Jalal Moghadam – Farar az Taleh AKA Escape From The Trap (1971)

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A great Iranian film , unfortunately unknown in and out of Iran, 23 April 2008
Author: Armand Erfanian from United Kingdom

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Farar az Tale is an unknown film out of Iran. Even in Iran nobody remembers of this beautiful little masterpiece. There are so many successful visual and musical devices all along the film. The first one is just at the opening and before the opening credits. A man is dropped on the street. Another man tries to see if he is still alive. In finding that he is not, he turns his head towards Morteza (Behrooz Vosooghi) and by his eye expression lets him know that. All that in silent cinema and taking only 23 seconds. That is truly cinema, The art of image! Then the opening credits start, during which we see Morteza in prison, his moustaches are little by little growing. This is economy of great cinema. Using the time of the credits for letting us know that he is in prison and making us feel the length of his stay. The proper plot will begin now, when he comes out of prison and looks for his beloved woman Mehri (Nilufar). Another great moment of the film is when Morteza is looking for a solution to find somehow the 10 000 tomans that he needs to give to the man who married his beloved to get her divorce. Now wandering in the city and its outskirts he walks, stops and sits and looks at people working. Great music of Rubik Mansuri covers this sequence, and still shots or pans get dissolved to each other and gives us impression of boring time that Morteza is experiencing under the hot sun of the South. Iranian cinema is full of so great films… It is a pity that they don’t get any chance to be known… The actors, Behrooz Vosooghi, Davood Rashidi and Abbas Nazeri are absolutely great. Continue reading

Lino Brocka – Jaguar (1979)

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Poldo, a lowly security in a publishing firm, dreams to be rich. He becomes the personal bodyguard to his employer’s son, Sonny, when he impresses the latter with his courage and skills during a quarrel where Poldo defended Sonny. Poldo gets a taste of his boss’ carefree and extravagant lifestyle and thinks that he accepts him as a friend. In one of the nightclubs they frequent, Sonny is smitten by dancer Cristy and aggressively pursues her despite a warning from San Pedro, the movie director with whom Cristy has an affair. When they chance upon each other, Sonny and San Pedro fight. Poldo comes to his boss’ rescue and guns down San Pedro. In subsequent circumstances, Poldo would soon arrive at a bitter realization. As he could not see in Sonny the benefactor that he pictured him to be, Poldo finds himself alone, abandoned and betrayed. Continue reading

Virginie Despentes & Coralie – Baise-moi AKA Fuck me (2000)

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Two young women, marginalised by society, go on a destructive tour of sex and violence. Breaking norms and killing men – and shattering the complacency of polite cinema audiences.

Baise-moi (Fuck Me) is a 2000 French thriller film written and co-directed by Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi and starring Karen Lancaume and Raffaëla Anderson. It is based on the homonymous novel by Despentes, first published in 1999. The film received intense media coverage because of its graphic mix of violence and explicit sex scenes. Consequently, it is sometimes considered an example of the “New French Extremity”. Continue reading

Otto Preminger – Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)

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Dana Andrews is brutal metropolitan police detective Dixon, who despises all criminals because his father had been one. When the cops pick up two-bit gambler Ken Paine (Craig Stevens) as a murder suspect, Dixon subjects Paine to the third degree—and accidentally kills him.

In disposing of the body, Dixon inadvertently places the blame for the killing on cab driver Jiggs Taylor (Tom Tully). Having fallen in love with Jigg’s daughter (Gene Tierney), Dixon tries to clear the cabbie without implicating himself, but ultimately he becomes trapped in a web of his own making; luckily Tierney promises to stand by him.

Where the Sidewalk Ends was adapted from a novel by William A. Stuart; its director was Otto Preminger, who’d previously put Andrews and Tierney through their paces in Laur (1944). Continue reading

Aarne Tarkas – Yö on pitkä AKA The Night Is Long (1952)

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Synopsis:
Åke Strandberg has managed to get a fine education and a good job at the bank, but he wants more. He wants to get rich no matter what. After holidays with his girl Rita, he comes back to Helsinki completely broke and meets up with his buddy Jussi in a bar.
For months they embezzle money from the bank, but eventually do relize they have to cover the missing amount by orchestrating and comitting a robbery which will then rouse the intrest of the police. A hide and seek follows as they try to make their way abroad. Continue reading