released. It starts out with some general career-spanning questions to Cassavetes and then eventually gets into Opening Night with Cassavetes exhorting people to go see it in his own inimitable way. Mostly we hear from Cassavetes, Rowlands, Gazzara and Paul Stewart, with just a few reactions from Seymour Cassell who is sitting by listening and smoking. Continue reading

John Cassavetes – Husbands (1970)

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After FACES, Cassavetes embarked on HUSBANDS, in which he starred with Peter Falk and Ben Gazzara. The film centered around three friends dealing with life and mortality after the death of a mutual friend.
Though neither FACES nor HUSBANDS were very popular with the mainstream moviegoing audience, both were pivotal in the integration of cinema verité traditions in future Hollywood films. This crossover of the experimental and popular was clear in Cassavetes most successful film. Continue reading

Bert Haanstra – Fanfare aka The Brass Band [+Extras] (1958)

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Imdb:
After a fight the brass band in a small village splits up into two separate bands. They both want to win a contest and will do anything to prevent the other band from winning it.

user review:
Brilliant movie from the lower countries!
27 February 2001 | by biepmiep (Rotterdam)

This movie is about a brass band in the fictional place of Brederwiede. When they want to compete in a competition the band splits up in two, because the two lead men in the band can’t agree on the music. Both of them go to the narrator, who is the most intelligent person in town. He composes two separate pieces of music which at the competition will become one piece of music. Very clever done! There is also a love story in this movie: the boy and girl are both children of one of the band leaders. Highlight of the movie is the competition itself when the two pieces of music are combined by a planned coincidence. I saw this film before the very funny Brassed Off. It has got similarities and makes watching these movies even more fun. Continue reading

Govind Nihalani – Party (1984)

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BACKGROUND
Party is a 1984 Hindi film directed by Govind Nihalani. The film boasted an ensemble cast of leading art cinema actors of Parallel Cinema, including Vijaya Mehta, Manohar Singh, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, and Rohini Hattangadi. It based on the play Party (1976) by Mahesh Elkunchwar.

The movie was produced by National Film Development Corporation of India (NFDC). Party was the official Indian entry to the 32nd International Film Festival of India, New Delhi, and also took part in the Tokyo Film Festival 1985 and Asia Pacific Film Festival 1985. Continue reading

Aleksandar Manic – Knjiga rekorda Sutke AKA The Shutka Book Of Records [+Extras] (2005)

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Known as the alleged world capital of the gypsy or Romany peoples, Shutka, Macedonia thrives on one goal: to be the champion of everything known to humankind. This “anthropological documentary comedy” looks at how people crave to be the best at what they do: no matter if that is hunting down vampires, collecting obsolete Turkish music on audio tapes, training geese to fight, or exterminating evil Genies. Winner of numerous awards world-wide and in its native country, this film is a wonderful examination of people, their quirks, and the wild and zany world within contemporary Serbia/Montenegro. Highly recommended for both entertainment and anthropological interest. Continue reading

Ryszard Bugajski – Przesluchanie aka Interrogation [+Extras] (1982)

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Ryszard Bugajski’s Przesluchanie (Interrogation) is a powerful movie about a certain time in Polish history, that was marked by censorship and oppression and this is where Antonina ‘Tonia’ Dziwisz is caught up in. Played by one of Poland’s most remarkable actresses, Krystyna Janda, it is her that along with the wonderful cinematography work and realistic portrayal of prison conditions makes this movie so incredible. It is through her eyes that we see the story unfold and the suffering of her and her prison inmates (with some great co-acting by the likes of Agnieszka Holland). This is along with Krzysztof Kieslowski’s and Andrzej Wajda’s finest work one of the defining moments of Polish cinema, and beyond that. Certainly one of the most powerful prison movies ever made in my book, not just within the perspective of Polish or European cinema as such. And in the wake of events like Guantanamo bay or Abu Ghraib it still is as fresh and important with the covered subject as it was when it was made, reminding us how things could go horribly wrong within a judicial and in the end prison system. Due to it’s critical stance at the time of making, it was banned by the local government for 7 years, until the Soviet bloc broke up. An extremely powerful reminder of that time. Continue reading

Gaspar Noé – Seul Contre Tous aka I Stand Alone (1998)

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“A grim portrait of disaffection and loneliness, Gaspar Noe’s I Stand Alone is a movie clearly conceived to make a stir. With an armed, frustrated, and hate-filled time bomb at its center, it unabashedly recalls Taxi Driver, offering its own nihilistic spin on Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece of urban anomie and redemption. For a feature debut, it’s unbelievably daring. Noe doesn’t shy away from sprucing up his familiar story with Godard-ian flourishes, including occasional intertitles, a torrent of offscreen narration, and even a warning to the audience to leave before the wrenching finale. A more jarring conceit is the frequent use of abrupt cuts and fast dollies, accompanied by gunshots on the soundtrack. Genuinely startling and somewhat misconceived, the distracting device nonetheless goes some way toward evoking the volatile mindset of the protagonist. The movie shines a light on the circumstances that breed fascist and racist impulses. As politics, it isn’t terribly illuminating: Its depiction of underclass, xenophobic rage is shocking in its brutality but hardly revelatory in its insight. As a psychological interrogation, it’s more compelling, plunging the viewer into the mind of a disturbed man without sugarcoating. It’s this brazen willingness to shove something so repellent in its audience’s face that makes I Stand Alone both a courageous movie and an unpleasant experience. Whether the movie is genuinely probing or merely preoccupied with provocation is up for debate. What’s not is the movie’s visceral impact: This unrelenting essay about a lumpen brute sticks with you, despite — or perhaps because of — its lacerating bleakness” (AMG)
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