Drama

Ted Kotcheff – The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974)

Richard Dreyfuss put himself on the map with his performance in this movie about how ambition and greed can drive someone at the expense of his own happiness. Duddy Kravitz (Dreyfuss) is an 18-year-old Jewish kid from Montreal whose mother is dead, and whose father drives a cab and does a little pimping on the side to pay the bills and send Duddy’s older brother to medical school. Duddy has bigger dreams, and he does everything from producing films of bar mitzvahs to attempting to buy real estate to (unknowingly) smuggling heroin in order to strike it rich. Along the way, however, he alienates his girlfriend, drives his grandfather to despair, loses all his friends, and even paralyzes his best employee, while making himself more and more miserable. Duddy’s desire to be a success is easy to understand, which makes this potentially unlikable character forgivable, and the film’s gallery of details and characters adds realism and energy to the story. – All Movie Guide Read More »

Axelle Ropert – Tirez la langue, mademoiselle AKA Miss and the Doctors (2013)

Boris and Dimitri Pizarnik are doctors in Paris’s Chinese quarter. The two brothers work together and devote all their time to their patients. One night, they must treat a young diabetic girl being raised by her single mother, Judith. Both brothers fall in love with Judith and soon everything is turned upside down.. Read More »

Lionel Barrymore – Madame X (1929)

Plot: Young Raymond Floriot, following in his father Louis Floriot’s professional footsteps, he now France’s attorney general, has just passed the bar exam. Raymond’s first case, appointed to him by the courts, is a murder case. His pitiful and poor Jane Doe client, who refers to herself only as Madame X, admits to killing the scoundrel of a man named Laroque, but won’t disclose why or in turn defend herself in court. Raymond knows nothing of her past, which includes once being a woman of class, married to man of prestige. But that marriage ended because he treated her without love, which resulted in her leaving him for another man, who in turn passed away shortly thereafter. Read More »

Aleksandr Dovzhenko – Arsenal (The Cultural Heritage) [Disc 2] (1928)

In Arsenal, Alexander Dovzhenko, perhaps the most radical of the Soviet directors of the silent period, altered the already extended conventions of cinematic structure to a degree greater than had even the innovative Sergei Eisenstein in his bold October. The effect of this tinkering with the more or less accepted proprieties of motion picture construction produced a work that is actually less a film than it is a highly symbolic visual poem. For example, in a more linearly structured piece like October, the metaphors, allusions, and analogies that arise through the construction of the various montages replace rather than comment on essential actions within the film. In Arsenal, however, the symbolism is so purposely esoteric, with seemingly deliberate barriers established to block the viewer’s perception, that the relationship of individual symbols or sequences to the various actions of the film is not immediately clear. Read More »

Aleksandr Dovzhenko – Zemlya – versions of 1930 & 1971 (The Cultural Heritage [Disc 3]) (1930)

Earh (1930) 59 min.
Poetic cinema story about events related to collectivization in Ukraine at the end of 20th years of the last century, about creation of the first of a collective farm communes, about class enmity on a village.
The best film Dovzhenko and one of the best films in history world to the cinema.
A film “Earth” on the World exhibition in Brussels of 1958 was adopted among the twelve best films of all times and people as a result of questioning, conducted Belgian cinematic among 117 film critics andconnoisseurs of the films from 26 countries of the world. During many subsequent years “Earth” was multiple included in the various lists of the best films of the world of XX century. Read More »

Ivan Pyryev – Skazanie o zemle sibirskoy AKA The Tale of Siberian Land (1947)

From Mosfilm:
Andrey Balashov, a pianist, had to quit music after being wounded during the Great Patriotic War. Having failed to say goodbye to his friends and Natasha whom he loved he left for Siberia. He worked at the construction of an industrial complex and sang in a teahouse. An accidental meeting with his friends and Natasha changed his life. Andrey left for the Arctic region where being inspired by heroic labor of the builders he wrote a symphonic oratorio «Tale of Siberian Land» that won everybody’s recognition and made him popular in Moscow where Natasha was looking forward to see her true-love. Read More »

Andrea Pallaoro – Hannah (2017)

Intimate portrait of a woman drifting between reality and denial when she is left alone to grapple with the consequences of her husband’s imprisonment.

Hannah is the intimate portrait of a woman’s loss of identity as she teeters between denial and reality. Left alone grappling with the consequences of her husband’s imprisonment, Hannah begins to unravel. Through the exploration of her fractured sense of identity and loss of self-control, the film investigates modern day alienation, the struggle to connect, and the dividing lines between individual identity, personal relationships, and societal pressures. Read More »