Comedy

Vladimir Bortko – Sobache serdtse AKA Heart of a Dog (1988)

Professor Preobrazhensky and his colleague place some human parts into a dog named Sharik. Soon the dog transforms into a human.

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This movie (and yes, it’s a movie – it was shot as a two-parter, but the two parts together come down to slightly more than 2 hours) is one of the unsung masterpieces of world cinema. A very well-mannered, and yet at the same time absolutely savage denunciation of the Soviet regime and the type of person who flourished under it, the film is a faithful adaptation of the long-banned eponymous book by Mikhail Bulgakov. Read More »

Leonid Gaidai – Ivan Vasilevich menyaet professiyu AKA Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Occupation (1973)

Ivan Vasilyevich Changes Occupation
An unconventional comedy based on M. Bulgakov’s play, “Ivan Vassilevich,” when inventor, Timofeev builds a time machine, things go awry. Tsar Ivan the Terrible comes into the year 1973, while Ivan Bunsha, an apartment complex manager, and George Miloslavsky, a petty burglar, are transferred to 16th century Moscow accidentally. Read More »

Christian Marquand – Candy (1968)

Candy is a 1968 sex farce film directed by Christian Marquand based on the 1958 novel by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, from a screenplay by Buck Henry. The film satirizes pornographic stories through the adventures of its naive heroine, Candy, played by Ewa Aulin. It stars Marlon Brando, Ewa Aulin, Ringo Starr, John Huston and Enrico Maria Salerno. Popular figures such as Sugar Ray Robinson, Anita Pallenberg, and Florinda Bolkan appear in cameo roles. Read More »

Nae Caranfil – Filantropica AKA Philanthropy (2002)

ALLMOVIE:
Nae Caranfil’s Filantropica (Philanthropy) is a comedy about a man attempting to live beyond his means. Ovidiu (Mircea Diaconu) is a teacher and struggling writer who still resides with his parents. He falls in love with Diana (Viorica Voda), the sister of one of his students. In order to impress her he agrees to a scam thought up by the roguish Pepe (Gheorghe Dinica). The scam involves Ovidiu pretending to be married to Miruna (Mara Nicolescu). — Perry Seibert Read More »

Marcel Camus – Orfeu Negro AKA Black Orpheus [+Extras] (1959)

Screen: Legend Retold; ‘Black Orpheus’ Bows at the Plaza
By BOSLEY CROWTHER
Published: December 22, 1959

ALL tangled up in the madness of a Rio de Janeiro carnival, full of intoxicating samba music, frenzied dancing and violent costumes, the Frenchman Marcel Camus presents us a melancholy tale in his color film, “Black Orpheus” (“Orfeu Negro”), which came to the Plaza yesterday. Read More »

Kaneto Shindô – Fukurô aka The Owl (2003)

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It is often said that comedy is the most untranslatable element from culture to culture. This is perhaps even more the case with surreal mixed genre films like this. In Shindo Kaneto’s film (his 101st!) the old sensei has given us a strange meditation on male lusts and women’s struggle for independence. It is like a play in that the action takes place almost exclusively in a small cabin in a deserted region of Western Japan. A mother and daughter are stranded in a ghost town and are starving to death. They hit on a plan to get them out of their plight which involves exploiting the few men who stray into their cabin. They offer sexual services and then bump off the happy customers. All goes well until a local cop shows up and, then, a relation of theirs from way back. Read More »

Richard Lowenstein – He Died with a Felafel in His Hand [+Extras] (2001)

Over the past 25 years Australian cult director Richard Lowenstein has established himself as one of this country’s most dynamic independent filmmakers. With four feature films to his credit, Lowenstein has straddled both period and art-film genres to give cinematic expression to the stories of everyday Australians and in doing so has consistently captured the cultural zeitgeist on film… Read More »