Crime

Éva Gárdos – Budapest Noir (2017)

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A journalist specialising in criminal cases, trained in the United States and very well-connected in police circles, Zsigmond Gordon (the incredible Krisztián Kolovratnik) has no interest in politics. Described as cynical by his family, he considers himself to be more of a realist who only trusts himself. Always keeping an eye out for the slightest sign of a corpse on the horizon, Gordon is obsessed with the prospect of making the headlines by dealing with “the destiny of those for whom death is the last stop.” And as you may have guessed, a fitting case pops up following the discovery of the body of an unknown woman (Franciska Törocsik), abandoned in the courtyard of a dodgy neighbourhood. Previously a prostitute in a city where misery abounds, the victim catches the attention of Zsigmond who has already happened upon her by chance after catching a glimpse of a revealing picture of her while nosing about (almost second nature to him) in the office of his friend, Police Chief Gellert (Zsolt Anger). The disappearance of the corpse from the morgue confirms his intuition to follow the case and, aided by Krisztina (Reká Tenki) with whom he’s having an affair, he traces the story back to a photographer (Szabolcs Thuroczy), before sinking into the city slums, with local gangsters (Zoltan Schneider), luxury brothels (Kata Dobo), and the very chic Ring Klub managed by Baron András Szöllösy (Janos Kulka). But his stubbornness to discover the truth becomes more and more perilous… With classical craftsmanship, Budapest Noir shines particularly brilliantly thanks to the very accomplished patina of its reconstruction, owing a lot to the talent of Elemer Ragalyi, director of photography, and Pater Sparrow, responsible for the film’s sets. With strong performances and a progressive narrative that is rich in events – somewhat less predictable than it may seem at first glance – Eva Gardos’ debut feature film successfully creates a stimulating atmosphere in which the flowers of evil, services, blackmail and sacrifices become entangled in a historic environment, where darkness has already taken over from light. Read More »

Sidney Lumet – The Anderson Tapes (1971)

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Synopsis wrote:
A thief (Duke Anderson) just released from ten years in jail, takes up with his old girlfriend (Ingrid) in her posh apartment. He makes plans to rob the entire building. What he doesn’t know is that his every move is recorded on audio and video tape, although he is not the subject of any surveillance. Read More »

William A. Wellman – The Public Enemy (1931)

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A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster’s accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war. Read More »

Nimród Antal – Kontroll (2003)

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A tale about a strange young man, Bulcsú, the fellow inspectors on his team, all without exception likeable characters, a rival ticket inspection team, and racing along the tracks… And a tale about love. Read More »

Masahiro Shinoda – Kawaita hana AKA Pale Flower (1964)

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Like Imamura and Oshima, Shinoda Masahiro was a university-educated intellectual who was employed by Shochiku as an assistant director in the early 1950s and felt stifled by the company’s conservatism. But Shinoda was less openly rebellious than the other two and took the opportunity to learn a great deal about camera technique, editing and shot composition by working conscientiously as an assistant to all of the company’s leading directors. Read More »

Amir Naderi – Tangna AKA Strait (1973)

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Plot summary on imdb
Naderi’s second film is set in the slums of Tehran. Hanging out in a pool hall, Ali Khoshdast becomes involved in a brawl with three brothers, and accidently kills one of them. He runs for his life, eventually taking refuge in the home of a young woman. The victim’s brothers continue the chase, and finally close in on him. Following the murder, streets, alleys and houses that were all part of Ali’s everyday world suddenly become dangerous and hostile. Although in many ways a classic tale of revenge, Naderi uses this story to imply that an underlying violence pervades society, ready to burst forth with or without justification. Written by Anonymous Read More »

Barbara Loden – Wanda (1970)

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Quote:
Winner of the Critics Prize in Venice in 1970, Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970) was, as the New York Times meekly puts it, “a critical hit but failed to create excitement at the box-office” (New York Times, September 6, 1980, 261).

Shot in cinema-verité style on grainy 16mm film stock, Wanda tells the story of the unlikely partnership between a coal-mining wife from Pennsylvania (played with sensitivity and brio by the filmmaker herself), dumped by her husband and the men she met while drifting, and a petty crook on the rebound (Michael Higgins), who convinces her to pull a major “bank job” with him. The film was released in one theatre in New York, Cinema II, and never shown in the rest of the country (Interview, Proferes). Ten years later, Wanda was “already forgotten in the United States,” but “much admired in Europe” (Kazan, 1988, 807). It was screened in the “Women and Film” event at the 1979 Edinburgh Film Festival and in Deauville in 1980. Loden died of cancer on September 5, 1980, “the day [she was] booked to fly to Paris-Deauville. Her death was announced from the stage of the Festival” (Kazan, 1988, 809). Read More »