Drama

Maurice Dugowson – F comme Fairbanks AKA F as in Fairbanks (1976)

Synopsis:
André Fragman (baptised “Fairbanks” by his cinema projectionist father) returns from his military service with a diploma in chemistry. He expects to have no trouble finding a job, since a relative of his, Etienne, has promised him a place in his company. Meanwhile, André meets and falls in love with a student actress, Marie, who is rehearsing for a stage production of Alice in Wonderland. When André’s promised job fails to materialise, he ends up having to take manual work, but he has difficulty holding down any job he can find. Frustrated, his mood changes for the worse, and he ends up driving away Marie… Read More »

Ulu Grosbard – Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? (1971)

Quote:
Georgie Soloway, a pop hit love song writer who cannot love, himself, or others. He spends his days with various women flying his plane, and dropping in to the world around him. Read More »

John Sayles – Matewan (1987)

Independent filmmaker John Sayles creates one of his more artistic works with this period feature about a volatile 1920s labor dispute in the town of Matewan, West Virginia. Matewan is a coal town where the local miners’ lives are controlled by the powerful Stone Mountain Coal Company. The company practically owns the town, reducing workers’ wages while raising prices at the company-owned supply and grocery. The citizens’ land and homes are not their own, and the future seems dim. When the coal company brings immigrants and minorities to Matewan as cheaper labor, union organizer Joe Kenehan (Chris Cooper) scours the town to unite all miners in a strike. Read More »

Charles Burnett – The Annihilation of Fish (1999)

Quote:
James Earl Jones and Lynn Redgrave star as mutually insane neighbors in a California apartment house who become romantically involved (she thinks she’s sexually intimate with Puccini, and he periodically wrestles with a demon of his own named Hank). Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep, The Glass Shield) directed this whimsical, bittersweet 1999 feature, handling the actors with sensitivity, but the preciousness of Anthony C. Winkler’s screenplay, adapted from his own novel, only underlines how much better off Burnett is writing his own scripts (Nightjohn being an exception). With Margot Kidder.
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader Read More »

Alfred E. Green – East of the River (1940)

Synopsis:
Troubled youths Joe and Nick Lorenzo grow into very different men: Joe a small-time hoodlum and Nick an honored college graduate. When Nick falls for Joe’s girl Laurie, trouble erupts between the two men and also with the gang that has it in for Joe. Read More »

Yang Zhang – Pi sheng shang de hun AKA Soul on a String (2016)

A slow-simmering, Western-style action drama of blood feud, misfired machismo, and spiritual quest spread across Tibet’s rolling steppes and scorching deserts, “Soul on a String” follows the travails of a hunter led by fate to deliver a sacred stone to a mythic mountain despite motley foes at his heels. Chinese director Zhang Yang (“Shower,” “Sunflower”) eschews the thrill of propulsive duels for a discursive allegorical approach, serving up picturesque visuals, highland-dry humor, and karmic plot twists. While the nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time is sure to hamper theatrical release prospects, Zhang’s quirky blend of genre and art-house elements should ensure considerable fest play. Read More »

Ewald André Dupont – Das alte Gesetz aka This Ancient Law (1923)

Baruch Mayr, son of an orthodox rabbi from a poor shtetl in Galizia, decides to break with the family tradition and leave the shtetl to become an actor. Due to this behaviour his father bans him from his family. Baruch, who joined a small burlesque troupe is discovered by an Austrian Erzherzogin (archdutchess) who introduces him to the director of the most important Theater in Vienna, the Burgtheater. Baruch receives a contract there and becomes more and more an assimilated jew. Read More »