Roberto Rossellini – La macchina ammazzacattivi (1952) (DVD)

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Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader wrote:
This rarely shown early film by Roberto Rossellini (1948), one of his few comedies, anticipates with remarkable prescience the conceits of Godard and others about photography in the 60s. A professional small-town photographer finds that he has the power to kill his subjects by taking their picture, turning them into statues of themselves. Rossellini left this project before it was finished, and it was edited and released a few years later without his approval–but it still comes across as a remarkably suggestive fable. Continue reading

Pol Cruchten – Perl oder Pica aka Little Secrets (2006)

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* Luxembourg’s Official Submission to the Best Foreign Language Film Category of the 80th Annual Academy Awards (2008)

A delightful coming-of-age story set in small town Luxembourg in 1962 about a sensitive 12-year-old boy who is struggling with puberty and a difficult family life within a society that is still recovering from the effects of the former Nazi occupation. Continue reading

Çagan Irmak- Prensesin uykusu AKA The Sleep of the Princess (2010)

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Aziz works as an assistant in a public library. He is alone, he does not have many friends but he is not really embittered against life. He just seeks an emotional refuge in someone who will care about him. Once he has new neighbors: Secil and her daughter, they put some color in his monotone life. The little girls dreams trigger some real life events. The trio will try to change the fate.

Prensesin Uykusu is a smiling and optimistic drama. Continue reading

Michael Tully – Septien (2011)

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Sydney Film Festival wrote:
If Ingmar Bergman had wandered into rural Tennessee and downed a few too many shots of moonshine he might have made something like this bizarre and compelling family drama. Mixing elements of Southern Gothic, sports drama, situation comedy and backwoods horror with biblical overtones, Septien takes us to the very strange farmhouse of the Rawlings brothers. Cornelius (played by writer-director Michael Tully), a Christlike figure and brilliant sportsman, has returned after an 18-year absence. Amos creates grotesque art in the barn, while Ezra dons a frock and does the housework. Then there’s Wilbur Cunningham, who lives in a tyre in the backyard. When a plumbing problem needs fixing the you-know-what really hits the fan. A disturbing, fascinating and darkly comic portrait of family ties, obsession and redemption, Tully’s movie is an American original that’s not to be missed. Continue reading

Coline Serreau – La Belle verte (1996)

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Quote:
Mila (Serreau) lives in a leafy utopia in another neck of the galaxy but, with her part Earth ancestry, has a hankering to look the old place over. She’s dismayed to find inedible food, unbreathable air, noise and a bad idea called money. With her superior mental powers, though, she easily copes with bad tempered motorists, heartless social workers and the like, brainwashing them until they can appreciate the beauty in a lettuce leaf. The film offers acrobats, kittens, an orphan Serbian baby and an unwittingly offputting account of the Green Party line. Continue reading

Hitoshi Matsumoto – Saya zamurai aka Scabbard Samurai (2010)

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Recently widowed samurai Kanjūrō (Nomi Takaaki) puts down his sword and abandons his master, with nine-year-old daughter Tae (Kumada Sea) in tow. Now wanted for desertion, Kanjūrō is captured by a rival lord (Kunimura Jun), who makes an unusual offer. Kanjūrō will be released if he can bring a grin to the lord’s son (Shimizu Shūma), who hasn’t smiled since his mother’s death. If Kanjūrō can’t succeed within thirty days, he must commit seppuku. With the help of his jailers — and some harsh reinforcement from his daughter — the humorless Kanjūrō devises comically desperate (or desperately comic) methods to save his skin and crack the son’s stony exterior. Though more sentimental than writer/director Matsumoto Hitoshi’s previous films (Big Man Japan, Symbol), Scabbard Samurai is unmistakably in the same spirit, with deadpan absurdism and bizarre stunts recalling the variety shows that made his name.) Continue reading