Asghar Farhadi – Forushande AKA The Salesman (2016)

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The Salesman tells the story of a young couple Emad and Rana who play the lead roles in a local rendition of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Meanwhile, their personal relationship takes a hit after moving into a house that was previously inhabited by a woman who allegedly pursued a career in prostitution. Continue reading

Christian Petzold – Toter Mann AKA Something to Remind Me (2001)

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Quote:
Middle-aged lawyer Thomas assists Leyla, an attractive blonde, when she drops her things at the pool. After their paths keep crossing, he picks up the courage to ask her out for a date. Somewhat to his surprise she agrees, but arrives late, just as the restaurant is closing. They go back to his apartment for an impromptu pizza and, after a few drinks, she falls asleep on the couch.

The next morning Thomas awakes to find Leyla and his laptop, which contains vital case files, missing…

An expertly constructed thriller in the tradition of Hitchcock and Chabrol, writer/director Christian Petzold’s Something To Remind Me keeps the viewer enthralled throughout. Continue reading

Raymond Bailly – L’étrange Monsieur Steve AKA Mr. Steve (1957)

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Synopsis:
‘Georges Villard is a modest bank employee who dreams of earning more money so that he can live more comfortably. When Monsieur Steve offers him a chance to do just that he accepts without a moment’s hesitation, partly because he wants to be near to Steve’s woman, Florence. However, Georges knows there will be a catch: what Steve wants is help to rob the bank where he works. When Georges refuses, he realises that his life is now in danger…’
– James Travers, Willems Henri Continue reading

Jaco Van Dormael – Toto le héros aka Toto The Hero (1991)

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Synopsis:
Thomas and Alfred were born around the same time; a fire in the nursery had nurses scrambling to save the newborns. Because he felt that he deserved Alfred’s good fortune at being born into a wealthy family, Thomas conceives the idea that he and Alfred were switched at birth, and he can’t help seeing that his unhappiness should be Alfred’s, from the loss of his sister to his inability to have a relationship with the woman Evelyne. So, as his life is ending, he formulates a plan of revenge against his bitter enemy, his lifetime adversary, the man who stole his existence. Continue reading

David Verbeek – Full Contact (2015)

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Quote:
Full Contact is a contemporary tale of a man trying to find new purpose in life after accidentally bombing a school through a remotely operated drone plane. Ivan, operating the plane from a far away air force base, has never been to the foreign countries of his attacks, nor has he ever touched the plane he uses to kill. Modern warfare keeps him safe and disconnected from his prey. However, after this incident Ivan’s disconnectedness starts to apply to everything in his life. He is overwhelmed by feelings of guilt that he is unable to process. Continue reading

Don Siegel – Count the Hours (1953)

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SYNOPSIS: A defense lawyer risks his career to expose a killer no one else believes exists in this tense noir thriller.

When a farmer and his housekeeper are murdered by an intruder, the police arrest George Braden (John Craven), a hired hand who confesses to spare his pregnant wife Ellen (Teresa Wright) the stress of interrogation. Angering the tight-knit community by agreeing to defend the accused, attorney Doug Madison ( Macdonald Carey) tries but loses the case, and Braden is sentenced to die. With time running out and the execution just hours away, Madison races the clock to find the real killer and prove his client’s innocence. Eerily anticipating the 1959 killings that would later inspire In Cold Blood, Count the Hours was shot by John Alton, an Oscar-winning cinematographer whose credits include the classic noirs He Walked by Night, Raw Deal and T-Men. Continue reading