Drama

Basil Dearden – The Rainbow Jacket (1954)

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A champion jockey is banned from racing so spends his time helping a young lad to
become the next champion. Read More »

Paula van der Oest – Black Butterflies (2011)


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Plot / Synopsis

Ingrid Jonker lived an impossible contradiction, writing heart-rending poetry about being a woman of privilege living under apartheid rule, all the while dealing with pressure from the head of the censorship board, a man who also happened to be her father. “Black Butterflies” is the story of how Jonker, a woman with unending sexual cravings and a noted mental imbalance, managed to cope with this dichotomy. In the opening, the least poetic of a number of unconvincing metaphors writ large, Jonker is saved from drowning by handsome publisher Jack Cope, an older gentleman who immediately falls for the leggy writer. What he doesn’t know is that her self-abuse, due to living under the rule of her oppressive, emotionally-abusive father, has fractured her personality. She is not the creator she becomes when she puts pen to paper, but rather a little girl seeking stimulation (which she chases in a number of unavailable men) and hoping for the approval of her father (an impossibility).
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Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin – Tout Va Bien (1972)

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In 1972, newly radicalized Hollywood star Jane Fonda joined forces with cinematic innovator Jean-Luc Godard and collaborator Jean-Pierre Gorin in an unholy artistic alliance that resulted in Tout va bien (Everything’s All Right). This free-ranging assault on consumer capitalism and the establishment left tells the story of a wildcat strike at a sausage factory as witnessed by an American reporter (Fonda) and her has-been New Wave film director husband (Yves Montand). The Criterion Collection is proud to present this masterpiece of radical cinema, a caustic critique of society, marriage, and revolution in post-1968 France.
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Catherine Breillat – Une vraie jeune fille AKA A Real Young Girl (1976)

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“Une Vraie Jeune Fille, Catherine Breillat’s first feature film, was shelved for 25 years, apparently because the moral/aesthetic disgust couldn’t be overcome at the time. It was released for the first time this year, and immediately re-ignited the scandal occasioned by Breillat’s last feature, Romance.”
– Kay Armatage, Toronto International Film Festival Catalogue

The story centres on Alice Bonnard, a young girl attending Saint-Sulvien Girl’s College, and takes place during a summer in the turbulent sixties. Alice comes homes to spend her holidays with her parents in the Landes region. They run a sawmill where they employ a young man, Jim. Business isn’t going well, although Mr. and Mrs. Bonnard are too proud to admit it and Jim’s nonchalant attitude about his job doesn’t help things. Alice is attracted to Jim, but she’s too scared to let him know it, believing that as far as he’s concerned she doesn’t exist. Her tumescent sexuality begins to obsess her. She becomes fascinated with the excretions, juices and smells of her own body as well as with the slimy oozings and putrid detritus of the natural world. The film gives few clues to distinguish the girl’s fantasies from the events of her life. This is fitting, as the entire film revolves around the girl and her own perceptions. The heightened realism of the direction and cinematography produces a text that refuses either to accuse or to exploit.
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Kimio Yabuki – Sekai meisaku dôwa: Hakuchô no mizûmi AKA Swan Lake (1981)

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Quote:
The hero, Prince Siegfried, is out riding one day with his friends when he spies amidst swans on a lake a particularly eye-catching one with a crown on its head, the familiar Princess Odette. The princess is charmed by an evil wizard Rothbart who is crazy about marrying Odette. Handsome Prince Siegfried together with two merry squirrels struggle to defeat the evil wizard to complete this classic fairy tales. The movie features original Tschaikovsky music. Written by Lucky-16 Read More »

Gilles Marchand – L’autre monde AKA Black Heaven (2010)

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Synopsis:

A loyal man is tempted both in real life and in cyberspace in this thriller from director Gilles Marchand. Gaspard and his girlfriend Marion head out to Marseilles for a few weeks of sunshine and relaxation, but after spending a few hours by the pool one day, he finds a lost cell phone in the locker room. Gaspard isn’t sure what he should do with the phone, and he’s all the more puzzled when the phone rings and he finds himself having to help Audrey, an attractive but disturbed woman threatening to kill herself. Gaspard and Marion help Audrey before she can take her own life, but while Gaspard is deeply in love with Marion, he’s powerfully intrigued by Audrey. Gaspard discovers Audrey is a serious fan of an on-line role playing game called Black Hole, and he begins playing too, creating a character that bears little resemblance to his own personality. The fictive Gaspard becomes all the more attracted to Audrey in the virtual environment, until he realizes she’s not as benign as he first thought. ~ Allmovie Read More »

Agnieszka Holland – Aktorzy prowincjonalni aka Provincial Actors (1979)

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Talented Polish director Agnieszka Holland who would be better known in later years because of her films like Europa, Europa (1991) or some of her American works like Washington Square (1997), hits the mark early and again with this ostensible story about provincial actors in Poland. In reality, the comedy-drama can be read as a commentary on the contemporary Polish scene in politics and society. The story begins as a savvy director arrives in a small town to put on a stage play. His leading man is filled with insecurities and goes beyond the confines of his lead role to expand his part, restore his cut lines, and generally outdo himself while taking on some of everyone else’s job, including the director’s. No one wants to lose him because of his drawing power, and the director is caught in a bind. At the same time, the lead actor’s wife is slowly losing her chances at success, being relegated to a much lesser position in the troupe. This fine comedy won the Fipresci award at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

allmovie.com Read More »