Drama

Pernille Fischer Christensen – En soap aka A Soap (2006)

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Quote:
A dejected beauty salon owner enters into a tenuous friendship with her shy, pre-operative transsexual neighbor in director Pernille Fischer Christensen’s simmering tale of affection and compassion. Thirty-two year old Charlotte (Trine Dyrholm) may own a successful beauty salon, but her failing relationship with increasingly unstable live-in boyfriend Kristian (Frank Thiel) has found her opting to strike out on her own for a change. As Charlotte embarks on a series of strictly sexual one-night stands upstairs, downstairs neighbor Veronica (David Dencik) – born Ulrick – earns her keep as a dominatrix while taking female hormones, awaiting approval for gender reassignment surgery, and occasionally accepting provisions from his doting mother (Elsebeth Steentoft). When Charlotte requests the help of her downstairs neighbor in moving some furniture and carelessly identifies Veronica as a male, the depressive pre-op laments her chances for surgery and attempts to overdose on pills. Her suicide-attempt unexpectedly announced to her neighbors thanks to her whimpering dog Miss Daisy, Veronica is subsequently saved when Charlotte hears the animal’s desperate cries and rushes her ailing neighbor to the hospital. Her selfless favor returned when Veronica defends her against a drunken Kristian shortly thereafter, lonely Charlotte eventually finds herself developing strong feelings for her neighbor despite her longstanding preference for the opposite sex.
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Catherine Breillat – Parfait amour! AKA Perfect Love (1996)

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As Frédérique lies dead on her kitchen table at the hands of Christophe, police try to piece together the events that led to the gruesome killing. Frédérique’s teenage daughter narrates the tragic tale of love gone wrong.

From IRO:
Review by Kevin Vu: Though it possesses the voice of a notorious auteur, “Perfect Love” is one of Catherine Breillat’s lesser works. Despite being her sixth feature, the film seems like an early and minor effort, containing recurring elements explored in more accomplished films (e.g. “Fat Girl” and “Romance”), not to mention the sex and flesh that marries her reputation with vulgarity and controversy. Although Breillat has since found alternative outlets for her provocation and feminine rage, such as costume drama and fairytale, she has always challenged the conventional notions of sex using facets of the human body and soul that she strips bare – figuratively and literally. The plot here is not a matter of boy meets girl, and it never is for Breillat as she continues to reveal human depravity through sexuality. Read More »

George Lucas – American Graffiti [+Extra] (1973)

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Plot Synopsis by Lucia Bozzola

It’s the last night of summer 1962, and the teenagers of Modesto, California, want to have some fun before adult responsibilities close in. Among them are Steve (Ron Howard) and Curt (Richard Dreyfuss), college-bound with mixed feelings about leaving home; nerdy Terry “The Toad” (Charles Martin Smith), who scores a dream date with blonde Debbie (Candy Clark); and John (Paul Le Mat ), a 22-year-old drag racer who wonders how much longer he can stay champion and how he got stuck with 13-year-old Carol (Mackenzie Phillips) in his deuce coupe. As D. J. Wolfman Jack spins 41 vintage tunes on the radio throughout the night, Steve ponders a future with girlfriend Laurie (Cindy Williams), Curt chases a mystery blonde, Terry tries to act cool, and Paul prepares for a race against Bob Falfa (Harrison Ford), but nothing can stop the next day from coming, and with it the vastly different future ushered in by the 1960s.
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Hirokazu Koreeda – Kûki ningyô aka Air Doll (2009)

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Middle-aged Hideo lives alone with an inflatable doll he calls Nozomi. The doll is his closest companion. He dresses it up, talks to it over dinner, and has sexual intercourse with it. However, unbeknown to Hideo, Nozomi was created with a heart. After Hideo leaves for work each day, Nozomi dresses in her maid’s outfit and explores the world outside their apartment with a sense of child-like wonder. She encounters various city residents who metaphorically are as “empty inside” as she is. When Nozomi meets Junichi, who works at a local video store, she falls in love with him and gets a part-time job at the store. She learns about the world through the movies she watches with Junichi, but her happiness with him is interrupted by a dramatic turn of events. Director Koreeda has stated that the film is about the loneliness of urban life and the question of what it means to be human.
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Xavier Dolan – Tom à la ferme AKA Tom at the Farm (2013)

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Tom at the Farm (French: Tom à la ferme) is a 2013 psychological thriller directed by Xavier Dolan. The film is based on the play of the same name by Michel Marc Bouchard. It was screened in the main competition section at the 70th Venice International Film Festival on 2 September 2013, and also at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in the Special Presentation section. At Venice the film won the FIPRESCI Prize.

Tom, a young advertising copywriter, travels to the country for the funeral of his boyfriend Guillaume. There, he is shocked to learn that no one knows who he is, nor his relationship to the deceased. Guillaume’s brother soon sets the rules of a twisted game. In order to protect the family’s name and the deceased’s grieving mother, Tom now has to play the peacekeeper in a household whose obscure past bodes even greater darkness for his “trip” to the farm.
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Kar Wai Wong – A Fei jing juen aka Days of being wild (1991)

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dvdbeaver wrote:
In Wong Kar-wai’s 1991 film Days of Being Wild, Yuddy (Leslie Cheung), a charming drifter captures the attention of store attendant Su Lizhen (Maggie Cheung) by asking her to look at his watch. When she sees that it says one minute before 3:00PM on April 16, 1960, he tells her that she will never forget the moment and will dream about him that night. The next time they meet, the moment becomes two, then one hour, then weeks and months but Yuddy is like the mythical bird with no legs that just flies and flies and never lands. Abandoned by his real mother and brought up by a wealthy alcoholic courtesan (Rebecca Pan), he does not know where he came from or where he is going. He treats women with little respect, discarding them when they no longer serve his purpose. When one lover asks him if he loves her, he tells her that during his life he will be friends with many, many women but won’t know whom he truly loves until the end. Read More »

Nana Ekvtimishvili & Simon Groß – Grzeli nateli dgeebi AKA In bloom (2013)

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A thrilling, moving and engrossing drama, boasting powerfully affecting performances from its two young leads, In Bloom is a striking and mesmeric work of independent cinema from one of the world’s most unrepresented countries.

Synopsis:
Tbilisi, 1992: Civil war is raging in the capital of the newly independent Georgia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Amidst the mayhem, two inseparable fourteen-year-old friends, Natia and Eka, find their childhood coming to an end, with dysfunctional families, broken relationships and volatile politics all coming to a head. But the problems of disillusioned love, early marriage and oppressive male dominance will suddenly be thrown into sharp relief when one of the girls is given a gun… Read More »