Vladimir Motyl – Zvezda plenitelnogo schastya aka The Captivating star of happiness (1975)

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Description: On December 14, 1825 the military units of the Russian army were supposed to swear their allegiance to the new czar, Nicholas I. But the young officers, the most liberal-minded people of their time, who abhorred the terrors of serfdom, decided to raise their regiments against the autocracy and bring democracy to the country. That was a great heroic feat of the best sons of Russia. However, the revolt had been brutally crushed. Some of its inspirators were executed, many sent to hard labor in Siberia. Following the convicted officers to Siberia were their wives who had left their aristocratic families and comfortable lifestyles. The film is dedicated to those remarkable Russian women. Continue reading

Gustav Machaty – Erotikon (1929)

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IMDb user comments:
75 years after the release of EROTIKON, I had a chance to see it in a modern cinema in Wroclaw (Poland). The wonderful experience was intensified by the live background music played by the members of Prague Archa theater. It was a lovely return to the end of silent era, the year 1929. The film EROTIKON, made by Gustav Machaty, caused controversy among the audiences of that time. What particularly shocked them was the way the director showed love scenes. Some admired it, some condemned it and, as a result, it was underrated and lost for years. Fortunately, the copy was found in the 1980s and restored for today’s audience who can admire the genius of Machaty. Continue reading

Franco Zeffirelli – Storia di una capinera aka Sparrow (1993)

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Synopsis:

Set in 1854 in the Sicilian town of Catania, the story follows beautiful young Maria who is freed from a convent when the town is evacuated after 12 years of forced seclusion by her evil stepmother. She finds love in the form of Nino, a family friend, but eventually she must return to the convent… Continue reading

Ferzan Ozpetek – Hamam AKA Steam: The Turkish Bath (1997)

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If postmodern marriage is between equals, Francesco (Alessandro Gassman) and Marta (Francesca d’Aloja) have been computer selected. He is slim, tall, charmless, cold. She is slim, tall, charmless, cold. He is irritable and insensitive to other people’s feelings. She is angry and sensitive to her own feelings. They bicker and fight and work for a design company (their own) in Rome. They fit neatly into the high-stress, workaholic, image-conscious lifestyle, in which eating and talking and loving is snatched between phone calls and client consultations. Continue reading

Kazimierz Kutz – Nikt nie wola aka Nobody’s calling. (1960)

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In 1960 Kazimierz Kutz’ second film NIKT NIE WOLA / NOBODY’S CALLING, based on a Jozef Hen novel that was never published in Poland, described the fate of Poles on the Eastern Front. Kutz used the film to explore new formal solutions, collaborating closely with cinematographer Jerzy Wojcik to reveal the psychological landscape of a pair of lovers who are strongly affected by wartime events. The camera recorded the couple’s inner experiences, contrasting their muted intimacy against the surrounding scenery of a ruined town. The film did not win over critics at the time of its release. It was not until later that critics recognized Kutz’s effort to experiment with aesthetics in a manner akin to that pursued by filmmakers of the new wave. NOBODY’S CALLING came to be compared with Michelangelo Antonioni’s THE ADVENTURE, which was produced around the same time. Continue reading

Alexandra-Therese Keining – Kyss mig AKA Kiss Me (2011)

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MIA (Ruth Vega Fernandez) and FRIDA (Liv Mjönes), both in their thirties, meet each other for the first time at their parents’ engagement party. Mia’s father, Lasse (Krister Henriksson), is about to get married to Frida’s mother, Elizabeth (Lena Endre), which will make Mia and Frida stepsisters. Lasse’s daughter, Mia, has not visited her father in years and arrives with her boyfriend, Tim (Joakim Nätterqvist), with whom she is about to get married. As Mia and Frida get to know one another, strong emotions begin to stir between them. Their relationship will turn everything upside down for everyone close to them with dramatic consequences. Continue reading