Alan Parker – The Commitments (1991)

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Foul-mouthed, fast-talking and very funny, this is Parker’s best to date. It’s an intentionally ‘small’ movie that treats a familiar subject (kids forming a rock band) with a deft intimacy. But as the young hopefuls from Dublin’s working-class Northside go through the round of auditions, rehearsals and gigs, it becomes clear that the film is big in heart. For Parker and his excellent, mostly non-professional cast are indeed committed to characters, milieu and music: classics from Otis, Wilson Pickett, Aretha et al. For one thing, the script precisely captures both the witty banter and the modest dreams of the streetwise kids. For another, Parker never over-emphasises the unemployment and poverty, nor does he glamorise the band. The result is a gritty, naturalistic comedy blessed with a wry, affectionate eye for the absurdities of the band’s various rivalries and ambitions; and the songs are matchless. Continue reading Alan Parker – The Commitments (1991)

Elisabeta Bostan – Ma-ma AKA Rock’n Roll Wolf (1976)

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IMDB:
An enchanting film combining beautiful costumes, fun music and excellent ballet performance
5 March 2005 | by (natalivogue@yahoo.com) (United Kingdom)

I saw this film as a child in a small town cinema in Soviet Union, was completely mesmerised by it and since then was looking for it everywhere. Finally, we managed to get a video from Romania. I was so happy. It’s an enchanting, original, musical fairy-tale with a bit of rock’n’roll. The costumes and the music are Romanian indeed, but there are also wonderful Russian actors in main roles. I especially love Mihail Boyarski as the bad guy – the Wolf. There’s also a ballet performance from Bolshoi, and beautiful ballet on ice from Moscow. The film just has so much beauty and energy in it. I recommend it to all children and their parents. Unforgettable experience! Continue reading Elisabeta Bostan – Ma-ma AKA Rock’n Roll Wolf (1976)

Charles Vidor – A Song to Remember (1945)

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A Song to Remember is a 1945 Columbia Pictures biographical film which tells a ficitonalised life story of pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin.
The film starred Paul Muni, Merle Oberon, Cornel Wilde, Stephen Bekassy and Nina Foch.

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Review from IMDb:
“A Song to Remember” is supposed to be the life of Chopin but in fact, very little in it is historically accurate. It’s still a beautiful, emotional, and sumptuous movie, filled with the heavenly music of Chopin played by Jose Iturbi.
“A Song to Remember” helped to popularize Chopin’s romantic, passionate music and launched Cornel Wilde’s star into the heavens. Though he’s never done much for me personally, he cuts a dashing figure as Chopin. Continue reading Charles Vidor – A Song to Remember (1945)

Martin Scorsese – No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005)

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IMDB:
Portrait of an artist as a young man. Roughly chronological, using archival footage intercut with recent interviews, a story takes shape of Bob Dylan’s (b. 1941) coming of age from 1961 to 1966 as a singer, songwriter, performer, and star. He takes from others: singing styles, chord changes, and rare records. He keeps moving: on stage, around New York City and on tour, from Suze Rotolo to Joan Baez and on, from songs of topical witness to songs of raucous independence, from folk to rock. He drops the past. He refuses, usually with humor and charm, to be simplified, classified, categorized, or finalized: always becoming, we see a shapeshifter on a journey with no direction home. Continue reading Martin Scorsese – No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005)

Mike De Leon – Kakabakaba ka ba? AKA Will Your Heart Beat Faster? (1980)

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Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (lit. Does Your Heart Beat Faster?) is a 1980 musical-romantic comedy film produced by LVN Pictures (in its last offering) in 1980, with Mike De Leon as director.

The film revolves on two couples who found themselves in conflict with the foreign commercial giants that control the Philippine economy, the Japanese and the Chinese. Moreover, it involved the Catholic Church which has a stranglehold on the Philippine society itself. The film reflects on the Philippine economy and society being primarily controlled by other forces for their own benefits and become instruments in performing illegal activities. Actors Christopher de Leon, Sandy Andolong, Jay Ilagan and Charo Santos starred as main cast in the film, while Johnny Delgado and APO Hiking Society’s Boboy Garovillo portrayed as main villains. Continue reading Mike De Leon – Kakabakaba ka ba? AKA Will Your Heart Beat Faster? (1980)

Chantal Akerman – Golden Eighties AKA Window Shopping (1986)

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Synopsis:
Three young women at a hair salon all like the son of the clothing store proprietors across the mall. Although Robby is selfish and shallow, he’s appealing to Lili, the salon’s manager, who’s trendy and also the salon-owner’s moll; to Mado, who’s innocent and sweet; and to Pascale, who’s intelligent but passive and downcast. Robby’s dad tells him to grow up and see beyond the mercurial Lili, so he proposes suddenly to Mado. She’s delighted, but the day before the wedding, Lili returns to give Robby another look. In the background, a Yank who was a soldier in France in World War II returns to Paris and tries to recapture the love of his wartime sweetheart, Robby’s mom.
Continue reading Chantal Akerman – Golden Eighties AKA Window Shopping (1986)