Drama

Martin Donovan – Collaborator (2011)

The career of dramatist Robert is in steep decline – his last play was canceled after a two-week run. On top of that he is unable to decide what to do about an old love affair that is once again gaining steam. Finally, his neighbor Gus is able to shed some light on many issues when he and Robert spend the evening together in a highly unexpected situation. The picture captures the protagonists at fragile moments in their lives, when long suppressed truths come to light and there is no longer any uncertainty concerning the decisions they have made. Read More »

Shin Su-won – Reinbou aka Rainbow (2010)

Plot / Synopsis
The fantasy musical film “Passerby #3? by Korean director Shin Su-won won the Best Asian-Middle Eastern Film Award at the 23rd Tokyo International Film Festival.

Ji-Wan is a middle-aged mother with a case of malaise and hardly any backbone to speak of. She abruptly quits her job to follow her dream of becoming a film director; she’s been working on a script for five years. Her husband thinks she’s wasting her time; her son Si-Young is ashamed of her and lets her know it at every possible moment; and the producer she’s supposed to be working with, Choi, keeps trying to make the film into a commercial blockbuster. Read More »

Valeska Grisebach – Sehnsucht aka Longing (2006)

Quote:
The second feature of German director Valeska Grisebach is one of the pleasant surprises of the Berlin Competition here – a quietly unassuming tale of marital infidelity told in a brisk 90 minutes that is unexpectedly packed with a raw emotional power. It derives that power as much from the non-professional actors’ performances as from Grisebach’s austere approach to the material. Sehnsucht (Longing) is one of those rare films for which the overused axiom “less is more” is totally justified. With her latest feature, Grisebach could give the Dardenne brothers a run for their money. Read More »

Julien Duvivier – Panique AKA Panic [2018 Restoration + Extras] (1946)

Criterion wrote:
Proud, eccentric, and antisocial, Monsieur Hire (Michel Simon) has always kept to himself. But after a woman turns up dead in the Paris suburb where he lives, he feels drawn to a pretty young newcomer to town (Viviane Romance), discovers that his neighbors are only too ready to suspect the worst of him, and is framed for the murder. Based on a novel by Georges Simenon, Julien Duvivier’s first film after his return to France from Hollywood finds the acclaimed poetic realist applying his consummate craft to darker, moodier ends. Propelled by its two deeply nuanced lead performances, the tensely noirish Panique exposes the dangers of the knives-out mob mentality, delivering as well a pointed allegory for the behavior of Duvivier’s countrymen during the war. Read More »

Yilmaz Güney – Duvar (1983)

Synopsis:
Teens in a Turkish prison struggle to survive under hideous conditions. Made by dying Yilmaz Guney in France, after he escaped from a Turkish prison, enabling him to accept his award at Cannes for Yol (The Road). When the Turkish superstar leading man turned human rights activist, Guney was convicted for pro-Kurdish political activity and murder, by the Turkish military regime. Director/writer Guney’s last film, Duvar (The Wall), was banned in Turkey for 17 years. The incarcerated teens organize and fight back, brutalize each other, exult over the smallest triumph, while joking, suffering and learning from the inhumanity they wallow in. The prison also separately houses men and women, many played by other Turkish expatriates. Read More »

Victor Erice, Claudio Guerín & José Luis Egea – Los Desafíos aka The Challenges (1969)

Synopsis:
Dean Selmier plays an expatriate American in each story of this trilogy. Francisco Rabal and his family star in the first feature filmed at the Rabal family home in Madrid. An over aggressive American soldier tries to put the moves on his wife and daughter before he is clubbed and thrown into the swimming pool. Part two finds a hippie couple slain at the country home of a wealthy local (Alfredo Mayo) after the young woman is offered to him for money and the boy makes love to the man’s wife. In part three, an American man, a Cuban girl, two Spanish students and a chimpanzee throw a dance party before the American plants a bomb that destroys everyone. (allmovie) Read More »

Alfonso Cuarón – A Little Princess (1995)

Plot:
When her father enlists to fight for the British in WWI, young Sara Crewe goes to New York to attend the same boarding school her late mother attended. She soon clashes with the severe headmistress, Miss Minchin, who attempts to stifle Sara’s creativity and sense of self- worth. Sara’s belief that “every girl’s a princess” is tested to the limit, however, when word comes that her father was killed in action and his estate has been seized by the British government. Read More »