Fantasy

Peter Del Monte – Etoile AKA Ballet (1989)

Synopsis:
Young American, Claire Hamilton, arrives in Budapest, Hungary to enroll in a prestigious local ballet school. She meets two more Americans there, young Jason Forrest and his enthusiastic old rich uncle, Zio Joshua, who’s attending an art auction. After a visit from a strange woman in black and another young man, Claire becomes inexplicably obsessed with Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet “Swan Lake” and her personality changes so completely that she starts calling herself Natalie and can’t even remember ever meeting Jason. He becomes worried and tries investigating the mysterious man from the school who took Claire in, which puts him in mortal danger. However, nothing can prepare him for what he discovers in the bowels of an old opera house where Claire/Natalie is about to perform Tchaikovsky’s spellbinding ballet. Read More »

Seijun Suzuki – Yumeji (1991)

Synopsis:
Yumeji is the final film in youth-gone-berserk auteur Seijun Suzuki’s acclaimed Taisho Trilogy. Sensual and absurdist, it spins a ghost story around the character and work of real-life painter and poet Yumeji Takehisa (1884-1934). The eponymous character — conjured by Suzuki as a chronic philanderer and dreamer played by former rock star Kenji Sawada — is plagued with ideals of perfect beauty and the terror of his own demise. He falls in love with women, but can never capture their hearts. He is constantly escaping his rivals, but can never face them down. Read More »

Luc Besson – Angel-A (2005)

Synopsis:
André, a small-time ex-convict, seems to owe money to everyone in Paris, including a crime boss who promises to kill him if he doesn’t repay him by midnight. After failing to find protection from the American embassy and the French police, a despairing André scrambles onto a bridge over the Seine, intending to leap to his death. He is surprised to see a tall, beautiful girl clinging to a rail on the same bridge, apparently preparing to end her life as well. She jumps, and he jumps too, suddenly resolving to save her life. After scrambling ashore, she tells him her name is Angel-A. Together, they take a cruise on the Seine, repay André’s creditors, visit a Parisian nightspot, and more, as Angel-A helps André.He learns that for this purpose she has fallen out of the sky and into his life. André finds himself falling in love with this mysterious beauty. Read More »

Hasan El-Saifi – Mamnou Fi Laylat El-Dokhla AKA Forbidden on the Wedding Night (1975)

Tahseen loves his girlfriend Mona but her controlling and domineering mother Zareefa is against their marriage and believes her daughter deserves a better suitor than him. When the mother drowns in an unexpected accident, the wedding of Tahseen and Mona takes place shortly after the funeral, and Mona’s father Ashour plans to wed his old time lover Zoba. However, Zareefa’s ghost appears in front of Tahseen who is the only person that can see her as she forces him to divorce Mona at once, but he refuses to do so and her presence causes more problems to the people who thought they were rid of her. Read More »

Raoul Servais – Taxandria [+Extras] (1994)

In Taxandria, a totalitarian regime has forbidden time: time watched have been confiscated, photo cameras are illegal as they freeze a point in time. A typical Servais theme: a power is oppressed by a constraint that denies what is best in the individual, and therefor has to be twisted in various ways, to establish an entirely artificial world, that has rules that may question some of the rules of our world at this side of the mirror. The digital era has begun. “Servaisgraphy” threatens to become obsolete. It was finally only to be used for the fabric of the backgrounds and no longer for the encrustation. Read More »

Matthew Robbins – Dragonslayer (1981)

A King has made a pact with a dragon where he sacrfices virgins to it, and the dragon leaves his kingdom alone. An old wizard, and his keen young apprentice volunteer to kill the dragon and attempt to save the next virgin in line, the King’s own daughter. Read More »

Erik Blomberg – Valkoinen peura AKA The White Reindeer (1952)

Blending the vampire and werewolf mythology into a fascinatingly unique and inspired synthesis which also adds elements from pre-Christian folklore, filmmaker Erik Blomberg’s simple, lyrical parable about how all actions have consequences has the immediacy, intimacy and potency of an eloquently spun scary campfire yarn. Skillfully directed, produced, edited, co-written and shot in gorgeous monochromatic black and white by Blomberg, who began photographing movies back in the 30’s and made only four other films before spending the rest of his career doing documentaries for television, this plainly done and elegantly understated debut feature benefits greatly from not only its powerfully direct and unpretentious story, but also from its highly unusual and intriguing period setting. Read More »