Comedy

Arnaud Desplechin – Un conte de Noël aka A Christmas Tale (2008)

Criterion wrote:
In Arnaud Desplechin’s beguiling A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël), Catherine Deneuve brings her legendary poise to the role of Junon, matriarch of the troubled Vuillard family, who come together at Christmas after she learns she needs a bone marrow transplant from a blood relative. That simple family reunion setup, however, can’t begin to describe the unpredictable, emotionally volatile experience of this film, an inventive, magical drama that’s equal parts merriment and melancholy. Unrequited childhood loves and blinding grudges, brutal outbursts and sudden slapstick, music, movies, and poetry, A Christmas Tale ties it all together in a marvelously messy package.
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Lawrence Kasdan – The Big Chill (1983)

Plot Synopsis from Allmovie
Embraced by the Baby Boomer generation and spawning countless imitators, the sophomore film of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan was a successful comedy-drama with a best selling soundtrack of Motown hits. Kevin Kline and Glenn Close star as Harold and Sarah Cooper, a couple whose marital troubles are put on hold while they host an unhappy reunion of former college pals gathered for the funeral of one of their own, a suicide victim named Alex. As the weekend unfolds, the friends catch up with each other, play the music of their youth, reminisce, smoke marijuana, and pair off with each other in unexpected combinations. Read More »

John Ford – Mister Roberts (1955)

Plot:
The film represents Henry Fonda’s return to the screen after an absence of seven years, part of which was spent playing the eponymous officer in the immensely successful stage version of Thomas Heggen’s novel. As cargo officer and second in command on a supply ship during World War II, the easygoing Lt. Doug Roberts is excluded from a much desired combat role while playing whipping boy to dyspeptic tyrant Captain Morion (James Cagney). Ensign Frank Pulver (Jack Lemmon), a brash yet cowardly wheeler-dealer, entertains Roberts with his elaborate pranks while the fatherly Doc (William Powell in his last screen appearance) offers advice. The young crew tries every available means of killing boredom, including eyeballing the nurses on a nearby island through a telescope, and Roberts does what he can to get them the R and R they badly need. Read More »

Gavin Millar – King of Fridges (2004)

Alan, the assistant manager of the Rocket electrical store, is finally given a chance to prove
himself when he is left in charge on a busy bank holiday. What he wasn’t counting on,
however, was Frank, a sixty year old trainee who knows nothing about the retail, or
electrical, businesses… Read More »

Christian-Jaque – La legge è legge aka The law Is the law (1958)

Assola is an imaginary village on the border between Italy and France and the borderline crosses the village itself. The French customs agent Ferdinand is always trying to catch the Italian smuggler Giuseppe. Giuseppe discovers that Ferdinand was actually born in Italy and therefore he can’t be a French customs agent. Read More »

Jacques Tati – Parade (1974)

Quote:

A distillation not of Jacques Tati per se, but of communal spectacle and creation — cinema. The circus is the setting, abstracted into blank spotlights but with the audience always present, always as much a part of the show as the jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, drummers, and assorted pratfall artisans. At the center is Tati, silver-haired in a turtleneck, miming taking punches in the ring, riding a horse, directing traffic, swinging a tennis racket in slow-mo. Playtime and Traffic exhausted the French producers, so the auteur staged his swansong as a Swedish TV-special, a casual affair, a slender recording of dance-hall whimsy and a profound summarization of a man’s life and art. Read More »

Naoko Ogigami – Toiretto AKA Toilet (2010)

Dysfunctional family and culture run amok in Toilet, which had an absolutely packed house last night at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival and had many of the cast & crew in attendance at the screening. The film certainly has it’s Toronto roots showing as it was filmed here (although it’s actually set in the US), with familiar faces & locations on screen. We follow a family through a dysfunctional and eccentric set siblings Ray, Lisa and Maury and their grandmother from Japan, however a language barrier exists between the generations. It’s not the only barrier here as there are strong emotional barrier in each of the characters, all of whom have their own issues to work though. It’s an interesting tale of the individual journeys with the collective family journey, which although unintended become completely intertwined. Read More »