Drama

Nikos Papatakis – Gloria mundi aka Tortura (1976)

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The young actress Galai is hired by his friend and director Hamdias to interpret a film
denouncing the torture of suspected terrorists during the war of Algeria. The woman,
using audio recordings made during the torture, practices the worst violence on
herself to make her own interpretation as realistic as possible, to confuse reality with
fiction. Galai, as the character she plays, is a part, along with her lover, a subversive
movement. In an attempt to rejoin Hamdias is forced to flee an exhausting marked by
humiliation and betrayal that ends in an unpredictable finish. Read More »

Anne-Sophie Birot – Les Filles ne Savent pas Nager aka Girls Can’t Swim (2000)

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Quote:
Even though they grew up in opposite parts of France, Gwen (Isild Le Besco) and Lise (Karen Alyx) are best friends and spend every summer vacation together on the Brittany coast where Gwen lives and Lise’s family has a summer home. But this summer is different because Lise’s family isn’t going on vacation for reasons that she won’t explain to Gwen. Sick of her parents bickering about money and missing her bosom buddy, Gwen finds a boyfriend and mingles with some horny out-of-towners. Now fifteen, she’s discovered that summer can be fun even if Lise isn’t there. Then suddenly, Lise shows up at Gwen’s house uninvited to stay for a couple of weeks. The following days are filled with unexpected surprises, causing the girls to reevaluate the importance of their friendship and the nature of their teenage anxieties. Anne-Sophie Birot’s first feature delicately captures the intimacy and uncertainty between two teenage girls whose lives are teetering on the verge of adulthood. The performances by newcomers Isild Le Besco and Karen Alyx are impressive for the subtle shifts in mood they express between wanting to be independent of one another while still remaining inseparable.
Read More »

Gilberto Tofano – Matzor aka siege (1969)

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Quote:
The issue of War widow representation in Israeli cinema is one of the most complex for the local industry for it seems to be unique and with a very local and specific iconography.
The war Widow is a difficult character to digest. Because this is an especially painful topic in Israel, its mode of representation is almost always problematic.
Gila Almagor in Tofano’s “siege” is one of the first characters of the “modern” war widows to appear on Israeli cinema screens.
The human and social complexity of the status of widows was not represented adequately and personally until her complex and fine appearance in this film.
It was mostly Preceded by cliches of heroic women who have sacrificed for the nation with characters to which it was very difficult to get attached, nor to their personal grief. Read More »

Rudolf Thome – Rote Sonne aka Red Sun (1970)

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Rote Sonne aka Red Sun
Rudolf Thome, Germany 1970
Runtime: 85 min
Language: German

“… one of the best German movies since the silent era … “

Dark and zany, Rote Sonne provides a fascinating snapshot of 60s culture, juxtaposing the B-film crime and science fiction genres with early feminist fervor. With the tag line “Frei, wild, cool und tödlich” (free, wild, cool and deadly), it depicts a group of young women who decide to kill their boyfriends if they insist on a relationship lasting more than five days.

Rote Sonne quickly grew into some early German cult movie with a constant growing importance. Only a few years later the critics called it one of the most important German movies from that time.

Between 1968 and 1971 Rudolf Thome shot four movies in a row (including Rote Sonne). Then he was broke and had to escape Munich. He started a new life in Berlin but it took years until he started to do movies again – unfortunately never achieving such a classic again. Read More »

Mauro Bolognini – Mosca addio aka Farewell Moscow (1987)

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Liv Ullman stars as real-life Russian Jewish dissident and astronomer Ida Nudel, who was denied permission to emigrate and then sent to a labor camp after protesting in Moscow in 1980. Starting off as a romance, turning into a grim political thriller, and then veering into tragedy, director Mauro Bolognini’s melancholy film offers another one of the director’s portraits of strong-willed women who are persecuted by history. The film isn’t particularly well-known, and it’s almost never seen nowadays. But any Ennio Morricone fans will immediately recognize the film’s haunting score, one of the composer’s greatest works. Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – Pierrot le fou [+Extras] (1965)

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Synopsis:
Dissatisfied in marriage and life, Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) takes to the road with the babysitter, his ex-lover Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina), and leaves the bourgeoisie behind. Yet this is no normal road trip: genius auteur Jean-Luc Godard’s tenth feature in six years is a stylish mash-up of consumerist satire, politics, and comic-book aesthetics, as well as a violent, zigzag tale of, as Godard called them, “the last romantic couple.” With blissful color imagery by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and Belmondo and Karina at their most animated, Pierrot le fou is one of the high points of the French new wave, and was Godard’s last frolic before he moved ever further into radical cinema. Read More »

Vasili Pichul – Malenkaya Vera AKA Little Vera (1988)

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———— Plot Synopsis allmovie.com ———————–
The title character of the Russian Little Vera is a headstrong teenage girl, played by Natalya Negoda. To the dismay of her parents, Vera lives only for the moment, making no provision for her future. She’d rather hang out at local cafes in garish makeup and provocative clothing. A chance meeting with handsome student Sergei (Andrei Sokolov) develops into a sexual relationship. Her parents send out Vera’s brother (Alexander Alexeyev-Negreba) to talk some sense into her, which proves to be doubly dicey when it turns out that the brother is an old acquaintance of the rebellious Sergei. Vera lies, saying that she’s gotten pregnant by Sergei, so he obligingly marries her and moves in with her family, which serves only to make matters worse, as Vera’s drunken father (Yuri Nazarov) ends up stabbing his son-in-law. Persuaded to lie about the incident to keep her father out of jail, Vera takes her family’s side. A last-minute tragedy is barely averted, but the audience gets the distinct feeling that Vera’s problems with her family in particular and her life in general are far from over. Read More »