France

Nikos Papatakis – Gloria mundi aka Tortura (1976)

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The young actress Galai is hired by his friend and director Hamdias to interpret a film
denouncing the torture of suspected terrorists during the war of Algeria. The woman,
using audio recordings made during the torture, practices the worst violence on
herself to make her own interpretation as realistic as possible, to confuse reality with
fiction. Galai, as the character she plays, is a part, along with her lover, a subversive
movement. In an attempt to rejoin Hamdias is forced to flee an exhausting marked by
humiliation and betrayal that ends in an unpredictable finish. Read More »

Anne-Sophie Birot – Les Filles ne Savent pas Nager aka Girls Can’t Swim (2000)

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Quote:
Even though they grew up in opposite parts of France, Gwen (Isild Le Besco) and Lise (Karen Alyx) are best friends and spend every summer vacation together on the Brittany coast where Gwen lives and Lise’s family has a summer home. But this summer is different because Lise’s family isn’t going on vacation for reasons that she won’t explain to Gwen. Sick of her parents bickering about money and missing her bosom buddy, Gwen finds a boyfriend and mingles with some horny out-of-towners. Now fifteen, she’s discovered that summer can be fun even if Lise isn’t there. Then suddenly, Lise shows up at Gwen’s house uninvited to stay for a couple of weeks. The following days are filled with unexpected surprises, causing the girls to reevaluate the importance of their friendship and the nature of their teenage anxieties. Anne-Sophie Birot’s first feature delicately captures the intimacy and uncertainty between two teenage girls whose lives are teetering on the verge of adulthood. The performances by newcomers Isild Le Besco and Karen Alyx are impressive for the subtle shifts in mood they express between wanting to be independent of one another while still remaining inseparable.
Read More »

Jean-Luc Godard – Pierrot le fou [+Extras] (1965)

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Synopsis:
Dissatisfied in marriage and life, Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) takes to the road with the babysitter, his ex-lover Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina), and leaves the bourgeoisie behind. Yet this is no normal road trip: genius auteur Jean-Luc Godard’s tenth feature in six years is a stylish mash-up of consumerist satire, politics, and comic-book aesthetics, as well as a violent, zigzag tale of, as Godard called them, “the last romantic couple.” With blissful color imagery by cinematographer Raoul Coutard and Belmondo and Karina at their most animated, Pierrot le fou is one of the high points of the French new wave, and was Godard’s last frolic before he moved ever further into radical cinema. Read More »

Eric Pauwels – Lettre d’un cinéaste à sa fille (2000)

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Quote:
“Lettre d’un cinéaste à sa fille” est un film artisanal et libre, un film personnel et ludique, un film tissé de mille histoires et cousu de différentes textures, un livre d’images où un cinéaste prend position par rapport au cinéma et donne à voir les visages et les histoires qu’il veut partager.

Quote:
“Lettre d’un cinéaste à sa fille” est plus qu’un très grand film, c’est un film tout simplement et c’est formidable de la part d’Eric Pauwels de l’avoir voulu ainsi, aussi simple et aussi clair que le regard d’un enfant.
Philippe Simon

Quote:
“Lettre d’un cinéaste à sa fille” is a playful, free and personal film in the form of a letter, a film interwoven with a thousand stories knit together with different textures, a book of images where a filmmaker shows the images and the stories he wants to share. Read More »

Yves Allégret – Une si jolie petite plage aka Riptide (1949)

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Summary
One rainy night, a stranger arrives in a nondescript seaside town and checks into a cheap hotel. All that is known about him is his name – Pierre – and everyone he meets is suspicious of him. He appears to know the area well; he looks to be in good health. But why is he here? Why is he so sad? The answers emerge when another man appears on the scene, an acquaintance of Pierre who knows the crime that he has committed and who intends to use the information to his own advantage… Read More »

Michel Reilhac – Polissons et galipettes aka The Good Old Naughty Days (2002)

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This astonishing, scintillating collection from the silent era, most of which are from the 1920s, are genuine, legitimate and by today’s hardcore standards, amazingly charming, pornographic short films that leave nothing to the imagination. From predictable fantasy scenarios – monk spies on, then joins naughty nuns; teacher must spank naughty schoolgirls – to more esoteric fare (homosexuality and animal ecstasy, to name just two), vintage porn has never been more accessible…or attainable. The shorts in The Good Old Naughty Days were primarily designed to be shown in the waiting rooms of brothels, amusing patrons – and no doubt giving them some ideas – as they awaited their girl. They also reveal production standards far in advance of comparable films being made elsewhere at the time, as well as an inventive and often humorous array of diverse couplings. These films were usually created in a haphazard fashion in an afternoon with friends and local prostitutes lending a hand for a few cents. All of them requested to remain anonymous, which makes it impossible to identify who really acted or directed them. For this reason, it is rather delightful to watch these “actors” often having to readjust their wigs and fake moustaches in the middle of their scenes so as not to be recognized unmasked. It is nevertheless touching to see how fresh and naïve these films look in comparison with today’s X-rated film productions. Considering the age of these films, it is miraculous that they have been rediscovered and restored. These films are a part of our heritage and certainly a part of the secret history of cinema. In their own amusing way, these images involve us in a very direct, physical and intimate relationship with the good old days. These films have been restored by the Archives of the Centre National de la Cinématographie in France. Read More »

Jean-Claude Brisseau – À l’aventure (2009)

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A sexually unfulfilled young woman embarks on a series of graphic erotic encounters and becomes involved with a student of psychoanalysis who offers to put her under hypnosis. Yes, the notorious Jean-Claude Brisseau, director of The Exterminating Angels and Secret Things, is back with his latest provocation. Another idiosyncratic philosophical meditation on the enigmas of female sexuality, it features the director’s latest discovery, Carole Brana. Pretentious smut for high-brows, a dirty old man’s fantasies writ large, or a profound and daring exploration of society’s sexual taboos? You decide. Read More »