Jack Conway – Arsène Lupin (1932)

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Synopsis by Mark Deming
John Barrymore plays a burglar and his brother Lionel Barrymore is the detective trying to catch him in this cleverly cast drama. An upscale thief who works under the name of Arsene Lupin is making the rounds of the homes of the wealthy and privileged, and Detective Guerchard (Lionel Barrymore) is determined to track him down. What he doesn’t know is that the suave and sophisticated Duke of Charmerace (John Barrymore) is actually the man behind the robberies. Will Guerchard find out the thief’s true identity before he can execute a daring theft from the Louvre Museum? Karen Morely co-stars as Sonia, the Duke’s love interest. Continue reading

George Fitzmaurice – Arsène Lupin Returns (1938)

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Synopsis by Hal Erickson
This follow-up to MGM’s 1932 John Barrymore vehicle Arsene Lupin stars the ineluctable Melvyn Douglas. Reported to be dead, suave gentleman jewel thief Arsene Lupin (Douglas) resurfaces under the assumed name of Rene Farrand. Intending to follow the straight and narrow path, Lupin/Farrand reverts to his old larcenous ways when the opportunity to pilfer $250,000 in gems presents itself. Slowing down our hero somewhat is the presence of hotshot American private eye Steve Emerson (Warren William) and glamorous adventuress Lorraine de Grissac (Virginia Bruce). Ironically, both Melvyn Douglas and Warren William also played thief-turned-sleuth Michael Lanyard, aka “The Lone Wolf”, over at Columbia. Continue reading

Andrea Staka – Cure: The Life of Another (2014)

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Quote:
1993, Dubrovnik after the siege. The city is still shaken and wounded by the horrors of war and the traces of that agonizing past-present are still visible on the walls of houses but above all in the minds and hearts of its inhabitants. One day Linda and her best friend Eta get lost in mountains of Dubrovnik. The two girls sink into an ambiguous and sexually-charged game of switching roles and identities which culminates in a fatal fall. Alone, in a country that she no longer fully understands, Linda loses herself; her personality splits in two: on the one hand her inner self and on the other the far away and persistent echo of her deceased friend… Continue reading

David Lynch – Inland Empire (2006)

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Quote:
There are, in the movies, few places creepier to spend time than in David Lynch’s head. It is a head where the wild things grow, twisting and spreading like vines, like fingers, and taking us in their captive embrace. Over the last three decades these wild things have laid siege to us even as they have mutated: the deformed baby of “Eraserhead” evolving into the anguished distortions of “The Elephant Man,” the Reagan-era surrealism of “Blue Velvet,” the serial home invasion in “Twin Peaks” and the meta-cinematic masterpiece “Mulholland Drive,” a dispatch from that smog-choked boulevard of broken dreams called Hollywood. Continue reading

Alfred Hitchcock – Murder! (1930)

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An actress in a travelling theatre group is murdered and Diana Baring, another member of the group is found suffering from amnesia standing by the body. Diana is tried and convicted of the murder, but Sir John Menier a famous actor on the jury is convinced of her innocence. Sir John sets out to find the real murderer before Diana’s death sentence is carried out. Continue reading

Béla Tarr – Werckmeister harmóniák AKA Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)

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Synopsis:

This story takes place in a small town on the Hungarian Plain. In a provincial town, which is surrounded with nothing else but frost. It is bitterly cold weather – without snow. It is twenty degrees below zero. Even in this bewildered cold hundreds of people are standing around the circus tent, which is put up in the main square, to see – as the outcome of their wait – the chief attraction, the stuffed carcass of a real whale. The people are coming from everywhere. From the neighbouring settlings, from different holes of the Plain, even from quite far away parts of the country. They are following this clumsy monster as a dumb, faceless, rag-wearing crowd. This strange state of affairs – the appearance of the foreigners, the extreme frost – disturbs the order of the small town. The human connections are overturning, the ambitious personages of the story feel they can take advantage of this situation, while the people who are condemned anyway to passivity fall into an even deeper uncertainty. The tension growing to the unbearable is brought to explosion by the figure of the Prince, who is pretending facelessness and is lying low behind the whale. Even his mere appearance is enough to break loose the destroying emotions. The apocalypse that sweeps away everything spares nothing. I does not spare the outsiders wrapped up in scientificness, does not spare the teenage enthusiasts, the people who have philistine fears for ease, the family – nothing that the European culture preserved as from of attitude in the last centuries. Continue reading