Gennadiy Klimov & Igor Shavlak – Semya vurdalakov AKA The Vampire Family (1990)

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Only vaguely based on Alexei Tolstoy’s novel ‘Oupyr’ (1841), ‘The Vampire Family’ (Semya vurdalakov) is a mixture of striking dreams, fading reality, and most ingenious psychedelic background music, Artemeyv-style (scores by Vladimir Davydenko). Continue reading

Narges Abyar – Nafas AKA Breath (2016)

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Quote:
Little Bahar lives a life spun from folklore and stories, always with her head in a book. But growing up in Yazd in the 1970s and ’80s, she’s at the centre of a country in turmoil: the Shah is overthrown, Ayatollah Khomeini rises to power, and the first shots are fired in a bitter and protracted war with Iraq. Over the span of several years, Bahar finds daydreaming in her own fantasy world is the only way she can make sense of the pain and suffering warring humans inflict on one another. Continue reading

André Farwagi – Le temps de mourir AKA The Time to Die (1970)

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Synopsis:

‘Max Topfer is a successful businessman who lives alone, surrounded by bodyguards. One day, he receives a film which shows him his brutal death at the hands of an unknown assassin.’
– MUBI

‘Anna Karina starts the movie by riding her horse into a tree, She’s rescued by millionaire Bruno Cremer, who is startled to discover in her possession a video recorder showing him being shot by a man he doesn’t know […]. Both Karina, who has total amnesia of the kind only available in sensational fiction, and the tape appear to have come from the future. With the aid of bodyguard Billy Kearns […], Cremer tries to find out why a total stranger is apparently going to kill him on camera.’
– David Cairns Continue reading

Alejandro Jodorowsky – Poesía sin fin AKA Endless Poetry (2016)

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Quote:
Through Alejandro Jodorowsky’s autobiographical lens, Endless Poetry narrates the years of the Chilean artist’s youth during which he liberated himself from all of his former limitations, from his family, and was introduced into the foremost bohemian artistic circle of 1940s Chile where he met Enrique Lihn, Stella Díaz Varín, Nicanor Parra… at the time promising young but unknown artists who would later become the titans of twentieth-century Hispanic literature. He grew inspired by the beauty of existence alongside these beings, exploring life together, authentically and freely. A tribute to Chile’s artistic heritage, Endless Poetry is also an ode to the quest for beauty and inner truth, as a universal force capable of changing one’s life forever, written by a man who has dedicated his life and career to creating spiritual and artistic awareness across the globe. Continue reading

Jean Cocteau – Orphée AKA Orpheus [+commentary] (1950)

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Quote:
Jean Cocteau died on October 11, 1963, the same exact day that his longtime friend, the French chanteuse Edith Piaf, succumbed to liver cancer not all that far away. Some have even speculated that the news of Piaf’s death was what spurred the heart attack that claimed Cocteau, a beautiful, if melancholic coincidence, if we are to put our full faith into what’s ostensibly rumor, seeing as the famed poet, theater director, and filmmaker often remarked that he was more scared of the deaths of his loved ones than he was of his own inevitable demise. Continue reading

Marcel Carné – Les visiteurs du soir AKA The Devil’s Envoys (1942)

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Synopsis
Two wandering minstrels, Gilles and Dominique, arrive at the castle of the Baron Hugh just as he announces the engagement of his daughter Anne to the knight Renaud. However Gilles and Dominique have really sold their souls to The Devil and have been charged with traveling throughout the land and tempting mortals into damnation by causing them to fall in love with them. Dominique causes both Renaud and Hugh to fall for her. Meanwhile Gilles seduces Anne but then falls for her himself. And so The Devil arrives in person to visit a cruel punishment on the two lovers. Continue reading

Emir Kusturica – On the Milky Road (2016)

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Quote:
Spring in wartime. Each day a milkman crosses the frontline on a donkey, dodging bullets to bring his precious wares to the soldiers. Blessed with good fortune on his mission, loved by a beautiful villager, a peaceful future seems to await him… until the arrival of a mysterious Italian woman turns his life upside down. Thus begins a story of passionate, forbidden love that will plunge them both into a series of fantastic and dangerous adventures. They have been joined by fate, and nothing and no one seems able to stop them… Two-times Palme D’Or winner Emir Kusturica directs and stars in this story of love and war, rich in emotion, comedy and adventure. Continue reading