Robin Pront – D’Ardennen AKA The Ardennes (2015)

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SYNOPSIS

A brutal home-jacking goes hopelessly wrong. Dave, one of the two robbers, manages to run off, leaving his brother Kenneth behind. Four years later, Kenneth is released from prison and much has changed. Dave has his life back on track and is trying to help Kenneth however possible, but is witnessing how the highly strung Kenneth tries to win back his ex-girlfriend Sylvie. Continue reading

Michael Ritchie – Prime Cut (1972)

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Quote:
Michael Ritchie, better known for his gentle satires of American social institutions, enters Don Siegel territory in the unusual crime thriller Prime Cut. Lee Marvin is surly collection agent Nick Devlin, who is hired by Chicago racketeer Jake (Eddie Egan) to collect an overdue payment from Kansas cattle baron Mary Ann (yes, Mary Ann!) (Gene Hackman). When Devlin travels west to get Jake’s money from Mary Ann, he finds the cattle king mixed up in complex drug deals and pimping wild women — two of which are Poppy and Violet (Sissy Spacek and Janit Baldwin — both in their film debuts). ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi Continue reading

Nicholas Ray – A Woman’s Secret (1949)

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Synopsis:
Susan is laying in the hospital with a bullet near her heart. Marian has told the police that she shot Susan in a rage as Susan was giving up her singing. Marian and Luke found Susan when she was a failure. A singer with a limited range, she was a diamond in the rough to which Marian and Luke taught how to walk, dress and talk. With the singing lessons, Marian had hoped that she would have the career that Marian would have had if she had not lost her voice. Even thought Susan is a scatterbrain girl, Luke does not believe that Marian would or was capable of shooting her. Luke hopes that Detective Fowler will be able to find out the truth and free Marian. Continue reading

Lukas Schrank – Nowhere Line: Voices from Manus Island (2015)

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Quote:
Nowhere Line: Voices from Manus Island is an animated short film, which tells the stories of two men, currently detained in Australia’s notorious Manus Island Offshore Processing Centre. In October 2014, director Lukas Schrank made phone contact with the men who were able to tell their stories from within the compound. Their interviews offer a chilling insight into the reality of life for the 2000 people currently being held in Australia’s offshore detention centres Their stories are the voice of the film, guiding the animation through the backstreets of Jakarta, across the sea and deep into the fenced facility of the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre Continue reading

François Truffaut – Une belle fille comme moi AKA A Gorgeous Bird Like Me (1972)

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Quote:
François Truffaut’s Une belle fille comme moi is a pitch-black comedy of sexual exploitation in which who’s doing the exploiting and who’s getting exploited is neatly reversed. Camille (Bernadette Lafont) is the subject of a “sociological thesis” on criminal women, being written by Stanislas Prévine (André Dussollier), a hapless professorial type who listens to Camille’s jailhouse confessions with great interest. Camille has had a tough life, it seems, always being desired and exploited by the men she meets, who only want her for sex. Camille, of course, relentlessly turns this state of affairs to her advantage, letting these men take her to bed and have their way with her, while ruthlessly exploiting them in turn, taking their money and plotting various criminal acts surrounding her multiple affairs. Camille is in jail, it seems, for the one crime she actually didn’t commit, but there’s no lack of criminality in this femme fatale. While Stanislas analyzes her in terms of her unhappy childhood and her bad luck in relationships, suggesting various repressed psychological reasons for her bad behavior, Stanislas’ good-girl secretary Hélène (Anne Kreis) asks him to consider the possibility that this girl is just a “tramp.” Continue reading

Stefano Sollima – Suburra (2015)

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About
A gangster known as “Samurai” wants to turn the waterfront of Rome into a new Las Vegas. All the local mob bosses have agreed to work for this common goal. But peace is not to last long.
In 2011, Ostia is the subject of a giant real estate project intended to make the harbor of Ancient Rome the Las Vegas of today. But the place soon becomes a battlefield where criminals and politicians either join forces cynically or fight each other ruthlessly. The infernal showdown will last seven days, claiming many lives. Continue reading