Lech Majewski – Prisoner of Rio (1988)

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“Prisoner of Rio is a 1988 drama film directed by Lech Majewski and starring Steven Berkoff, Paul Freeman and Peter Firth. It shows the flight of the Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs to Brazil and the attempts of Scotland Yard detectives to re-capture him.

In 1981, Ronald Biggs was kidnapped by agents from Scotland Yard from his Brazilian hideout for his participation in the 1964 British train robbery. This feature was written by Biggs and director Lech Majewski as a fictionalized account of the authorities trying to bring the colorful crook to justice. Paul Freeman plays Biggs, infamous for his participation in the $5 million heist dubbed “The Great Train Robbery”. Jack McFarland (Steven Berkoff) is the Scotland Yard agent obsessed with apprehending Biggs and placing him on board a British navy ship bound for England. Nudity abounds in the final carnival scene as Biggs stays one step ahead of his captors. Colorful scenes of Rio are the highlight of this feature hampered by a thin script. Continue reading

Michael Curtiz – Young Man with a Horn (1950)

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Aimless youth Rick Martin learns he has a gift for music and falls in love with the trumpet. Legendary trumpeter Art Hazzard takes Rick under his wing and teaches him all he knows about playing. To the exclusion of anything else in life, Rick becomes a star trumpeter, but his volatile personality and desire to play jazz rather than the restricted tunes of the bands he works for lands him in trouble. Continue reading

Kazimierz Kutz – Nikt nie wola aka Nobody’s calling. (1960)

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In 1960 Kazimierz Kutz’ second film NIKT NIE WOLA / NOBODY’S CALLING, based on a Jozef Hen novel that was never published in Poland, described the fate of Poles on the Eastern Front. Kutz used the film to explore new formal solutions, collaborating closely with cinematographer Jerzy Wojcik to reveal the psychological landscape of a pair of lovers who are strongly affected by wartime events. The camera recorded the couple’s inner experiences, contrasting their muted intimacy against the surrounding scenery of a ruined town. The film did not win over critics at the time of its release. It was not until later that critics recognized Kutz’s effort to experiment with aesthetics in a manner akin to that pursued by filmmakers of the new wave. NOBODY’S CALLING came to be compared with Michelangelo Antonioni’s THE ADVENTURE, which was produced around the same time. Continue reading

Jorge Coira – 18 comidas (2010)

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A street musician meets the love of his life again; two drunk men have long drinks and seafood for breakfast; a man cooks, cooks and cooks for a woman that never shows up; two men love each other but they hide; a cooker dreams of being a singer; a young woman wants what a man does not give her while a waiter is dying for her; a Macedonian is lost in Santiago suffering the lack of love; an elderly couple who have already said everything to each other have breakfast, lunch and dinner in silence. All these stories meet in “18 meals” during a single day of fiction, a film of emotions served around a table, a journey along the feelings of the most universal of all fights: the search for happiness. Continue reading

Alexandra-Therese Keining – Kyss mig AKA Kiss Me (2011)

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MIA (Ruth Vega Fernandez) and FRIDA (Liv Mjönes), both in their thirties, meet each other for the first time at their parents’ engagement party. Mia’s father, Lasse (Krister Henriksson), is about to get married to Frida’s mother, Elizabeth (Lena Endre), which will make Mia and Frida stepsisters. Lasse’s daughter, Mia, has not visited her father in years and arrives with her boyfriend, Tim (Joakim Nätterqvist), with whom she is about to get married. As Mia and Frida get to know one another, strong emotions begin to stir between them. Their relationship will turn everything upside down for everyone close to them with dramatic consequences. Continue reading