Peter Brook – Moderato cantabile AKA Seven Days… Seven Nights (1960)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
A wealthy and bored woman is witness of a murder in affection and meets another witness. She asks him about the history of the victim and falls in love with him.

— IMDb.

Review:

One of those movies that mesmerizes through its restraint, this is set in a dreary coastal small town—familiar territory for French cinema—where Anne Desbarèdes (Moreau) is the beautiful, bored wife of the principal local employer (Deschamps); “No,” she says at one point, summarizing not just the starkness of the place but her own life there, “summer never comes in this region. It’s always windy.” Continue reading

Carlos Saura – Cría cuervos AKA Raise Ravens (1976)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
An inquisitive, cherubic girl named Ana (Ana Torrent) overhears a tender exchange between her father, a military officer named Anselmo (Héctor Alterio) and his mistress, Amelia (Mirta Miller), before the intimate moment gives way to tragedy and confusion, as Anselmo suffers a fatal heart attack. Amelia hurriedly dresses, leaving Anselmo’s body alone in the bedroom for the discovery of others, and exchanges a reluctant glance with Ana before running away to avoid a scandal. Young Ana impassively observes Anselmo’s rigid countenance before recovering a water glass from the bedside table, and methodically washes the item in the kitchen sink. Soon, the past, present, and distant past seemingly fuse into a surreal and reassuring incident as Ana’s dead mother (Geraldine Chaplin) passes through the kitchen and affectionately reminds Ana that it is past her bedtime. Later, a haunted and matured Ana (Geraldine Chaplin) recounts her childhood animosity towards her emotional callous and philandering father, blaming him for causing her late mother’s suffering that inevitably manifested in a slow, consuming illness. With the death of their father, Ana and her sisters, Irene (Conchita Pérez) and Maite, spend the rest of their summer vacation in the family home, entrusted to the care of Aunt Paulina (Mónica Randall), a stern, but well intentioned unmarried woman who discourages discussion about their parents in a mistaken belief that she is sparing the children from the grief of their profound loss. However, Paulina’s attention is preoccupied by her own surfacing romantic relationship, and the children are invariably left alone with their affable, obliging maid, Rosa (Florinda Chico) and their silent, detached grandmother (Josefina Díaz) whose own thoughts are consumed by cherished memories evoked from a collage of old family photographs. With little guidance and supervision, the children create an insular world that reflects the conflict, pain, and uncertainty of the enigmatic and impenetrable adult world around them. Continue reading

László Nemes – Saul fia AKA Son of Saul (2015)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Two days in the life of Saul Auslander, Hungarian prisoner working as a member of the Sonderkommando at one of the Auschwitz Crematoriums who, to bury the corpse of a boy he takes for his son, tries to carry out his impossible deed: salvage the body and find a rabbi to bury it. While the Sonderkommando is to be liquidated at any moment, Saul turns away of the living and their plans of rebellion to save the remains of a son he never took care of when he was still alive. Continue reading

Lucrecia Martel – La mujer sin cabeza AKA The Headless Woman (2008)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
“I feel a little … I don’t feel good.” So says Veronica, the middle-aged upper-middle-class Argentinean woman who suffers a nasty bump on the noggin early on in Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Woman (La Mujer Sin Cabeza) and spends the rest of the movie in a semiconscious stupor, a stranger in her own body. Watching Martel’s film, which premiered midway through the 61st Cannes Film Festival, it occurred to me that Veronica’s woozy disorientation was a pretty apt metaphor for Cannes itself, where one can reliably emerge from seeing a near masterpiece only to discover that everyone — or at least the influential industry trade newspapers — has declared the very same movie une catastrophe! That was certainly the case with The Headless Woman, which was the first (though hardly the last) of this year’s competition entries to be greeted with lusty boos at the end of its press screening, putting it in such esteemed past Cannes company as Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’Avventura and David Cronenberg’s Crash. (In one of those rare alliances of Franco and Anglo sentiments, Martel’s film spent most of Cannes scraping bottom in the daily critics’ polls conducted by the British trade paper Screen International and its Gallic counterpart, Le Film Français.) Continue reading

Zeki Demirkubuz – Bulanti AKA Nausea (2015)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
Ahmet, a prominent intellectual, lost his wife and daughter in a traffic accident which happened while he was spending the night with his lover. As a person who cares about nothing and bows to nothing, Ahmet is not much affected by this tragic event and goes on with his life. After a while, without any apparent reason, he experiences certain changes in himself and his life. Small mishaps, strange misfortunes happen one after another. He is not on good terms with the woman he loves very much anymore. He has difficulties facing life and reveals unexpected weaknesses. Continue reading

René Coiffard & Louis Delluc – Le chemin d’Ernoa (1921)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

French informations :

Etchégor, un riche paysan basque est épris de la belle américaine Majesty Parnell. L’époux de celle-ci, sur le point d’être arrêté pour vol, cherche à se forger un alibi.

Mobilisé, Louis Delluc est contraint de renoncer à la mise en scène de son premier scénario, La Fête espagnole (1919), qu’il confie à Germaine Dulac. Impatient de réaliser ses propres films, il fonde sa société de production Parisia- Films au printemps 1920, et livre, en l’espace de quelques mois trois films : Fumée noire, Le Silence et L’Américain, qui deviendra Le Chemin d’Ernoa. Continue reading

Jean-Paul Civeyrac – Fantômes AKA Spirits (2001)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
On the surface, Jean-Paul Civeyrac’s Fantômes unfolds with a sense of haunted, supernatural disequilibrium that similarly infuses Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s atmospheric, tonal cinema. In the film’s opening sequence, a young acting student, Mouche (Dina Ferreira) stares out the window of an empty room and wistfully implores her absent lover, Bruno (Olivier Boreel) to return. Alone with her grief, she retreats into the silence of her intimate memories, briefly interrupted by what appears to be an anonymously placed, prank telephone call (in a premise that coincidentally evokes Kurosawa’s Pulse, made in the same year), before being brought back to the mundane reality of rehearsing text in Russian for an upcoming drama class during a subsequent telephone conversation with her professor, Andreï (Jean-Claude Montheil). However, Mouche’s desolation does not lie in the vestiges of a failed love affair, but rather, in the tragic loss of a new lover from a motorcycle accident. The image of the sad-eyed Mouche invoking the name of her dead lover is reflected in the dorsal shot of another distracted acting student, Antoine (Guillaume Verdier) as he stares out the window of a country house while rehearsing his lines, avoiding the gaze of his first love (Emilie Lelouch) before finally resolving to break up with her. Continue reading