Pier Paolo Pasolini – Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma AKA Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

 Pier Paolo Pasolini   Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma AKA Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) (HD)

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Set in the Nazi-controlled, northern Italian state of Salo in 1944, four dignitaries round up sixteen perfect specimens of youth and take them together with guards, servants and studs to a palace near Marzabotto. In addition, there are four middle-aged women: three of whom recount arousing stories whilst the fourth accompanies on the piano. The story is largely taken up with their recounting the stories of Dante and De Sade: the Circle of Manias, the Circle of Shit and the Circle of Blood. Continue reading

Vincent Dieutre – Mon voyage d’hiver AKA My Winter Journey (2003)

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SYNOPSIS:

German filmmaker Vincent Dieutre is accompanied by a close friend’s teenage son on a trip to Berlin and in the process reminisces about his life as a gay man in his 2003 autobiographical documentary entitled Mon Voyage d’Hiver (My Voyage in Winter). Dieutre and his traveling companion, Itvan, visit numerous friends and landmarks, all holding special meaning to the 40-year-old filmmaker as they make their way to the German capital. As the pair grows closer as friends, Dieutre also takes on a paternalistic relationship with the boy as he details his own journey of self discovery — partially to assist Itvan with his own adult transformation, but also as a means for Dieutre’s own legacy to endure. My Voyage in Winter was selected for inclusion into the Forum Program of the 2003 Berlin International Film Festival.
~ Ryan Shriver, All Movie Guide Continue reading

Louis Malle – Le feu follet AKA The Fire Within [+Extras] (1963)

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THE FIRE WITHIN: DAY OF THE DEAD
When he shot The Fire Within in the spring of 1963, Louis Malle had already established a strong reputation. Incredibly precocious, he won a Palme d’Or at the age of twenty-four, at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival, for the underwater documentary The Silent World, photographed and codirected with oceanographer Jacques Cousteau. One year later he anticipated the French New Wave with Elevator to the Gallows, scored by Miles Davis and starring a young Jeanne Moreau, who also starred in his next film, The Lovers, which won a Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1958 and created a scandal with its explicit eroticism. His follow-up, an audacious 1960 adaptation of Raymond Queneau’s farcical novel Zazie dans le métro, further proved his fondness for literary sources, and 1962’s Vie privée created a stir by featuring Brigitte Bardot in one of her more complex roles. Continue reading

Jean Epstein – Finis terrae (1929) (HD)

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Polish-born Jean Epstein’s Finis Terrae is momentous.

While every film exists on a sliding scale of expression whose opposite poles are documentary and fiction, this film in particular does more than merely combine the two modes; it anticipates generic (as distinct from stylistic) attempts – poetic docudrama; Italian Neorealism – to fuse them. How successful Epstein’s film is remains in dispute; its importance is incontestable.

The initial action is set on Bannec, a Breton islet. It is summer. Two boys, in their teens or, perhaps, early twenties, are on the islet to work. These dear friends are Jean-Marie and Ambroise (played by Jean-Marie Laot and Ambroise Rouzic). They quarrel; Ambroise withdraws from Jean-Marie and another boy in their group as a cut finger causes infection and saps his health. Jean-Marie attempts to row himself to Ouessant, on the mainland, but hasn’t the strength. Braving the elements, which include dense fog, Jean-Marie takes over, attempting to bring Ambroise to a medical doctor; meanwhile, the doctor is heading to Bannec to attend to the sick boy. Will the two vessels miss one another in the fog and tragedy result?
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Andrzej Zulawski – Fidelite (2000)

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“Taking his cue from “La Princesse de Cleves”, France’s first serious historical novel, director Andrzej Zulawski boots it into the modern world and filters this story of fidelity versus desire through an ever-earnest – and very modish – photographer (Sophie Marceau) who is hired by a sleaze-merchant to add class to one of his scandal-sheets. She falls for the charming gaucheness of an editor (Pascal Greggory) but becomes hooked on a blunt, loutish photographer who looks unnervingly like a perfectly-realised mix of Liam and Noel Gallagher.” (Reviewed by Michael Thomson – bbc.co.uk/films/2000/11/28/la_fidelite_2000_review.shtml) Continue reading

Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi – Poulet aux prunes (2011)

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Tehran 1958 – Nasser Ali Khan, the most celebrated violin player, has his beloved instrument broken. Unable to find another to replace it, life without music seems intolerable. He stays in bed and slips further and further into his reveries from his youth to his own children’s futures. Over the course of the week that follows, and as the pieces of this captivating story fall into place, we understand his poignant secret and the profundity of his decision to give up life for music and love. Continue reading

François Reichenbach & Frédéric Rossif – Portrait: Orson Welles (1968)

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A famous French documentary director has chosen to match his talents with those of a powerful subject who talks on his youth, his formative years, his life and work. Reichenbach on Welles on Welles, one might say.

These recollections help to explain something of the creative processes of film making, comparing the behaviour of Welles the director and Welles the man. Orson at home, Orson interviewed at the Cannes Festival, Orson shooting a scene with Jeanne Moreau… Orson in portrait. No less. (MIFF) Continue reading