Zivojin Pavlovic – Kad budem mrtav i beo AKA When I Am Dead and Gone (1967)

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Plot:
Janko Bugarski “Džimi Barka” is a small time wallet snatcher, and an aspiring singer, who wants to make it big with as little effort as he can, traveling through industrial areas and looking for affairs with local women and easy money. On one of his travels he meets a young girl he takes to Belgrade to accompany him on an amateur singing contest, where he fails miserably, since he can’t follow a tune, and abandoning her, teams up with his former girlfriend, also a pickpocket, which takes him to his final journey. Continue reading

Ingmar Bergman – Sommaren med Monika AKA Summer with Monika (1953)

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“Harry Lund, 19 years old, works at a stock-room for glass and porcelain. In the vicinity works 17 year old Monika at a stock-room for vegetables. Monika is a cheerful and happy young woman and when she sees Harry at a cafe she starts to talk with him. They fall in love with each other. Because of their age, they are both harassed at their respective places of work. Monika has an argument with her father and leaves her home, Harry has an argument with his boss and quits. Since they have nothing that ties them to the city, they take Harry’s small boat to the archipelago to be alone for a few weeks.” Continue reading

Mauro Bolognini – La viaccia (1961)

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Quote:
At the end of the nineteenth century, the young peasant Amerigo falls in love with Bianca, whom he met in a brothel in Florence, and in order to keep meeting her, steals from his uncle. Wounded with a knife, tries in vain to see her again.
From “L’eredità” (1889) by Mario Pratesi – thanks to a well-balanced screenplay (Pratolini, Festa Campanile and Franciosa) – a Bolognini in great shape has drawn a beautiful film, almost like “Casque d’or”, were it not for a surplus of crepuscular preciosity.
Superb photography by L. Barboni and a dazzling Cardinale.
2 Silver Ribbon 1962: Flavio Mogherini (scenes) and Piero Tosi (costumes).
Morandini Continue reading

Sohrab Shahid Saless – Yek Etefagh sadeh AKA A Simple Event (1974)

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Quote:
With A Simple Event Sohrab Shahid-Saless emerged on the Iranian film scene as a filmmaker with a distinctive style. Adopting an almost documentary style, Shahid-Saless records uneventful moments in the lives of ordinary people. He has said, “A Simple Event has no plot. It is only a report on the daily life of a boy”. Working with a cast of non-professional local players, Shahid-Saless constructed his film with realistic images that almost corresponded with the temporal flow of rural life. The film is so simple and unadorned that it creates the illusion of having been made with no prepared overall design.

For all its lyrical charm, A Simple Event must be considered as a prelude or a preparation for Shahid-Saless’s acclaimed film Still Life which was awarded the Silver Bear for best direction and the critics’ prize at the 24th Berlin International Film Festival in 1974. Continue reading

Doris Dörrie – Kirschblüten – Hanami aka Cherry Blossoms (2008)

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Quote:
A beautiful tissue-paper piece of art that falls to shreds should you so much as blow upon it, Dorris Dörrie’s Cherry Blossoms is the kind of film that dares you to laugh at it. There are heartfelt declarations of love and elaborate avant-garde dance routines, not to mention a major plot point about a mountain appearing from behind a veil of mist. Cynics: Don’t venture within one hundred meters. Romantics: Run, don’t walk, to the theater. Everybody else: Approach with caution.

Cherry Blossoms is a sentimental work about Rudi, a stick-in-the-mud German civil servant whose life is upended upon the sudden death of his wife, Trudi, whom he realizes too late he never quite knew. Yes, tears will be shed. But since this is a German film, much of which is set in Japan, the crying will be rather circumspect, and horribly embarrassed. Continue reading

John Duigan – The Year My Voice Broke (1987)

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Danny Embling (Noah Taylor) must face the bittersweet aches and sometimes harsh consequences of growing up when his childhood love (Loene Carmen) falls for a troubled older boy (Ben Mendelsohn) and the three whirl amidst the excitement and confusion of their own budding sexuality. Set in 1952, in a small rural town in the Australian outback, this poignant coming-of-age film beautifully captures the exquisite torture of adolescent longing and alienation. Continue reading