Crime

Jacques Becker – Touchez pas au grisbi [+Extras] (1954)

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0006HC0I2.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis
Jean Gabin is at his most wearily romantic as aging gangster Max le Menteur in the Jacques Becker gem Touchez pas au grisbi (Hands Off the Loot!). Having pulled off the heist of a lifetime, Max looks forward to spending his remaining days relaxing with his beautiful young girlfriend. But when Riton (René Dary), Max’s hapless partner and best friend, lets word of the loot slip to loose-lipped, two-timing Josy (Jeanne Moreau), Max is reluctantly drawn back into the underworld. A touchstone of the gangster-film genre, Touchez pas au grisbi is also pure Becker—understated, elegant, evocative. Read More »

William Keighley – The Street with No Name [+extra] (1948)

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/5953/streetwithnoname.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
In Center City, a housewife is murdered in a night-club by a gang of thieves. When a security guard of a bank is killed by the same gun during a heist, the crime becomes a federal offense under FBI jurisdiction. When the prime suspect is released and executed in the same night, FBI Inspector George Briggs recruits the rookie agent Gene Cordell to follow the last paths of the victim undercover in the identity of George Manly. Gene meets the powerful gangster Alec Stiles in a gymnasium, and later he is invited to join his gang. Working with his also undercover liaison Cy Gordon, Gene finds evidences to incriminate Stiles. However, he discovers also that somebody from the precinct is feeding Stiles with classified information. Read More »

Abel Ferrara – The Funeral (1996)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Abel Ferrara must be one “happy camper.” Really, I have to wonder when there’s been a happy ending in one of his movies; for him it might come close to being unconventional to have one. A lot of his movies (Ms. 45, Driller Killer, Bad Lieutenant, China Girl) all end pretty badly (I mean that as a compliment), but none as drenched in horror as The Funeral. Perhaps that should have been expected, and indeed I was hoping that a film starting off with teary-eyed Italians looking over a casket of a 23 year old guy with Billy Holiday’s “Gloomy Sunday” would follow through on its dark promise of death and dread. And it does. Mostly. And that ending… Read More »

Abel Ferrara – ‘R Xmas (2001)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

In New York, in a morning close to Christmas, an upper class father and mother go in their BMW to a private school to see the play of their daughter. Then they go shopping and later they return to their fancy apartment in Manhattan. In the night, they move to a simple apartment in a dangerous neighborhood, where they prepare drugs for distribution. On the Christmas Eve, while buying the Christmas gift for their daughter, the father is kidnapped, and his wife desperately tries to raise a high amount of money to pay the requested ransom. Read More »

Bo Widerberg – Mannen på taket AKA Man on the Roof (1976)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Police lieutenant Nyman is murdered in his hospital bed and Martin Beck and his colleagues have another murder to solve. They discover that Nyman was a very brutal and tough policeman who received many complaints about his brutality. Particularly interesting is a complaint from Åke Eriksson, whose wife died in police custody because of Nyman. Eriksson climbs up on a roof in central Stockholm and starts to shoot at people on the street below… Read More »

Alfredo De Antoni – Il processo Clémenceau (1917)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
It is ironic that the very few references to this excellent film that I was able to find online all referred simply to the fact that this was Vittorio De Sica’s first film!? And, it is true of course that the young De Sica appears in the film briefly as the son of the Clemenceaus, but the film has so much more to offer… Based on Alexandre Dumas fils’ novel, the film stars Francesca Bertinini as Iza in this tragedy of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage. At 107 minutes, this was a lengthy film for 1917. It is divided into two parts, chronicling the life of Iza as a girl or young woman, and her life as an adult. The story is told through the pen of her husband, and this is in several ways important in appreciating the subtle weight of what could on the surface look like a “typical” Diva film of the era, but which does in fact carry more psychological weight, and was inspired by the more complex dramas that Asta Nielsen starred in during the early teens. Read More »

Yi’nan Diao – Bai ri yan huo AKA Black Coal, Thin Ice (2014)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Northern China, 1999. The grisly discovery of several corpses is made in a small town. A bloody incident during the attempt to capture the alleged murderer leaves two police officers dead and another badly injured. The surviving officer Zhang Zili is suspended from duty; he takes a job as a security guard at a factory. Five years later, another series of mysterious murders occurs. Aided by a former colleague, Zhang decides to investigate under his own initiative. He discovers that all the victims were connected to Wu Zhizhen, a young woman who works at a dry cleaners. Pretending to be a customer, Zhang begins to observe her and finds himself falling in love with the reticent Wu Zhizhen. One cold winter’s day he makes a horrific discovery. His life now in danger, he realises it is not always possible to separate guilt from innocence. Diao Yinan’s use of the characters of the ex-police officer and the femme fatale is a direct reference to classic detective films. This director’s third feature is a noirish thriller in drained colours which, whilst playfully alluding to the genre, also invites us into the lives of very ordinary people. (-berlinale.de) Read More »