Drama

Arthur Crabtree – Dear Murderer (1947)

When a wealthy man discovers that his wife is having an affair, he murders her lover, committing the perfect crime. Read More »

Mathieu Demy – Americano (2011)

A man who returns to Los Angeles to wrap up his mother’s estate sets out in search of the mysterious woman named in her will. Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Hae anseon aka The Coast Guard (2002)

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Perhaps the reason why this movie is getting such a bad rap is mainly a fault of its well-meaning, but still incoherent style and narrative structure. I have not read any articles on this movie or interviews with the director to know what his overt intention was, but in the end I think the movie falls short of its mark due to Kim’s perennial fixation on obsession, whether it was his intention to delve into this subject matter or not. On most levels, obsession is a largely private affair, and any exegesis of obsession enmeshed within the loaded geopolitical situation that is now Korea would require a broader vision and canvas matched with a technical command of story telling than any that Kim has been able to provide here or elsewhere. Read More »

Philippe Garrel – Le vent de la nuit aka Night Wind (1999)

Le Vent de la Nuit bears little resemblance to the first film in our series, Les Amants Réguliers, made only six years later. The latter, with its rich, fathomless depths of black-and-white photography and insular, period setting stands in stark relief to the former’s auburn-tinged, deep-focus, wide-angle lensing of modern-day Paris, Naples and Berlin. Even so, Le Vent is unmistakably a film by Philippe Garrel, with its deliberate pacing, recurring themes of bitter regret, lost love and longing across generations and relentless focus on the emotional landscape of its three central characters, all which immediately connect it to his other work. Read More »

Armand Gatti – L’Enclos AKA Enclosure (1961)

This prison camp drama by director and co-scripter Armand Gatti, his first film, reflects the early ’60s resurgence of interest in the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis in World War II. (In another year, the Adolph Eichmann trial would be the first ever seen live on American television.) Gatti focuses on two men in a German concentration camp who have been cruelly penned inside an enclosure. One of the men, Karl (Herbert Wochinz), is a strong, bitter anti-Nazi German — a target of the Gestapo. The SS wants information on a rumored organization of resistance fighters inside the prison and they know he has it. The other man, David (Jean Negroni) is a Jew. If one of the men dies within a certain time then the other will be released. He will not be killed. Otherwise, both will be executed. The resistance fighters in the prison try to help the two as best they can, while the pair inside the enclosure slowly come to know each other as though they were brothers. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Read More »

Ki-duk Kim – Suchwiin bulmyeong AKA Address Unknown (2001)

Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism…
Address Unknown (2001) is Kim Ki-Duk’s most political film so far which traces the scars left by the Korean war of the 1950s and its contemporary reverberations on a US Army base. Read More »

Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne – Rosetta (1999)

Quote:
The film opens with a chaotic scene: Rosetta (Emilie Dequenne), dismissed from her station after her employment trial period has elapsed, refuses to leave the factory, and is escorted off the premises by security guards. Shot through a handheld camera, the confusion seems to continue as we follow Rosetta as she crosses a busy intersection, makes her way through the woods, changes into her water-repellent boots that she hides in an exposed concrete pipe, and returns to her rented trailer home that she shares with her alcoholic mother (Anne Yernaux). It is a bleak life, and one that she desperately wants to escape. If she could only find a job. But Rosetta is a resourceful young woman, and remains undeterred by the latest setback. She returns to town with a bagful of repaired clothes to be sold to the local thrift store, and canvasses local merchants for job openings. Riquet (Fabrizio Rongione), a waffle vendor, takes interest in Rosetta, and when the food preparer is fired for absenteeism, he encourages her to apply. However, the job proves temporary as well, as the owner (Olivier Gourmet) is compelled to hire his own son. Without any new prospects, she sacrifices her friendship with Riquet to obtain a job. Read More »