Lucio Fulci – Murderock – uccide a passo di danza AKA Murder Rock (1984)

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SYNOPSIS
The brutal worlds of murder and dance school competitions are thrown together in yet another lurid Lucio Fulci giallo. When an insane hatpin murderer terrorizes a prestigious New York dance school, mercilessly poking nubile young women deep into their competitive little hearts. Is it one of the students, jealous of competitive placement? Is it the voyeuristic headmaster, who watches the students through his many lurid security cameras? Perhaps it’s even a jealous boyfriend? (DVDActive) Continue reading

Bruno Dumont – Coincoin et les z’inhumains AKA CoinCoin and the Extra-Human (2018)

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Coincoin and the Extra Humans review: Bruno Dumont raises a stink in a small town

| Sight & Sound

Ben Nicholson 15 August 2018

There was something rotten in the soil of northern France in Bruno Dumont’s blackly comic mini-series, P’tit Quinquin (2014). A four-episode television mystery that was also released as a single feature film, it was a confounding and macabre parody of a procedural police drama filled with unexpected (for the famously serious filmmaker), and often uncomfortable, laughs. It followed a bumbling duo of gendarmes as they investigated a sequence of grisly deaths in the environs of a small town as a group of mischievous kids, led by the eponymous Quinquin, watched on. Continue reading

Roy Del Ruth – The Maltese Falcon (1931)

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Synopsis:
Sam Spade is quite the womanizer. When his secretary tells him the new customer waiting outside his office is a knockout, he wastes no time before seeing her. It turns out she’s a knockout with money. And she wants to spend it on his services as a private detective. She has some story about wanting to protect her sister. Neither he nor his partner, Miles Archer, believes it. But with the money she’s paying, who cares? The job proves to be more dangerous than either of them expected. It involves not just the lovely dame with the dangerous lies, but also the sweaty Casper Gutman, the fey Joel Cairo, and the thuggish young Wilmer Cook. Three crooks, and all of them are looking for the statuette of a black bird they call the Maltese Falcon. Continue reading

Roman Polanski – The Ninth Gate (1999)

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Plot :
Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) is a New York City rare-book dealer motivated solely by financial gain. Wealthy book collector Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) hires Corso to authenticate his recently acquired copy of the seventeenth-century author Aristide Torchia’s book The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows, reputedly a version of a book whose author was the devil himself. The book contains nine engravings that, when correctly interpreted and the legends properly spoken, will raise the Devil. Since two other copies exist, Balkan suspects that the book might be a forgery, and asks Corso to travel to Europe determine whether his or any of the other two are genuine and, if so, to acquire them for Balkan, at any cost or by any means. Continue reading

Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here (2017)

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Quote:
Balancing between feverish dreamlike hallucinations of a tormented past and a grim disoriented reality, the grizzled Joe–a traumatised Gulf War veteran and now an unflinching hired gun who lives with his frail elderly mother–has just finished yet another successful job. With an infernal reputation of being a brutal man of results, the specialised in recovering missing teens enforcer will embark on a blood-drenched rescue mission, when Nina, the innocent 13-year-old daughter of an ambitious New York senator, never returns home. But amidst half-baked leads and a desperate desire to shake off his shoulders the heavy burden of a personal hell, Joe’s frenzied plummet into the depths of Tartarus is inevitable, and every step Joe takes to flee the pain, brings him closer to the horrors of insanity. In the end, what is real, and what is a dream? Can there be a new chapter in Joe’s life when he keeps running around in circles? Continue reading

John Huston – The Maltese Falcon (1941)

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Synopsis:
‘Spade and Archer is the name of a San Francisco detective agency. That’s for Sam Spade and Miles Archer. The two men are partners, but Sam doesn’t like Miles much. A knockout, who goes by the name of Miss Wanderly, walks into their office; and by that night everything’s changed. Miles is dead. And so is a man named Floyd Thursby. It seems Miss Wanderly is surrounded by dangerous men. There’s Joel Cairo, who uses gardenia-scented calling cards. There’s Kasper Gutman, with his enormous girth and feigned civility. Her only hope of protection comes from Sam, who is suspected by the police of one or the other murder. More murders are yet to come, and it will all be because of these dangerous men – and their lust for a statuette of a bird: the Maltese Falcon.’
– J. Spurlin (IMDb) Continue reading

Jeremy Kagan – The Big Fix (1978)

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Synopsis:
A former 1960s student activist turned private detective searches for missing Berkeley activist with whom he shared the barricades.
Moses Wine is contacted by Lila, an old flame back from his radical college days. She wants him to work for Miles Hawthorne, who is a candidate running for governor of California. Moses is told that a flyer is being distributed around the state with a doctored photo of Hawthorne with a 1960s radical named Howard Eppis — a fugitive who had been convicted in absentia for inciting violence against the government — falsely claiming that Eppis is supporting him for governor. This libel is a clear attempt to destroy Hawthorne’s chances for being elected. Moses sets out to find out who is responsible — with deadly results. Continue reading