Toshiya Fujita (藤田 敏八 Fujita Toshiya, January 16, 1932 – August 30, 1997), also known as Shigeya Fujita (藤田繁矢 Fujita Shigeya), was a Japanese film director, film actor, and screenwriter. He is well-regarded in Japan for his youth films but is best known abroad for Lady Snowblood and Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance, films ironically not typical of his usual style Continue reading
It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a divorce. She’s unsatisfied with her marriage, and feels out of place at the ranch she stays on, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Cay Rivers, an open and self-assured lesbian, and the ranchowner’s daughter. The emotions released by their developing intimacy, and Vivian’s insecurities about her feelings towards Cay, are played out against a backdrop of rocky landscapes and country and western songs. Continue reading
Caged, considered the best woman’s prison film ever made, represents a union between realistic socially conscious drama and the more stylized world of film noir. Marie, (Eleanor Parker), is sentenced to prison for helping her husband in a small robbery. The prison is run by the sadistic matron Evelyn (Hope Emerson) who is secure in her position due to corrupt political influence. The film shows Marie’s slow disillusionment with society and her eventual decision to become a prostitute in order to gain parole after observing her friend and fellow inmate Kitty (Betty Garde) lose her sanity and murder their oppressor Evelyn. With this uncompromisingly pessimistic statement on human nature, John Cromwell reaches his peak as a director. Under his expert direction, Eleanor Parker gives the best performance of her career and creates a convincing metamorphosis from a innocent young girl to a hardened criminal. Her performance is nuanced, low-keyed and emotionally charged. Equally impressive is Cromwell’s visual realization of the claustrophobia of prison life, aided by the high-contrast photography of Carl Guthrie. This excellent, grim drama is uncompromising in its refusal to sentimentalize the plight of Marie as a victim or to absolve her of her role in her fate, nor does it absolve society as it shows the results of desperation and brutalization on human dignity. — Linda Rasmussen Continue reading
Murphy is an American living in Paris who enters a highly sexually and emotionally charged relationship with the unstable Electra. Unaware of the effect it will have on their relationship, they invite their pretty neighbor into their bed. Continue reading
Based on the short story A Step Beyond the Gate / Krok za brame by Lech Borski).
A television feature that is considered to have been one of the pioneering films in the cinema of moral anxiety. The story of worker Antoni Gralak who is released from prison and wishes to settle down to a calm life. He fails to find peace though he does find a woman to marry and a place to live. The realities of the Polish People’s Republic cause him to enter into conflict with his construction worker colleagues who decide at one point to organise a strike, and with the manager of the construction site who wishes to make an informer of him. These complications conclude tragically. Premiered on television in 1980. @culture.pl
Up until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent collapse of communist rule in East Germany, the most anyone in the outlying regions of that country knew about its overall situation was that nothing in their lives had changed. Everything went on just as it always had. In this story, set around that time, a naive, young and enthusiastic drama-school graduate has been given the job of directing a theater group in a grim, super-conservative factory town. His spirits are undaunted when the locals beat him up in bars when he orders tea instead of beer or by the evident lack of enthusiasm his theater company has for producing a revival of Waiting for Godot. However, when the winds of change sweep through the country and through his troupe, while everyone else is given a new lease on life, it begins to seem as though he has lost something essential to the continuation of his. Continue reading
At the age of 51 and after 20 months on unemployment, Thierry starts a new job that soon brings him face to face with a moral dilemma. How much is he willing to accept to keep his job? Continue reading