1971. Delphine is 23. The daughter of a farmer, she loves the countryside and working the land with her father, but the restrictions of provincial life drive her to Paris. There she meets Carole, 35, who lives with Manuel and is actively involved in the emerging feminist movement. Delphine immediately falls in love with this woman who is so free and independent. And Carol’s life is completely overturned. When Delphine finds she has to return to the farm, Carole decides to follow her there. But in the countryside, the couple has to face a different reality. Continue reading
Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, Jules and Jim charts, over twenty-five years, the relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession. The legendary François Truffaut directs, and Jeanne Moreau stars as the alluring and willful Catherine, whose enigmatic smile and passionate nature lure Jules (Oskar Werner) and Jim (Henri Serre) into one of cinema’s most captivating romantic triangles. An exuberant and poignant meditation on freedom, loyalty, and the fortitude of love, Jules and Jim was a worldwide smash in 1962 and remains every bit as audacious and entrancing today. Continue reading
Dekalog was made for Polish TV as a series of ten films, each just under an hour in length, inspired by one of the Ten Commandments (the Decalogue), set in contemporary Warsaw in and around the same apartment block. Dekalog V and VI also exist in re-edited versions just under an hour and a half each for cinema release, under the titles A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love respectively.
As well as being set in and around the same apartment block, the films are linked in other ways. Major characters in one part make walk-ons in another. An ethical dilemma mentioned by one of Zofia’s students in VIII is the very one that drives the plot of II. And in all but two of the films there appears a mysterious young man (Artur Barcis), who appears, looking on, at important moments. Continue reading
In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the rules of The City, are taken to The Hotel, a restrictive regime where they are obliged to find a matching mate in forty-five days. If an occupant manages to find a partner among others, the new couple is given a month to try to live together in a special section of the facility, after which they are freed; failing results in being killed and reincarnated in an animal of one’s own choice, and sent off into The Woods surrounding the structure. Continue reading
The American missionary Megan Davis arrives in Shanghai during the Chinese Civil War to marry the missionary Dr. Robert Strife. However, Robert postpones their wedding to rescue some orphans in an orphanage in Chapei section that is burning in the middle of a battlefield. While returning to Shanghai with the children, they are separated in the crowd, Megan is hit in the head and knocked out, but is saved by General Yen and brought by train to his palace. As the days go by, the General’s mistress Mah-Li becomes close to Megan and when she is accused of betrayal for giving classified information to the enemies, Megan asks for her life. The cruel General Yen falls in love for the naive and pure Megan and accepts her request to spare the life of Mah-Li against the will of his financial advisor Jones. Meanwhile Megan feels attracted by the powerful and gentle General Yen, but resists to his flirtation. When Mah-Li betrays General Yen and destroys his empire, Megan realizes that to be able … Continue reading
You Can’t Take It with You is a classic case of good old-fashioned American optimism, a celebration of family and small-town values courtesy of Frank Capra, who made a distinguished career out of such things. By the time of its release in 1938 films like It Happened One Night and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town had already made Capra a household name, a premiere chronicler of the Depression era national mood and a primary spokesman for cinema’s ability to serve as a tonic, spreading good cheer among audiences that had experienced too little of it.
That history looms over every frame of what is one of the original quirky family dramedies, a direct ancestor of the entire genre of independent filmmaking devoted to such ventures today. It instills even the more banal, dated moments with particular resonance. One can sense in Capra’s joyful indulgence of the sheer chaotic nature of the life of the Sycamore family a fervent quest to entertain by outdoing even the most outlandish antics displayed in the film’s contemporaries, which remain some of the most memorable screwball comedies ever made. Continue reading
Four courageous college graduates become heroes when they successfully complete a 15-hour coast-to-coast plane flight. Alas, things don’t go so well for the foursome when they return to earth to seek out employment. Chris Thring (Charles Farrell) has a particularly rough time of it, but his sweetheart Catherine Furness (Janet Gaynor) remains faithful through thick and thin. Trouble brews in the form of Chris and Catherine’s mutual friends Mack McGowan (James Dunn) and Madge Rountree (Ginger Rogers): Catherine thinks Chris is in love with Madge, while Mack falls in love with Chris? and on and on it goes. Shirley Temple shows up in the early scenes as a plane passenger, while that grand old trouper Gustav von Seyfertitz sheds his usual villainous image as the film’s avuncular last-minute problem-solver. Change of Heart is based on a novel by Kathleen Norris. Continue reading