Plot Summary :
The mysterious and charismatic Russian-born Nikolai Luzhin is a driver for one of London’s most notorious organized crime families of Eastern European origin. The family itself is part of the Vory V Zakone criminal brotherhood. Headed by Semyon, whose courtly charm as the welcoming proprietor of the plush Trans-Siberian restaurant impeccably masks a cold and brutal core, the family’s fortunes are tested by Semyon’s volatile son and enforcer, Kirill, who is more tightly bound to Nikolai than to his own father.
But Nikolai’s carefully maintained existence is jarred once he crosses paths at Christmastime with Anna Khitrova, a midwife at a North London hospital. Anna is deeply affected by the desperate situation of a young teenager who dies while giving birth to a baby. Anna resolves to try to trace the baby’s lineage and relatives. The girl’s personal diary also survives her; it is written in Russian, and Anna seeks answers in it. Anna’s mother Helen does not discourage her, but Anna’s irascible Russian-born uncle Stepan urges caution. Continue reading
Santamaria and Urtigo are two bandits on the run, one is white, the other black. Santamaria is a mystical visionary and believes in the imminent coming of a purifying angel. Urtiga, his inseparable companion, is a simple-minded and ingenious man who follows Santamaria around and participates in the crimes he commits. The two bandits take over a house after kidnapping its owner and his girlfriend. The film’s finale is classic, with music by the singer Luis Gonzaga and the “endless” shot of an empty road. “When I made O Anjo Nasceu I thought I had made my most difficult film, a completely irresponsible film, that space, that vacuum, that nothing. It was a devastating experience for me, a shock. Much, much more than Matou a Família e Foi ao Cinema, which was a well-received film. I think O Anjo Nasceu is still unknown territory, even for me” (J. Bressane).link Continue reading
Winter, Beirut. On a beach littered with cans washed up from the sea, Lili and Michel meet. Perhaps they know each other from before. As they struggle to piece together the fragments of an uncertain past, memories emerge: an act of terrorism, an explosion and the disappearance of a child, Elena.
Woven throughout these fragments is the deep voice of a Japanese narrator who recounts his own experience of a weeping Beirut, and his 27 clandestine years fighting alongside the Palestinians as a member of the Japanese Red Army. His voiceover shapes Michel and Lili’s story, their fate dictated by the enigma created for them by this narrator who turns out to be legendary Japanese New Wave filmmaker Masao Adachi. Continue reading
Two restless young men (Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur) enlist the object of their desire (Anna Karina) to help them commit a robbery––in her own home. French New Wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard takes to the streets of Paris to re-imagine the gangster genre, spinning an audacious yarn that’s at once sentimental and insouciant, romantic and melancholy. The Criterion Collection is proud to present the convention-flauting postmodern classic Band of Outsiders (Bande à part). Continue reading
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) Continue reading
Returning from a business trip to Rhodes, Markos finds out that his son has been kidnapped by a ruthless gang.The situation begins to get out of control as the child is sick and must receive special medication. Continue reading
Robert Firsching in All Movie Guide:
Though not a giallo film in the strictest sense, this crime/revenge film merits attention by fans for its genre cast and an unusual approach to familiar themes. Raf Vallone plays anguished father Avanzio Berzaghi, whose 25-year old daughter Donatella has been kidnapped. Donatella has the mind of a toddler, and her beauty and agreeable naivete make her a perfect choice for Milan’s seedy prostitution racket. Frank Wolff is a dedicated Inspector with bad sinuses who shakes down a sleazy pimp and a desperate black prostitute (Beryl Cunningham of The Snake God), as well as visiting scores of local brothels for clues. Continue reading