Drama

Eric Khoo – Shier lou aka 12 Storeys (1997)

Synopsis:
In a high-rise, a young man jumps to his death. His ghost remains in the building, observing and consoling three households. San San, fat, silent, and alone, hears the ghost of her mother constantly upbraid her. She futilely seeks the friendship of a wealthy woman with whom she was raised. Ah Gu, a tofu soup vendor, is at odds with Lily, his materialistic wife, a Chinese immigrant who longs for something he cannot provide. Meng spouts every moralistic bromide of the striving middle class, wears a T-shirt reading “My block is the cleanest,” and is unhinged by his teenage sister May (“Trixie” to her boyfriend) who won’t study, parties all night, and seems doomed by youth culture. Read More »

Valérien Schmidely & Hans Trommer – Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe (1941)

Quote:
While there is now at least a little bit of recognition for the early German and Austrian sound film, the same cannot be said for films from Switzerland. Although Switzerland never had a big film industry, especially not at that time, I assume there might be some real gems to discover, if this film here is any indication. Read More »

Édouard Luntz – Les coeurs verts (1966)

Outside at night. Tower of lodgings. A syncopated jazz accompanies the successive appearances of young people in front of the camera. Zim, delivered to the police by locals for stealing gasoline, ends up in jail. On the day of his release, he meets Jean-Pierre, who has just been released from the same Parisian jail. The two youngsters become friends. Back in the suburb, Zim decides to find a job and tries to convince Jean-Pierre to go with him… without success. Far from New Wave movies which are becoming more and more bourgeois,
“Les Cœurs verts” is the first fiction film centred on the youth of the housing estates, played by a real gang of greasers, these “bad boys” from the working class, who were then in the news. Read More »

Georg Wilhelm Pabst – Der Prozeß (1948)

Quote:In the tradition of Eötvös, to whom the film is dedicated as a “pioneer for truth and justice”, Pabst portrays the reality of Jewish life in hauntingly designed scenes and explains both religious superstitions and racist, nationalistic and economic-political arguments against anti-Semitism , which is based on anti-Semitic pamphlets such as the alleged ‘Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion’: this forgery had not yet been published in 1882, but predecessor writings were already widespread and Pabst drew a parallel with this consciously used anachronism to Hitler, who in “Mein Kampf “Expressly mentions the ‘protocols’. Read More »

Damiano Damiani – La strega in amore AKA The Witch in Love (1966)

Synopsis:
‘A historian is called to a creepy old castle to help a strange old widow catalogue her erotic antiquities. He then meets her dark, seductive daughter and finds he is falling under her erotic spell. Incapable of forcing himself to leave, he spirals helplessly into their strange supernatural world.’ Read More »

Heinosuke Gosho – Ima hitotabi no AKA Once More (1947)

Synopsis
Before the war, Nogami, a doctor who devotes himself to the caring of the poor, meets Akiko during a theatrical representation. She’s a sheltered girl from a wealthy bourgeois family who finds herself drawn to him and his humanitarian ideals. Read More »

Miklós Jancsó – Roma rivuole Cesare AKA Rome Wants Another Caesar (1974)

Imdb User Review
To begin with, as I pointed out in my review for Jancso”s earlier ‘epic’ – the made-for-TV TECHNIQUE AND RITE (1971) – much of what constituted its pros and cons, from the heavy-going speechifying to the striking imagery, applies to this one as well. Nevertheless, it emerges to be somewhat more engaging – or, if you like, tolerable than that earlier effort; incidentally, while some sources give the film’s running-time as 100 minutes, the print I watched on Italian TV lasted for merely 78! Even so, we’re still treated to the random intimidation of several characters (shades also of Jancso”s masterpiece THE ROUND-UP [1965])…not to mention the baffling re-emergence of ones who had only moments before been shown expiring! Read More »