Barbara Loden – Wanda (1971)

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“An American New Wave classic.” – Village Voice

“A stunning debut.” – Sight and Sound

An overlooked landmark of 70’s American cinema, Barbara Loden’s WANDA is a radical revisioning of the road movie genre. Writer-director Loden (wife of famed director Elia Kazan) stars as Wanda, a troubled young woman adrift in a modern-day industrial wasteland until she embarks on a crime spree with a small-time crook (Michael Higgins). Loden’s unique film deserves to be counted among the most formidable debuts in the history of independent cinema. – from the Parlour Pictures website Continue reading

Andres Veiel – Wer wenn nicht wir AKA If Not Us, Who? (2011)

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West Germany in the early 1960s. The country is quiet – for the time being. Bernward Vesper takes up his studies in Tübingen where he is attending Walter Jens’ seminar on rhetoric. Bernward wants to be a writer and spends his nights bashing the keys of a typewriter. At the same time he is keen to defend his father, the poet Will Vesper who was celebrated by the Nazis as a proponent of their ‘Blood and Soil’ ideology. The land where Bernward lives is being suffocated by its past. The war has only been over for fifteen years, old Nazis are back in positions of power, and nobody is prepared to talk about war crimes; the Republic is standing to attention. One day Bernward meets Gudrun Ensslin and her friend Dörte. Before long, the three friends are living together in a ménage à trois. But their three-way relation- ship doesn’t last long. It soon transpires that Gudrun and Bernward are twin souls. Continue reading

Yasujirô Ozu – Akibiyori AKA Late Autumn (1960) (HD)

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When college nostalgia inspires a group of middle-aged businessmen to match-make for the widow – played with measured dignity by Setsuko Hara – of one of their friends and her daughter, they have no idea of the strife their careless interference will cause. Late Autumn’s examination of familial upheaval moves effortlessly from comedy to pathos and is amongst the finest of legendary director Yasujiro Ozu’s post-war films. (-BFi) Continue reading

Metin Erksan – Yilanlarin öcü AKA Revenge of the Snakes (1962)

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Imdb:
An early realist classic from Turkey
15 December 2004 | by Tilly Gokbudak (Roanoke, Va.)

This is one of several Turkish films I have chosen to examine for a college thesis on Turkish cinema. I found a copy of it by chance from a CD store in the Aksaray part of Istanbul, the last time I was in Turkey. This is quite a film. The Revenge of the Snakes is a definitive precursor to the films of Yilmaz Guney, Zeki Okten, Ali Ozgenturk, and Serif Goren. It is a simple tale of a young couple and their little boy trying to live a suitable life in a small Anatolian village. This is a multi-layered film in which the antagonists include the mother in law, the new neighbors- with whom there is a serious land dispute, the town chiefs, and government officials who are oblivious to the needs and concerns of the average person. The snake is a symbol for the incoming troubles that will haunt the couple. The lead actor Fikret Hakan and the whole cast is brilliant. If you like Turkish films, this is one to see. It is perhaps as relevant to Turkish cinema as Rosellini’s “Open City” is to Italian cinema. Continue reading

Zako Heskija – Yo ho ho (1981)

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This is a sensitive film about human solidarity filled with humor and poetry.

A young actor with his backbone broken (he is crippled after a bad fall on the stage) is
being treated in a hospital. He is invalidated for good and he wills not to live further on.
He gets acquainted with a 10-year-old boy, Leonid, from the adjoining room. The boy is
spending time in hospital with an arm in a plastic cast. They make friends. In fact, the
actor intends to use the kid to provide him with poison. He starts telling a marvelous fairy
tale. “Yo-ho-ho” – this old refrain of a pirate song is all too familiar. For the sake of the
boy the Actor invents stories about the good buccaneer who is fighting the evil ruler
Alvarez who must be punished for his crimes. Little by little the real people in hospital are
transformed into the imaginary heroes of the pirate stories that the Actor and the child
vanquished by goodness, honesty and self-denial. The boy is fascinated. Gradually… Continue reading

Aleksei Fedorchenko – Ovsyanki aka Silent Souls (2010)

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Storyline
Present days. A man and his companion go on a journey to cremate the dead body of the former beloved wife, on a riverbank in the area where they spent their honeymoon.

From imdb:
typical festival
7 November 2010 | by Roman Pokrovskij

Started as typical Iranian movie, then forget to gain the momentum and after express straying finished as typical Scandinavian movie. It seems like an attempt to create the film about instinct tribe in the instinct or spoofed film-making tradition. But I think I can explain it’s festival popularity. Since those talks about sex are still considered as ambiguous and vulgar, “Sex in the city” have no perspective as festival movie, but when you have filmed the tribe that have such age-old tradition, and this tradition is also packed into sacramental funeral ritual, you get an highest level indulgence and also you can redistribute this indulgence between all those highbrowed festival critics. I want that the story would be continued and the Russian “central region” get such get deep developed mythology. More better then hobbit village in the NZ. Continue reading

Christopher Morahan – All Neat in Black Stockings (1968)

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A small comedy drama about the life and sex adventures of an amorous window cleaner, in the hip and swingin’ London of the 60’s. Ginger (Victor Henry) divides his time between picking up the cleaning rag and picking up women in the London pubs. One girl he meets is the pretty and demure Jill (Susan George), who his best friend Dwyer (Jack Shephard) takes a shine to. When Ginger agrees to becomes a caretaker at an old man’s mansion and a wild party results, he asks Dwyer to look after Jill. Dwyer takes that invitation as a chance to seduce Jill. Later, when Ginger is informed by Jill that she is pregnant. Continue reading