Jack Cardiff – Sons and Lovers (1960)

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Sons and Lovers
At the Brattle through Saturday
By William A. Nitze, March 26, 1962
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Sons and Lovers does not lend itself easily to a movie script, but Jack Cardiff has transformed Lawrence’s novel into a superb film. The reader must follow a slow and agonizing series of conflicting passions presented in a style which is often deceptively complex. Through a skillful rearrangement of plot elements and dialogue Cardiff has condensed the novel into an hour and 45 minutes without sacrificing its subtlety and force.

The film opens halfway through the story: Paul Morel is in his early twenties. Within the first ten minutes one grasps all of the important relationships of the drama: the abandonment of Walter Morel by his wife and sons, who detest him because of his weakness and cruelty; Paul’s desperate attachment to his mother, and his frustrated love for Miriam. The film then concentrates on the final failure of Miriam to break through Mrs. Morel’s hold on her son, Paul’s unsuccessful affair with Clara Dawes and his final liberation through his mother’s death. Continue reading

André Farwagi – Le temps de mourir AKA The Time to Die (1970)

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Synopsis:

‘Max Topfer is a successful businessman who lives alone, surrounded by bodyguards. One day, he receives a film which shows him his brutal death at the hands of an unknown assassin.’
– MUBI

‘Anna Karina starts the movie by riding her horse into a tree, She’s rescued by millionaire Bruno Cremer, who is startled to discover in her possession a video recorder showing him being shot by a man he doesn’t know […]. Both Karina, who has total amnesia of the kind only available in sensational fiction, and the tape appear to have come from the future. With the aid of bodyguard Billy Kearns […], Cremer tries to find out why a total stranger is apparently going to kill him on camera.’
– David Cairns Continue reading

Derek Jarman – Jubilee (1978)

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Quote:
Punks hail Britannia in their own peculiar way in this little-seen gem by the late queer auteur

Jubilee (1978), Britain’s only decent punk film, still isn’t respected at home as much as it should be, and it remains pretty obscure everywhere else. Instead, we had to wait for Trainspotting (1996) to represent some sort of renaissance in “cool” British cinema. Yet, even though it is almost 20 years older, Jubilee makes Trainspotting’s self-congratulatory, CD tie-in antics look like a polite Edinburgh garden party. Continue reading

Ferzan Ozpetek – Le fate ignoranti AKA His Secret Life (2001)

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Quote:
When Antonia’s husband Massimo is killed in a car accident, she accidentally discovers that he has been having a same-sex affair with a produce wholesaler named Michele. Although she’s initially devastated by the news and hostile toward Michele, she soon develops a friendship with him and his and Massimo’s circle of gay, transgender, and straight friends, among whom are a Turkish immigrant, a playwright and a boutique owner. As she gets to know these people and become a part of their lives, the new relationships dramatically transform Antonia. Continue reading

Terence Young – Wait Until Dark (1967)

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Wait Until Dark (1967) is a suspense-thriller film directed by Terence Young and produced by Mel Ferrer. It stars Audrey Hepburn as a young blind woman, Alan Arkin as a violent criminal searching for some drugs, and Richard Crenna as another criminal, supported by Jack Weston, Julie Herrod, and Efrem Zimbalist Jr.. The screenplay by Robert Carrington and Jane-Howard Carrington is based on the stage play of the same name by Frederick Knott.

Hepburn was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress (losing to Katharine Hepburn), and Zimbalist was nominated for a Golden Globe in the supporting category. The film is ranked #55 on AFI’s 2001 100 Years…100 Thrills list, and its climax is ranked tenth on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments. Continue reading