Claude Chabrol – Le beau Serge (1958)

N5B2XM Claude Chabrol   Le beau Serge (1958)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Claude Chabrol   Le beau Serge (1958)

Of the hallowed group of Cahiers du cinéma critics turned filmmakers who transformed French film history, Claude Chabrol was the first to direct his own feature. His absorbing landmark debut, Le beau Serge, follows a successful yet sickly young man (Jean-Claude Brialy) who returns home to the small village where he grew up. There, he finds himself at odds with his former close friend (Gérard Blain)—now unhappily married and a wretched alcoholic—and the provincial life he represents. The remarkable and stark Le beau Serge heralded the arrival of a cinematic titan who would go on to craft provocative, entertaining films for five more decades. (-Criterion) Continue reading

Louis Malle – Les amants AKA The Lovers [+extras] (1958)

YTUZJe Louis Malle   Les amants AKA The Lovers [+extras] (1958)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Louis Malle   Les amants AKA The Lovers [+extras] (1958)

Synopsis:

Louis Malle unveiled the natural beauty of Jeanne Moreau in his breakthrough, Elevator to the Gallows. With his follow-up, the scandalous smash The Lovers> (Les amants), he made her a star once and for all. A deeply felt and luxuriously filmed fairy tale for grown-ups, perched on the edge between classical and New Wave cinemas, The Lovers presents Moreau as a restless bourgeois wife whose eye wanders from both her husband and her lover to an attractive passing stranger (Jean-Marc Bory). Thanks to its frank sexuality, The Lovers caused quite a stir, being censored and attacked for obscenity around the world. If today its shock has worn off, its glistening sensuality and seductive storytelling haven’t aged a day. Continue reading

Krzysztof Kieslowski – Amator AKA Camera Buff [+Extras] (1979)

QplAd9 Krzysztof Kieslowski   Amator AKA Camera Buff [+Extras] (1979)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Krzysztof Kieslowski   Amator AKA Camera Buff [+Extras] (1979)

Review:(Noel Megahey, DVD Times)

It all starts when Filip Mosz (Jerzy Stuhr) buys a little 8mm movie camera to film his new-born baby. Like a true enthusiast, Filip enters into the spirit of his new hobby, filming everything that moves and working on the material on a small editing suite. When he is commissioned by his boss to film a reception being held to commemorate the company’s 25th anniversary, he becomes aware of the pressures of outside expectations and even censorship. The film however gets entered into an amateur film festival and wins third prize (second prize really since none were judged good enough to win first prize!) and he soon finds himself caught up in the world of TV and film-making, helped by an attractive film producer. Suddenly he finds that his new hobby isn’t compatible with the responsibilities of bringing up a small child, nor is it compatible with the wishes of his employer. Continue reading

Marek Koterski – Dzien Swira aka Day of the Wacko (2002)

YwvXW8 Marek Koterski   Dzien Swira aka Day of the Wacko (2002)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Marek Koterski   Dzien Swira aka Day of the Wacko (2002)

“It is a bitter story about a middle-aged man, who hates his life and other people, including himself. Adam Miauczynski, the character known from director Marek Koterski’s previous films, is a 44 year-old teacher, who reads poetry during school lessons and later goes home swearing and calling his neighbours’ names. The worst pain for him is the next 5 minutes of living. He doesn’t accept himself and even everyday contacts with others cause his aggression. Though constantly dreaming of a romantic love, he is not bold enough to make his dreams come true. The desperate Miauczynski personalizes our own fears and obsessions, which have become so visible recently.”

Summary written by Piotr Leoniak Continue reading

Wojciech Has – Sanatorium pod klepsydra AKA The Hour-Glass Sanatorium (1973)

BaD9Xm Wojciech Has   Sanatorium pod klepsydra AKA The Hour Glass Sanatorium (1973)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Wojciech Has   Sanatorium pod klepsydra AKA The Hour Glass Sanatorium (1973)

Set in pre- World War II era. A young man is on a strange train to see his dying father in a sanatorium. But the place is going to ruin and recalls a lot of memories from the past. He is beset by soldiers from the past, colonial black mercenaries, girls from his early life, and his parents. It is an interior adventure, with unusual atmospheric flair and extraordinary sets. Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – La piel que habito aka The Skin I Live In (2011)

lapielquehabitover2 Pedro Almodóvar   La piel que habito aka The Skin I Live In (2011)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Pedro Almodóvar   La piel que habito aka The Skin I Live In (2011)

Quote:
Sexuality and the prison house of the self are the themes of Pedro Almodóvar’s fantastically twisted new film, a luxury pulp fiction that breathes the atmosphere of the sick-room. Antonio Banderas stars as Ledgard, a wealthy and brilliant plastic surgeon who in his palatial home, tastefully furnished and equipped with its own private operating theatre, is secretly experimenting on the beautiful and submissive young Vera (Elena Anaya), whose entire skin covering he is replacing with an eerily smooth artificial substance, transgenically derived from pig hide. Is the prisoner his long-lost beloved wife, widely thought to have died of burns in a recent car crash? Or someone else entirely, who he is surgically refashioning to resemble her? Either way, captor and captive appear to be in love. Yet it is a relationship that can only end as it began: in violence. Continue reading

Youssef Chahine – Al-Massir aka Destiny (1997)

de0e Youssef Chahine   Al Massir aka Destiny (1997)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Youssef Chahine   Al Massir aka Destiny (1997)

Ideas are imperishable, such is the premise of this powerful, upbeat allegory from one of Egypt’s most esteemed directors, Youssef Chahine. Ostensibly the true tale of revolutionary Muslim philosopher Averroes who lived in 12th-century Spain when Arabs ruled Anadulsia, it parallels the story of Chahine’s own experiences with Islamic fundamentalists when he released his 1994 film L’Emigre because it dared depict a sacred Muslim prophet. During that time, fundamentalists were not content to merely have the film banned, they also threatened Chahine’s life. Despite their destructive efforts, the fundamentalists ultimately failed and L’Emigre became one of Egypt’s most successful films. Averroes was a follower of Aristotelian thought, an innovative lawyer and an important scientist (he discovered the purpose of the retina) who lived during the rule of the great liberal Caliph Al Mansour. At the time, the Caliph’s rivals were part of Magdi Idris, a fundamentalist sect, who sought to destroy his power by cloaking their own political agendas in religious dogma and spreading it liberally amongst the easily influenced peasantry. Continue reading

pixel Youssef Chahine   Al Massir aka Destiny (1997)