Drama

Pascale Ferland – Ressac (2013)

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After searching in vain for a job in the small seaside town where he was born, Édouard is forced to head off to the big city. He reluctantly leaves behind his mother-in-law Dorine, his wife Gemma and his beloved daughter Chloé. The weight of his absence is felt by all three women. Soon the news arrives of his unexplained death.

Beyond the confusion, guilt and anger that accompany such an event, there is the love, hope and idealism of youth, unfulfilled desires and the dreams they share of a better future … but when Gemma discovers the unusual legacy left by her late husband, she thinks she’s finally found the key to happiness. But what is happiness in the eyes of others? And how do we achieve it? Read More »

Icíar Bollaín – También la lluvia AKA Even The Rain (2010)

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Quote:
The politics of the past and present begin to merge during the making of a motion picture in this drama from director Icíar Bollaín. Spanish movie director Sebastián (Gael García Bernal) and his producer Costa (Luis Tosar) have arrived in Bolivia to shoot a picture about Columbus’ exploration and exploitation of the New World. While Sebastián has come to Bolivia for realistic scenery, Costa has chosen the location for the cheap and abundant supply of labor. An open casting call for extras attracts far more people than the picture needs, but when Costa tries to send them away, one would-be actor, Daniel (Juan Carlos Aduviri), makes a strong and eloquent case for fair treatment of the locals, and Sebastián casts him as Hatuey, the chief of a native tribe who fought the invading Spaniards. As Sebastián stages scenes of revolt against would-be colonists, a real battle is brewing in Colombia — the government has privatized the national water works, and the price of water has jumped by 300 percent, leading to protests and riots in the streets of Cochabamba. Daniel is one of the activists protesting price gouging for something as essential as water — will Sebastián and his colleagues join him in speaking out against this injustice? También la Iluvia (aka Even the Rain) was an official selection at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Read More »

Yimou Zhang – Huozhe AKA To Live (1994)

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Review (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
To Live is a simple title, but it conceals a universe. The film follows the life of one
family in China, from the heady days of gambling dens in the 1940s to the austere
hardship of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. And through all of their fierce struggles
with fate, all of the political twists and turns they endure, their hope is basically one
summed up by the heroine, a wife who loses wealth and position and children, and
who says, “All I ask is a quiet life together.” The movie has been directed by Zhang
Yimou
, the leading Chinese filmmaker right now (although this film offended Beijing and
earned him a two-year ban from filmmaking). It stars his wife, Gong Li, the leading
Chinese actress (likewise banned). Together their credits include Ju Dou, Raise the Red
Lantern
and The Story of Qui Ju. Like them it follows the fate of a strong woman, but
also this time a strong man; somehow they stick together through incredible hardships.
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Inan Temelkuran – Bornova Bornova (2009)

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The movie takes place in a time when dreams are reduced to almost nothing and when it’s difficult to remain sane. Ordinary life becomes a one greater expectation.

Salih and Hakan who spend their entire days in front of the grocery shop thinking we were given the chance. Salih is like a older brother to Hakan. Hakan has just came back from the mandatory military service. His football career ended before even it had started because of an injury. He is without a job or a vocation He hopes to be to be a taxi driver. Salih is the psycopath of the neigborhood. He’s the only person who listens to Hakan and gives him advices. Although Salih has grown up in a well meaning educated family he’s involved in every kind of illegal business in the neighborhood. Everbody is scared of him. High school girl Özlem included. Hakan is crazy about her but he never had the the courage to talk to her.
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Sergei Bodrov – S.E.R. – Svoboda eto rai AKA Freedom is Paradise (1989)


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SYNOPSIS:

13-year-old Sasha finds himself the unwilling resident of a grim reform school after the death of his mother. He sets off on a 1,000 mile odyssey to a gulag-style high security prison, seeking the father he has never met.

Quote:
Before Bodrov became „big business“ he made quite a few CHERNUKHA-movies about the dark side of the Soviet union. This is the internationally best known!
Winner of the Grand Prix des Ameriques at the Montreal International Film Festival and the “Wolfgang Staudte Award” at the Berlin International Film Festival.
The first Russian movie to actually film inside Russian prisons and reformatories. Also the first Film of Sergej Bodrov jr. He appeared on screen only for a few minutes, playing a minor lawbreaker waiting for a decision concerning his destiny.
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Claude Jutra – À tout prendre (1963)

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Pierre Jutras wrote:
At the height of the Quiet Revolution, Claude Jutra brought Quebec cinema directly into modernity.

Take It All (1963) is the first autobiographical feature film made in Quebec using direct cinema methods and techniques. With its unusual aesthetics focusing on the free and intimate expression of the main protagonists, Claude and Johanne, the film was received with a mix of astonished admiration and righteous indignation. Jutra had dared to recreate on screen his own love story with Johanne Harrelle, one of the first black models on the Montreal and New York fashion scene. It was the first time in America that a bed scene was filmed with a white man and a black woman. Both freely engage in mutual confession, and the game of truth leads Johanne to inquire about Claude’s possible homosexuality. They also have to face the agonizing dilemma of abortion when Johanne gets pregnant.
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Carlo Mazzacurati – La giusta distanza AKA The Right Distance (2007)

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Basically a good murder mystery, ‘The Right Distance’ brings in contemporary issues like anti-foreign prejudices, marriages arranged with Eastern European women online, kids with computer smarts adults lack, and how these changes disrupt life in a little town. A beautiful young woman named Mara (Valentina Lodovini) comes to replace a schoolteacher in the Po Valley. Trouble ensues. One person in town doesn’t miss a trick: 18-year-old Giovanni (Giovanni Capovilla). He is highly motivated to become a journalist and has persuaded Bengivenga (Fabrizio Bentivoglio), an editor at a big city paper, to allow him to work as a low-profile stringer in the town. His job is to keep his eyes and ears peeled without anybody finding out that he’s a reporter. Naturally, he’s good with the Internet. He helps Mara set up her connection and in the course of dong so finds out her email password. Giovanni checks in on it from home and starts reading the accounts of day to day experiences she emails to her best girlfriend back home. Thus over time he finds out that she’s attracted to the local bus driver, Guido (Stefano Scandaletti), and that Hassan (Ahmed Hefiane), who runs the garage he himself works in, is attracted to her–and is stalking her outside her house in the dark. He also knows that Amos (Giuseppe Battiston), the tobacconist who’s making a fortune taking people fishing, went out in his boat with Mara and made some moves on her. It’s Amos who has the Romanian wife chosen from an online “catalog.” Hassan is an older (but handsome) Tunisian man. He has family members in the area but isn’t married. He has been in Italy a long time. Read More »