Yves Pelletier – Les Aimants AKA Love and Magnets (2004)

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Montreal Mirror wrote:

People tend to be cynical and derisive towards romantic comedies. Personally, I’m a softie and seeing people fall in love on screen always touches me. Then again, I’m aware that most entries in the rom-com genre are derivative and idiotic. But once in a blue moon, you find one that’s surprisingly original and intelligent. Les Aimants is such a film.

After five years abroad, Julie (Isabelle Blais) comes back to Montreal and crashes with her sister Jeanne (Sylvie Moreau), a woman who lies as she breathes. Jeanne is engaged to Noël (David Savard), a workaholic who’s never home, so they communicate through messages they leave on the refrigerator. When Jeanne leaves for a week of adultery with theremin virtuoso Manu (Emmanuel Bilodeau), she asks Julie to cover up for her by responding to Noël’s fridge notes. But Julie decides to get “positive revenge” on her seemingly heartless sister by making the messages she leaves more romantic… Continue reading

Ferzan Ozpetek – La Finestra di fronte aka The Window Opposite (2003)

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Giovanna is a bookeeper in a company which packs chickens. She is married to a man who has a precarious job. First she starts being curious about a young man who lives in the block opposite hers, and then she falls in love with him. The relationship between the two becomes much stronger when she starts to find out more about him from an old man who bursts into their lives. The old man, obsessed with the memories of some things that happened n the long past autumn of 1943, has lost his memory and finds refuge in Giovanna.
“Facing Windows (La Finestra di fronte)” is like a very European and more sophisticated take on “The Notebook,” as it shifts between romantic and culinary past and present through the in-and-out consciousness of an elderly man. The “Rear Window” eroticism is just one element that accidentally brings together tangled, stymied lives swirling around lovely, exhausted, frustrated chef, wife and mother Giovanna Mezzogiorno, where each child, man, woman, friend and neighbor has separate priorities and fantasies that annoying real life interferes with, from the practical to the political. Continue reading

Diane Kurys – Les Enfants du siècle AKA The Children of the Century (1999)

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Plot summary from IMDB:
The only thing more outrageous than French novelist George Sand’s torrid love affair with the decadent author Alfred de Musset and her affinity for wearing men’s clothing, was the content of her writing. Though Sand (otherwise known as the Baroness Dudevant) smoked cigars and cross-dressed, it was the boldness of her writing on issues such as the abstinence of marriage and women’s frigidity that most contributed to the scandalous reputation she earned in French literary circles. When she met Alfred de Musset, the most gifted poet of his generation, the two quickly became a public cause celebrity while their work would go on to become some of the finest examples of 19th century romanticism. Continue reading

Andrey Konchalovskiy – Maria’s Lovers (1984)

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Quote:
Ivan Bibic returns to his Pittsburgh PA suburb after surviving a Japanse POW camp, causing regular nightmares. All the time he remained faithfully devoted to his childhood love, fellow ethnic Yugoslavian virgin Maria Bosic. She dates him again, thus ruining a virtual engagement to captain Al Griselli. Against Ivan’s dad’s advice, they get married. But Ivan became psychologically impotent, feels unworthy of her and starts wondering, even looking for another girl. Meanwhile slick guitar-and-song-busker Clarence Butts moves in to South-Western PA, and seduces Maria. Continue reading

Nobuhiko Ôbayashi – Toki o kakeru shôjo AKA The Little Girl Who Conquered Time (1983)

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Quote:
Tomoyo Harada is an average student in high school. She has an old friend Toshinori Omi who goes to the same school, and Ryoichi Takayanagi who is also her classmate, but is not quite the old friend she thinks he is. One day after a routine cleaning of the school’s chem lab, she starts to experience a time warp in her life where she experiences the same event multiple times. Quite by accident, she is getting drawn into the plan that came from the future. She soon discovers why she is experiencing the time warp. Continue reading

Stanley Haynes – Carnival (1946)

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Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Of the many films (English and American) bearing the title Carnival, only one was based on the Compton MacKenzie novel of the same name. This 1946 melodrama stars Sally Gray as a 19th century ballet dancer who makes an unfortunate career move by marrying a taciturn Cornish farmer (Bernard Miles). Sally soon longs for the bright lights of the big city, and for the arms of her artist lover (Michael Wilding). Her husband is all too aware of this; and when the lover comes calling to renew the affair, the husband shoots Gray to death. The first film version of Compton MacKenzie’s Carnival was filmed in 1931 as Dance Pretty Lady. Continue reading

Atif Yilmaz – Hayallerim, askim ve sen (1987)

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From IMDB:
Coskun (Oguz Tunc;), who grew up in an orphanage, has been in love with the very famous film star Derya Altinay (Turkan Soray) all of his life. His only purpose in life is to meet her one day and write a film script for her. He is so much in love with her that he believes that he lives with the two film characters which she performed in her old movies. However these two old characters do not want him to write an original script for Derya Altinay as they will be forgotten when a new character is created. So, they start an emotional war to prevent him from writing his script. Written by Zeki Giritli Continue reading