Claude Chabrol – Le boucher (1970)

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Synopsis:
During a wedding celebration in a small rural French village, schoolteacher Helene (Stephane Audran) strikes up a conversation with the local butcher Popaul (Jean Yanne), who has just returned from a fifteen year spell in the army. As their unlikely friendship blossoms into a tentative courtship, the town falls victim to a serial killer preying on the women of the village. Just as Helene finds herself falling for Popaul, she simultaneously begins to suspect him of being the murderer. As the tension builds, the truth is revealed, leading to an explosive climax. Continue reading

Michael Winterbottom – Butterfly Kiss (1995)

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Quote:
Winterbottom’s theatrical feature debut Butterfly Kiss was released into UK theatres in August 1995. Set in a dystopian environment limited almost entirely to motorways, service stations and motels, it charted the dysfunctional lesbian relationship between the violent and erratic Eunice (Amanda Plummer) and the credulous Miriam (Saskia Reeves). In so doing it offered up a portrayal of Britain that had not previously been seen on its cinema screens. Although the film garnered mixed responses, a couple of reviewers such as Derek Malcolm seized on it as heralding the arrival of a remarkable new talent in British cinema (2). Indeed, the film was to lay out many of the themes and techniques that would come to define Winterbottom’s oeuvre. Continue reading

Santiago Mitre – La patota (2015)

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Paulina is a young lawyer with a promising career in Buenos Aires, who chooses to go back to her home town. Her father, Fernando, is a well known judge. Against his will, Paulina decides to teach in a suburban high school as part of an inclusion program. One night, after the second week working there, she’s brutally assaulted by a gang. With the disapproval of the people around her, she decides to go back to work, in the neighborhood where she was attacked, without realizing that her attackers may be even closer than she thought Continue reading

Narciso Ibáñez Serrador – La residencia AKA The House That Screamed (1969)

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PLOT
Welcome to La Residencia, a borderline reform school packed with over-blossoming maidens and presided over by a whacked-out head-mistress played to the hilt by Lili Palmer. It’s true that the murder “mystery” is instantly guessable, but this is a beautifully made gothic chiller with superb performances all around. Also features great cinematography and music. The award-winning script is steeped in classical references and reveals a swirling morass of sexual and political repression. A moody, spooky masterpiece. Continue reading

Joann Sfar – La dame dans l’auto avec des lunettes et un fusil AKA The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (2015)

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Quote:
A secretary steals her boss’ car to go joyriding. She visits a seaside town she swears she’s never been to, but everyone knows her name. And when a body turns up in the trunk of the car, she is the lead suspect in a murder she knows nothing about. Is she going crazy? Continue reading

René Clément – Plein soleil AKA Purple Noon [+Extras] (1960)

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Synopsis:
‘Tom Ripley and Philippe Greenleaf are lately inseparable friends. They’re both idling in Europe, but on papa Greenleaf’s dime. Philippe’s fiancee Marge feels sorry for Tom but resents his presence, while Philippe’s other friend, Freddie, considers Tom Ripley a worthless moocher. But there’s more to Tom Ripley, the mimic, the forger, the talented criminal improviser, than anyone, even Tom Ripley himself, can guess.’
– J. Spurlin (IMDb) Continue reading

Tom Tykwer – Die tödliche Maria AKA Deadly Maria [+Extras] (1993)

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Synopsis by Sandra Brennan
This German psychodrama looks into the events that lead an introverted woman into taking extreme action against her oppressors. Poor Maria has spent her life being ignored and pushed around by men. First there was her invalid father whom she waited on hand and foot. Then there was her cold and emotionally distant husband. Maria has been internalizing her rage for years. Her anger finally erupts when her husband takes the little bit of money she’d been secretly saving over the last few years. She kills both her husband and her father. The film ends with her new boyfriend’s distressed facial expression as he learns of her murders. Continue reading