Gabriel Mascaro – Boi Neon AKA Neon Bull (2015)

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We tend to view sex as a private, forbidden theater that’s detached from the remainder of life, rather than the origin of our life that courses through other acts. Films reflect this sentiment, of course. In most cinema, sex scenes scan as movies onto themselves, cordoned off from the rest of the narratives, though Neon Bull offers a confident refutation to this literal-minded squeamishness. Everything in this film is sensual, understood to be a subsumed sex act, with actual sex serving as a contextualizing catharsis. Continue reading

Thomas Arslan – Der schöne Tag aka A Fine Day (2001)

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Synopsis:

A Fine Day is, after the films Geschwister and Dealer, the third part in a trilogy about the living conditions of Turkish youth growing up in Germany.

Deniz is 21-years-old, lives in Berlin, works as a dubbing speaker and wants to become an actress. A Fine Day describes a long, labyrinth-like day in the life of Deniz. A day in which she experiences everything that takes place around her with a feverish intensity. The separation from her boyfriend Jan, her relationship to her family, her work, the promise of a new friendship and summer in the city.

A Fine Day is the story of a young woman’s search for happiness, her feelings and her ideas about love. Continue reading

Stephen Poliakoff & Charles Sturridge – Runners (1983)

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RUNNERS (1983)
Produced in 1983, it was originally headed for a cinema release but apparently that never happened and it ended up being shown as a TV movie only.

In Stephen Poliakoff’s first film script, Tom Lindsay (James Fox) searches for his 13-year-old daughter, Rachel (Kate Hardie), two years after she ran away from their Midlands home. After an anonymous tip-off, he spots her, but the reunion is not what he has expected or hoped for…. Continue reading

Hsiao-Hsien Hou – Xi meng ren sheng AKA The Puppetmaster (1993)

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In the first half of this century, young Li Tienlu joines a travelling puppet theatre and subsequently makes a career as one of Taiwan’s leading puppeteers. During World War II the Japanese rulers of Taiwan use the traditional Chinese puppet theatre for their war propaganda. Only after the war street theatres start playing agaiN.
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Yasuzô Masumura – Daichi no komoriuta AKA Lullaby of the Earth (1976)

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The story of an orphan girl, brought up in naive, rustic innocence by an elderly relative, who is suddenly exposed to the brutality, greed and deceptiveness of the outside world when her grandmother dies. Notwithstanding her healthy distrust of all strangers, which her upbringing instilled in her, it is not long before a cunning racketeer finds her weak point, that temptation which she cannot resist, that weakness, different as it may be, that each of us has, and brings her into his power. What follows is a depiction of her cruel descent into the depths of moral decay, as she becomes a collaborator in a system of exploitation, unbridled lust, vanity, and greed, in which she and other victims are always the losers. Continue reading

Yasujirô Ozu – Higanbana AKA Equinox Flower (1958)

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The first color feature film from Yasujiro Ozu, Equinox Flower is a spare, evocative, and compassionate portrait of aging, transition, and change. The title of the film refers to a red amaryllis flower that blooms near the autumnal equinox, and red imagery pervade the film: the brick train station building, the carpeting of the wedding banquet, Yukiko’s obi, the tea kettle at the Hirayama home. Similar to Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata and Andre Techine’s Ma Saison Preferee, the season serves as a reflection of Hirayama’s generation, attempting to reconcile with the profound cultural and social changes of postwar Japan. The film opens to the image of the train station and cuts to a shot of the hallway of the wedding reception. It is a reminder of Hirayama’s own transitional passage – an elegy for the quickly vanishing traditions of an irretrievable past, and a celebration of renewed hope and promise. Continue reading

Ki-duk Kim – Bin-Jip AKA 3-iron (2004)

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Plot Summary (Taken from IMDb): A young drifter enters strangers’ houses – and lives – while owners are away. He spends a night or a day squatting in, repaying their unwitting hospitality by doing laundry or small repairs. His life changes when he runs into a beautiful woman in an affluent mansion who is ready to escape her unhappy, abusive marriage. Continue reading