Drama

Elem Klimov – Agoniya AKA Agony (1981)

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Synopsis:
A wide-scope panoramic view of Russia in 1916. The country is in its third year of war which seems to never end, with police rule, hunger and devastation at their peak. All this plays out against a background of luxury and corruption at the court, where the agonizing power still entertains hopes of coping with “the rebels”. The courtiers have a presentiment of the collapse of the Russian autocracy. Fear, despair and blind belief in Providence make a fertile ground for the “great” starets, adventurist Rasputin, who is a friend of the royal family and has gained mastery over the Czar and his ministers. The filmmakers used newsreels of the 1917 Revolution… This controversial historic drama was released twice: in 1975 and, after a number of changes, in 1985. RUSCICO offers the film’s 1985 version. Read More »

Ken Annakin – Third Man on the Mountain (1959)

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Quote:
A young man in 19th century Switzerland whose father was killed trying to climb the Citadel (which is what the Matterhorn is called here) wants to become a mountaineer himself, and of course climb to the top of the Citadel, which no man has done. His mother strictly forbids it, and his uncle downright nasty to him whenever the subject comes up. Persistent fellow that he is, the boy hooks up with an English mountain climber, then coaxes his uncle to take him along on a climb, makes an ass of himself, then has a go at it again. The boy doesn’t really have the maturity for the task, but persists, and in time he grows up, almost in spite of himself. Read More »

Sohrab Shahid Saless – Empfänger unbekannt AKA Addressee Unknown (1983)

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“A husband and wife have separated and while in that semi-marital state, the wife begins an affair with a Turkish architect. In the meantime, the once revolutionary-minded husband now prefers his more comfortable lifestyle in his villa with his children and he is the one who writes letters to his wife seeking a reconciliation, but she herself is thrown into a turmoil because choosing between her estranged husband and the Turkish architect is very difficult, if not impossible. —allmovie guide” Read More »

Sohrab Shahid Saless – Wechselbalg AKA Changeling (1987)

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Based on Jürgen Breests book Wechselbalg (1980. Read More »

Sohrab Shahid Saless – Ordnung AKA Order (1980)

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Plot description on link

This off-beat psychological drama by Sohrab Shahid Saless dissects German post-war society with a cutting edge. Herbert (Heinz Lieven) is a solid, middle-class engineer who one day quits his job and ensconces himself at home (preferably in the bathroom), refusing to say very much to anyone. His wife (Dorothea Moritz ) is all the more upset at his behavior because on Sunday mornings he goes out into the street and yells at the top of his lungs for everyone to “get up.” Eventually, the hard-working wife who is also earning their support convinces Herbert to go to a clinic for treatment. But is it a clinic he needs? Or is Herbert rebelling against a society that is too ordered, too sterile, too buried in the monotony of routine? ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi Read More »

Asghar Farhadi – Jodaeiye Nader az Simin aka A Separation (2011)

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THE GUARDIAN review (contains plot details):

An unhappily married couple break up in this complex, painful, fascinating Iranian drama by writer-director Asghar Farhadi, with explosive results that expose a network of personal and social faultlines. A Separation is a portrait of a fractured relationship and an examination of theocracy, domestic rule and the politics of sex and class – and it reveals a terrible, pervasive sadness that seems to well up through the asphalt and the brickwork. In its depiction of national alienation in Iran, it’s comparable to the work of Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof. But there is a distinct western strand. The film shows a middle-class household under siege from an angry outsider; there are semi-unsolved mysteries, angry confrontations and family burdens: an ageing parent and two children from warring camps appearing to make friends. All these things surely show the influence of Michael Haneke’s 2005 film Hidden. Farhadi, like Haneke, takes a scalpel to his bourgeois homeland. Read More »

Keigo Kimura – Fûten Rôjin nikki aka Diary of a Mad Old Man (1962)

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Quote:

Diary of a Mad Old Man is the journal of Utsugi, a seventy-seven-year-old man of refined tastes who is recovering from a stroke. He discovers that, while his body is decaying, his libido still rages on — unwittingly sparked by the gentle, kindly attentions of his daughter-in-law Satsuko, a chic, flashy dancer with a shady past. Pitiful and ridiculous as he is, Utsugi is without a trace of self-pity, and his diary shines with self-effacing good humor. At once hilarious and of a sadness, Diary of a Mad Old Man is a brilliant depiction of the relationship between eros and the will to live — a film of the tragicomedy of human existence. Read More »