Bad Lieutenant director Abel Ferrara takes the helm of this allegorical drama concerning an actress locked in the throes of a profound spiritual crisis, and the affect that it has on both the director of her latest film and a New York journalist. Marie Palesi (Juliette Binoche) is a major European screen star who has just finished shooting her latest film, a revisionist religious drama directed by maverick American film director Tony Childress (Matthew Modine). In the film, Palesi portrayed the character of Mary Magdalene not as a common prostitute, but a full-fledged disciple whose power struggle with Peter set the stage for centuries of controversy. But the role has had a greater impact on Palesi than anyone could have foreseen, and after the shoot wraps, she makes the decision to remain in the Middle East and make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. A year later, New York investigative journalist Ted Younger (Forest Whitaker) is producing a week-long network series examining the historical facts about Jesus Christ. After attending a screening for Childress’ film, Younger contacts the director about the possibility of interviewing both himself and Palesi for the project. Unfortunately for Younger, Palesi has disappeared and Younger has no idea how to track her down. But while married journalist Younger is currently having an affair with an actress (Marion Cotillard) who just happens to know Palesi’s number in Jerusalem, convincing the elusive starlet to appear on his special will pose a whole new set of challenges. by Jason Buchanan Continue reading
A mosaic of several intertwined stories questioning the meaning of life, love and hope, set during the last six days in the life of Eluana Englaro, a young woman who spent 17 years in a vegetative state.
With typical intelligence and complexity, director Marco Bellocchio weaves three stories around the politically hot topic of euthanasia, turning a real-life Italian national drama into engrossing narrative for sophisticated audiences. Refusing to offer easy answers or perspectives, Dormant Beauty is directed in such a way it doesn’t need to take a clear-cut position on the question, because like all the director’s work it has no concern with convincing people of anything, but a great deal of interest in illuminating contemporary Italian society. Its unqualified success in doing so should make it a full-fledged contender for a major prize at Venice and help it to closely imitate the international sales of his recent work. Continue reading
Independent filmmaker Carmelo Bene makes his debut in this feature that concerns the murder of the Saracens in the city of Otranto centuries ago. Our Lady appears at various time in the film, symbolic of the carnal desires and spiritual dreams of all men. Flashbacks and avant garde cinematic techniques provide passages of erotica and black humor on occasion. The story was taken from Bene’s own novel as the author oversees all aspects of writing, production and direction in this experimental and provocative film. Continue reading
This experimental film by the maverick Italian director Carmelo Bene is a free adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play Salome and is even more irreverent than the original. In this film, Bene carries the New Testament story beyond the incident with Herod, and pictures Christ nailing himself to the cross, unable (of course) to finish the task. This film uses many musical and filmic special effects and includes at least one pornographic sequence and a number of sadistic ones. ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide Continue reading
A young American dancer travels to Europe to join a famous ballet school. As she arrives, the camera turns to another young woman, who appears to be fleeing from the school. She returns to her apartment where she is gruesomely murdered by a hideous creature. Meanwhile, the young American is trying to settle in at the ballet school, but hears strange noises and is troubled by bizarre occurrences. She eventually discovers that the school is merely a front for a much more sinister organization.
source = IMDB
Michael is the younger son of a middle-class family, a strong-willed and free-thinking fellow, who is off in some distant country fighting for a revolutionary cause. Everyone in the family writes to him, describing the events of their lives, as they drift into a kind of conventionality which would perhaps have horrified them earlier. Only Michael’s girlfriend Mara (Mariangela Melato), the mother of his child, retains her independence, even though it is through the help of Michael’s increasingly conventional friends and family that she survives. (allmovie) Continue reading
Luciano is a charming fishmonger whose unexpected and sudden obsession with being a contestant on a reality show leads him down a rabbit hole of skewed perceptions and paranoia. Continue reading