Søren Kragh-Jacobsen – Mifunes sidste sang aka Mifune’s Last Song (1999)

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As developed by Danish directors Lars Von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg, Dogma 95’s so-called “Vow Of Chastity” places restrictions on filmmakers—use only handheld cameras, real locations, and available light while avoiding superficial action (weapons, murders, etc.) and genre pieces—for the ostensible purpose of a truer, more organic cinema. Critics anxious to dismiss the movement were silenced by Vinterberg’s entry, Dogma 1: The Celebration, a devastating black comedy made all the more powerful by its stripped-down, home-movie-like quality. But the Dogma tenets seem arbitrary in Dogma 3: Mifune, which follows the rules but misses the point, employing cruddy naturalism to pass off a contrived and deeply conventional story. Had Von Trier and Vinterberg thought to include the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold or estranged-autistic-brother (a la Rain Man) under “superficial action,” director Søren Kragh-Jacobsen might have improvised something less predictable. On its own modest terms, however, Mifune is still a well-performed and mildly affecting provincial drama that shares Vinterberg’s interest in family, if not his wit and innovation. Continue reading

Brian de Palma – The Wedding Party (1969)

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This independent film was a joint effort by Sarah Lawrence theatre professor Wilford Leach and two of his students, protégé Brian De Palma and wealthy Cynthia Monroe, who bankrolled the project. The trio shared screen credit as writers, directors, and producers, although it is De Palma’s touch that is most evident in the film’s technical aspects, while Leach’s theatrical background suggests he was responsible for supervising the performances of the ensemble cast.
The film was made in 1963 but not released until six years later, after one of its supporting players, Robert De Niro, had begun to draw notice for his work in off-Broadway theatre and De Palma’s 1968 release Greetings. Also in the cast were Jennifer Salt and William Finley, both of whom were De Palma regulars, and fellow Sarah Lawrence student Jill Clayburgh as the bride-to-be.
(from wiki) Continue reading

Mike Leigh – Bleak Moments (1971)

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Synopsis:

The quiet desperate life of a secretary and her retarded sister depicted in a halting sequence of improvised fragments. The uncompromising cinematic debut of British director Mike Leigh

Review:

“Might be too bleak a look at reality for some but it nevertheless is an uncompromising way of brilliantly telling its harrowing story.” Continue reading

Natasha Arthy – Se til venstre, der er en Svensker AKA Old, New, Borrowed and Blue (2003)

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REVIEW by Anji Milanovic (from plume-noire.com):

In Old, New, Borrowed and Blue director Natasha Arthy begins the film with a signed certificate of authenticity from the Dogma school. By the film’s end, however, it’s clear that she has taken the rules of Dogma and used them to make her own engaging film, instead of an exercise in philosophical experimentation.

Katrine (Sidse Babett Knudsen) is a few days from tying the knot to her dopey but affable fiance (Soren Byder). Her sister (Lotte Anderson) is locked up in a mental ward following a painful break up to Thomsen (Bjorn Kjellman), who abandoned her and took off to Africa. Enter Thomsen on Katrina’s doorstep and together they take off to prepare for Katrine’s wedding. Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor aka All These Women (1964)

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“All These Women (Swedish: För att inte tala om alla dessa kvinnor), originally released as Now About These Women in the UK, is a 1964 Swedish comedy film directed by Ingmar Bergman. It is a parody of Fellini’s 8½.[1][2] Along with Smiles of a Summer Night, the film is one of the few comedy films ever made by Bergman. It also was Bergman’s first film to be shot in colour.”

“The director, who also collaborated on the script, is labyrinthine in his approach to his story and his initial use of color. A tongue-in-cheek subtitle states that “any resemblance between this film and reality must be a mistake.” But it is abundantly clear that it is Mr. Bergman’s intention to be serious about the occasionally elusive points he is making.” Continue reading

Thomas Cailley – Les combattants aka Love at First Fight (2014)

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It’s summer and Arnaud begins work for the family business, building garden sheds with his brother. Meeting under unusual circumstances, he becomes fascinated with the surly Madeleine.
Obsessed by survival and gripped by prophecies of doom, Madeleine determines to join an elite commando unit. Arnaud follows. As they begin at an army training camp, their bodies and emotions are put to the test.
An improbable mix of teen-movie, rom-com, and pre-apocalypse film, stretching the limits of each genre. Continue reading