Yves Robert – Le Grand blond avec une chaussure noire aka The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe (1972)

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Two factions of the French Secret Service involve a seemingly normal orchestra player, Francois Perrin, into their battle as one side uses him as a decoy. Soon, agents are all over the place, and one of them, Christine, is sent to seduce Francois. Meanwhile, Francois has his own problems, tangled up in an affair with his best friend’s wife. Continue reading

Lina Wertmüller – Notte d’Estate Con Profilo Greco, Occhi a Mandorla, e Odore di Basilico aka Summer Night (1986)

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DVD Verdict Review :

After a weak effort at an English-language film (A Night Full of Rain, with a miscast Candice Bergen), Wertmüller needed to reclaim her reputation. Hence, Summer Night, a recapitulation of Swept Away with fancier dress.

Signora Bolk (Mariangela Melato), a rich woman who fancies herself an ecological activist, hires a former intelligence operative (Roberto Herlitzka, camping it up with an eyepatch and plastic hand, as if he had walked out of a ’60s spy farce) to help her kidnap an eco-terrorist (Michele Placido, because, well, maybe Giannini was busy that week). She chains her prize up in a room, then seduces him. It is all supposed to be funny, I suppose. Continue reading

Chan-wook Park – Saibogujiman kwenchana aka I’m a Cyborg But That’s OK (2006)

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Plot Synopsis [AMG]
After wrapping-up his critically-acclaimed “Vengeance Trilogy” with the award-winning 2005 thriller Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, South Korean filmmaker Chan-wook Park shifts gears for this gently comic romantic drama concerning a delusional young mental patient who believes herself to be a cyborg. Convinced that she is not entirely human but in fact part android, Young-goon (Lim Su-jeong)’s health begins to deteriorate as she gives up eating food and instead decides to “charge her batteries” by administering electric shocks to herself via a small transistor radio. Continue reading

Lars von Trier – Direktoren for det hele AKA The Boss of it All (2006)

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Film Description
Danish auteur Lars von Trier takes a break from his usual brand of idiosyncratic melodrama to deliver a light comedy of errors involving an actor hired to pose as the president of a company in order to perpetrate a large-scale fraud.
Probably best known for fatalistic tales of martyrdom like Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves, von Trier this time delivers a simple and hilarious morality parable. Shot on a shoestring budget, The Boss of It All tells the story of Kristoffer, a down-on-his-luck actor who lands a bizarre job at an IT firm. Ravn, the second-in-charge, has hired Kristoffer to pose as the company head, a mysterious man named Svend E., who none of the employees have ever met. Quickly it becomes clear to Kristoffer that Ravn’s goal is to sell off the company to a racist Icelander while leaving the fallout in his own hands. But things get complicated when false relationships develop between Kristoffer, or “Svend E.,” and his other employees, whose farcical reactions to the appearance of the long-absent boss include everything from screaming matches to sexual favors. Though the goofy, off-the-cuff approach may seem to be a departure for von Trier, this uproarious romp of moral ambiguity will have you rolling in the aisles. Continue reading

Aleksandr Medvedkin – Schastye aka Happiness [+Extras] (1932)

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Aleksandr Medvedkin’s Happiness, as rowdy as any Soviet silent movie, is a comic parable composed of equal parts of Tex Avery and Luis Buñuel. It satirizes the plight of a Soviet farmer who finds himself providing for the state, the church, and his peers at the expense of his personal satisfaction. A hapless young prole, Khmyr, is tasked by his wife with the goal of going out in the world and finding happiness, lest he end up dead and dissatisfied after a lifetime of toil, like his father. Through stylistic exaggeration and a systematic attack on pre- and post-Revolutionary Russia’s dearest institutions, the movie achieves a wide-ranging, and deeply wounding, attack on the limitations placed on personal freedom in Russian society Continue reading

Lucio Fulci – I Maniaci aka The Maniacs (1964)

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Plot Synopsis by Robert Firsching
A minor comedy from Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci (Zombi 2; L’Aldila), this anthology is of interest primarily to cult devotees for marking the notorious director’s only collaboration with legendary “scream queen” Barbara Steele (La Maschera del Demonio). Lushly photographed and filled with popular comedians of the era (including Franco Franchi and Ciccio Ingrassia, who made several of their “Franco and Ciccio” comedies with Fulci), the film’s sketches spotlight various manias. As might be expected, nymphomania gets an extended treatment, with all the requisite mugging, leering, and smarmy asides common to Italian comedies of the period, as well as a lengthy parade of songs, many scored by Ennio Morricone, and some international burlesque performers. Enrico Maria Salerno and Walter Chiari lead a cast which includes Lisa Gastoni, Gaia Germani, Umberto d’Orsi, and Raimondo Vianello. Continue reading

Athina Rachel Tsangari – Chevalier (2015) (HD)

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Quote:
Manhood-measuring contests — in every imaginable sense of the phrase — are taken to brazenly literal extremes in “Chevalier,” the long-awaited third feature from Greek multi-tasker Athina Rachel Tsangari. Markedly different in focus and emotional temperature from her 2010 breakthrough, “Attenberg,” this committedly deadpan comedy of manners, morals and men behaving weirdly boasts a contained conceit seemingly ripe for unfettered absurdism: On a luxury yacht in the Aegean Sea, six male acquaintances embark on a rigorous series of personal and physical challenges, mercilessly grading each other to determine who is “the Best in General.” That Tsangari resists escalating the conflict, counting on subtle political insinuations to emerge as these perplexing social Olympics wear on, will leave as many viewers enervated as amused, but it’s an expertly executed tease. Continue reading