Petr Václav – Nikdy nejsme sami AKA We Are Never Alone (2016)

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A paranoid prison guard moves into a village flanked by a state motorway. He befriends his new neighbour, an unemployed hypochondriac supported by his wife, working in the local grocery. Weary of life and caring for her two sons, she develops an attraction to the nightclub bouncer, but he is in love with the club stripper, who is in turn waiting for the father of her child to return from the same prison where our prison guard works. A story about the demons of our day. Continue reading

Kutlug Ataman – Iki Genç Kiz AKA Two Girls (2005)

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Quote:
The film is about two teenage girls, Behiye and Handan, with contrasting characteristics and backgrounds, forming a close relationship with sexual implications. As they become closer and closer the relationship becomes more fragile, and the impossibility of the survival of their relationship becomes more evident over time. Economic, social, psychological, and sexual problems come in the way. Behiye is angry and rebellious, but her frequent outbursts cut little ice with her conservative family. Handan is trapped in a different way, in a love-hate relationship with her single mother Leman. Although Leman is willing to turn tricks to raise Handan’s college fees, she’s otherwise hopeless with both men and money. When a mutual friend introduces Behiye and Handan they immediately hit it off, and despite the differences in their backgrounds they embark on an intense relationship, and with it a secret plan to escape their dysfunctional families. Continue reading

James Mangold – Heavy (1995)

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Synopsis:
The life of an overweight, unhappy cook is forever changed after a kind, beautiful college drop-out comes to work as a waitress at he and his mother’s roadside restaurant.

Quote:
Heavy is not the kind of film to view when you’re looking for something upbeat. It’s too real, and, as a result, potentially too painful. On the way out of the theater, I heard someone remark, “Why did I just sit through that film? I’ve lived that story, and I don’t need to be put through it again!” Mangold captures the nuances of life perfectly, and, by never cheapening his vision through facile resolutions, he fashions a memorable cinematic portrait. Continue reading

Yilmaz Güney & Atif Yilmaz – Zavallilar AKA The Poor AKA The Wretched Ones (1975)

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Synopsis:
The Poor Ones tells the semi-melodramatic story of three poor friends who met in prison where have been sent to on various offenses. These three friends do not want to get out when they are released. What are Abuzer, Haci and Arap going to do when they will be out? They have no one, no jobs… Apart from Haci and Arap, everything will be the same for Abuzer, who doesn’t know where to go. He will still be alone, starving on the streets of the big city. Continue reading

Jacques Demy – Lola (1961)

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Quote:
Jacques Demy was arguably the greatest romantic of the French New Wave, and Lola was one film in which he proved how vital both sides of that equation were to his vision. While Lola exists within the same workaday France of Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut’s early films, Raoul Coutard’s cinematography allows Demy to find a beauty and poetry in the most ordinary circumstances; Coutard’s moving camera brings the grace of a dancer to the film’s visual proceedings, no matter how shabby some of the characters’ circumstances may be. The narrative is so fluffy it threatens to blow away at any moment, but Demy primarily uses it as a device to focus on the emotional lives of his characters, and it is their common search for love that moves the story and keeps the film compelling. Demy’s casting is nothing short of superb: Anouk Aimée is joyously radiant in the title role, and her every word and movement convey such a seductive charm that it’s no wonder three men are vying for her hand; Marc Michel, Alan Scott, and Jacques Harden all resister in their own way as Lola’s suitors; and Annie Duperoux is spot-on as Lola’s teenage counterpart. Lola is a film whose goal is obviously to touch the heart rather than the mind, but Demy tells his simple story with such a rare blend of passion and intelligence that he’s able to please the intellect as well. The result remains one of the most purely pleasurable products of the French Nouvelle Vague. Continue reading

Marcel L’Herbier – Eldorado (1921)

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Synopsis wrote:
The tale of a dancer rejected by her lover and forced to endure other indignities in order to support her child is shown in avant garde style and traditional narrative techniques, with camera angles and architectural design defining the emotional states of the characters. Featuring Eve Francis, Jaque Catelain and Marcelle Pradot. Continue reading