Wes Anderson – The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

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Quote:
Wes Anderson, like so many now-New Yorkers (myself included), grew up far away from the city, and so came to an idealized vision of the metropolis and its sophisticated, complicated residents through literature and movies. His new movie, The Royal Tenenbaums offers up clan of overeducated, old-money, East Coast eccentrics who occupy a house far too grand to have survived the ’80s and ’90s real estate booms without having been turned into multiple condominiums. These magnificent Tenenbaums, however, barely survive the ’00s. Continue reading

Michael Curtiz – The Matrimonial Bed (1930)

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Plot:
It is the fifth anniversary of the death of Adolphe Noblet who died in a train wreck. His servant and friends still worship him but don’t care much for his wife Sylvaine’s second husband Gustave with whom she has recently had a child. Sylvaine’s friends recommend that she use a new hairdresser, Leopold Trebel. However, when this womanizing coiffeur arrives, he turns out to be Adolphe suffering from amnesia. A doctor restores his memory using hypnosis but in the process wipes out everything that has happened to him over the last five years. Continue reading

Veit Helmer – Tuvalu (1999)

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Silent movies require a unique visual storytelling grammar, a rhythm of clear, economical medium shots, punctuated by close-ups of pertinent objects and human faces reacting. Veit Helmer’s debut feature Tuvalu isn’t strictly a silent movie—it features sound effects and the odd exclamation—but the film is virtually dialogue-free, and heavily influenced by the grammar of the silents and the fanciful retro-futurist decay of Terry Gilliam and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. But Helmer has neither the clarity nor the rococo flourish of his predecessors, and his over-reliance on color filters and crammed, busy takes inhibits Tuvalu’s ability to charm and enchant. The film stars Denis Lavant (the craggy but acrobatic center of the contemporary French cinema classics Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf and Beau Travail) as the manager of a swimming pool in a crumbling, depressed metropolis. Continue reading

Luigi Zampa – Ladro lui, ladra lei (1958)

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Plot synopsis:
Cencio, a Roman pilferer, is periodically in prison. He’s a genius at scams. He loves his childhood sweetheart Cesira, who, in order to get herself out of the slum’s life, soon becomes his partner in crime. With Cesira’s help, Cencio is successful in several swindles. In the meantime, Cesira finds her true love. Cencio then tries the big hit in a jewelery. But his lucky break is over… Continue reading

Anna Biller – The Love Witch (2016)

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Quote:
Elaine, a beautiful young witch, is determined to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. However her spells work too well, and she ends up with a string of hapless victims. When she finally meets the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved will drive her to the brink of insanity and murder. With a visual style that pays tribute to Technicolor thrillers of the 1970s, THE LOVE WITCH explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism. Continue reading

Michael Truman – Touch and Go (1955)

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Plot: Touch and Go stars Jack Hawkins as the head of a British family who decides to kick over
the traces and emigrate to Australia. No one in the family, least of all wife Margaret Johnston, is
enthused over this move, but they prepare themselves with dignity. As the technical and legal obstacles
preventing their move begin to mount, even Hawkins has second thoughts about hitching his star Down Under.
Since no one behaves very believably in the film, Touch and Go rises and falls on its individual comic
sequences, some of which are quite good. The title Touch and Go has been used so often that when the
film was released in the US, it was retitled The Light Touch. Continue reading