Jacques Rivette – Duelle (une quarantaine) AKA Twilight (A Quarantine) (1976)

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Duelle seems to have been instantly cursed just by being the follow-up to Celine and Julie Go Boating, to this day the only Rivette film that the average buff concerns himself with ( and oh, how wrongly. ) Having finally gotten a chance to watch the film, I can see why. Where Celine and Julie could furnish a thousand college students with thesis papers on feminine play vs. masculine order, and the construction of meaning through the assumption of various roles associated with gender, and so forth, Duelle drops the intellectual ballast completely. Rivette outs himself as a mystic with this film, closer to charlatan-geniuses like Stockhausen or Rasputin than to Godard. This movie is almost like a Rosetta Stone, more dense and concentrated than anything else he’s done, that the future expert will be able to use to decode his work. Continue reading

Kôji Wakamatsu – Erotikkuna kankei aka Les Liaisons Erotiques [+Extra] (1992)

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Synopsis:
Set in Paris, the plot (despite the title, not even dangerously close to Laclos as has been suggested elsewhere) concerns a low-key private detective agency run by Rie and her buffoonish partner Kishin (ex-rockstar Uchida), two expats who tick along between cases by giving guided tours of the city to busloads of Japanese tourists. After the wealthy Okuyama (Kitano) hires them to trail his French mistress Loren (Galin) whom he believes to be having an affair, the feeble-willed Kishin finds himself seduced by this femme fatale and way out of his depth in a seamy underworld of rich Japanese businessmen, S&M games and huge piles of money. Meanwhile Rie is being wined and dined by Okuyama who seems to have a hidden agenda all of his own. – Continue reading

Jacek Koprowicz – Medium (1985)

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Suspenseful for most of its length, though a letdown at the end, this psychic thriller is about four very different people who are drawn to one particular place in the town of Sopot, a resort on the Baltic Sea. The time is 1933, and it so happens that 50 years earlier, a foul murder was committed here. Involved in that offense were four people who are dead-ringers for the four now gathering in Sopot. The modern versions of the four dead people are a police commissioner, a schoolteacher, a hunchback, and someone who just happens to be visiting from Berlin. As the police commissioner begins to gather evidence, he comes to the conclusion that this murder might just be a cyclical occurrence. Continue reading

György Pálfi – Szabadesés AKA Free Fall (2014)

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Seven floors, seven identically built apartments yet completely different worlds. Seven situations, seven different stories that are nevertheless tied together by thousand strings. They are absurd, often times mysterious mocking glasses of reality as we know it. Like images of an exhibition, these stories are authentic per se, created in different styles and genres, thus told in different ways. It is exactly this diversity that organizes these stories into one peculiar tale. Continue reading

Billy Wilder – Fedora (1978)

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Synopsis:
‘The former successful and famous Polish actress Fedora commits suicide at the Mortcerf Station, jumping off in front of a train. The broken Hollywood producer Barry ‘Dutch’ Detweiler attends the funeral at her house in Paris and recalls that he might have caused her death. Two weeks ago, Dutch traveled to Greece Island of Corfu seeking Fedora out in the Vila Calypso, located in an isolated island owned by the bitter Countess Sobryanski. Fedora has been living an unsocial reclusive life for the last years in the villa with the countess, the plastic surgeon Doctor Vando and her assistant Miss Balfour, since she abandoned the set of a film that she was shooting in London with Michael York. Dutch brings the screenplay with a version of “Anna Karenina” to offer to Fedora, with the promise that investors would finance the film if Fedora accepts the lead role. Fedora, who is impressively young, is receptive to the offer, but the countess and the doctor tell that she is mentally unstable and can not act again…’
– Claudio Carvalho Continue reading