Drama

Luchino Visconti – La Caduta Degli Dei (Götterdämmerung) AKA The Damned [English dub] (1969)

Quote:
This brooding, operatic movie about Nazism makes Cabaret look like wholesome family fare. The family in The Damned is a symbol of German society circa 1934. The Krupp-like steel magnate Baron von Essenbeck represents the spineless establishment. The Nazis kill the baron, then frame one heir apparent, a socialist (married to the stunning Charlotte Rampling). A bearish, boorish Essenbeck representing the SA, the Nazis’ early goon squad, takes the reins. But Hitler murdered the SA in the 1934 “Night of the Long Knives,” providing The Damned with its bravura action scene, a Nazi massacre at a gay SA orgy. The winning Essenbeck is the murderous, pedophilic, transvestite, mother-rapist Martin (sharp-featured Helmut Berger), who represents Nazism. Though he’s better in director Luchino Visconti’s 1971 Death in Venice, Dirk Bogarde is classy as Martin’s stepdad. The Damned got an Oscar screenplay nomination, and Vincent Canby called Berger’s Martin “the performance of the year.” Read More »

Kwon-taek Im – Chunhyangdyun (2000)

Summary:
Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul, Mongryong has to leave Chunhyang and finish his exams. Chunhyang, being the daughter of a courtesan, is also legally a courtesan. She is beaten and imprisoned when she refuses to obey the new Governor Byun, as she wishes to be faithful to her husband. After three years, Mongryong passes his exam and becomes an emissary to the King. He returns to Namwon, disguised as a beggar, just before Chunhyang is to be flogged to death at the governor’s birthday celebration. Read More »

Bahrudin ‘Bato’ Cengic – Gluvi barut AKA Silent Gunpowder (1990)

Synopsis:
Based on a novel by Branko Copic and set during World War II, the film tells the story of a Serbian village in the mountains of Bosnia and its villagers who found themselves divided along two opposing ideological lines, represented by the Chetniks and the Partisans. These two opposing sides are personified in the Partisan commander Španac (Mustafa Nadarevic) and a former royal army officer Radekic (Branislav Lecic. Španac comes off as a brainwashed fanatic, obsessed with his political agenda and willing to put them to practice at all cost, while the other is a practical realist, a local man whose priority is saving the local people from the turmoils of war, even if this means forsaking his own ideals. Španac sees him as the cause of villagers’ resistance to the new, communist, ideology and so the main plot axis is the conflict between them. Read More »

Claire Denis – High Life (2018)

A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.

Takes place beyond the solar system in a future that seems like the present. About a group of criminals who accept a mission in space to become the subjects of a human reproduction experiment. They find themselves in the most unimaginable situation after a storm of cosmic rays hit the ship. Read More »

Luigi Magni – In nome del papa re AKA In the Name of the Pope King (1977)

In 1867, with Garibaldi’s forces close to bringing Rome into the Italian kingdom, Monsignor Colombo da Priverno, a world-weary judge on the papal court, wants to resign, disgusted by the violence to which the papacy resorts to hold secular power. That night, three rebels blow up the Zouaves’ barracks. Colombo learns that a brief liaison with a countess 20 years’ before produced a son, one of the rebels arrested for the bombing. He uses his influence to gain the youth’s release, hides him, and then engages in doomed battles of wit with the court and with the Black Pope to free the other two. Can this priest be a father, blunt power, and live out his faith? Read More »

Hussein Kamal – Thartharah fawq al-Nil AKA Adrift on the Nile (1971)

Set against the backdrop of the 1967 Six-Day War, the movie adaptation of Naguib Mahfouz’s novel follows the escapist, drug-fuelled riverboat meetings of a group of frustrated Egyptians from various walks of life. Read More »

Mihalis Kakogiannis – Alexis Zorbas AKA Zorba the Greek [+Commentary] (1964)

If ever there was a role that Anthony Quinn was born to play, it was the lusty, life-affirming title character in Zorba the Greek. The scene is the isle of Crete, where English writer Alan Bates arrives in the hopes of realigning his own values and outlook on life. He is “adopted” by the flamboyant Zorba, who determines to educate Bates in the ways of the world-or, to be more precise, Zorba’s world. Along the way, Bates is introduced to widow Irene Papas, the unrequited love object of everyone on the island, who comes to a tragic end when she is accused of adultery. Read More »