Alfred Hitchcock – Torn Curtain (1966)

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A double agent has to contend with enemies on both sides of the political fence as well as the woman he loves in this hriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Prof. Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) is an gifted American physicist who, at the height of the Cold War, decides to defect to East Germany. To his surprise, his fiancée, fellow scientist Sarah Sherman (Julie Andrews) follows him, and she soon discovers Armstrong is no traitor, but acting as a secret undercover agent. As Armstrong attempts to ingratiate himself with political and scientific factions in East Germany, Gromek (Wolfgang Kieling) becomes his guide, though Armstrong is aware he’s a government agent assign. Continue reading

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Michael Winterbottom – Butterfly Kiss AKA Killer on the Road (1995)

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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.
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Adrián Caetano – Crónica de una fuga aka Chronicle of an Escape (2006)

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The goalkeeper of a little-known soccer team is kidnapped by a Argentinean government squad and sent to a detention center. After months of torture, he plots his escape with three other young men.

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If American moviegoers have plenty of reasons to feel icky about government-sponsored kidnappings and hidden prisons, “Chronicle of an Escape” gives them another good one, by viewing a fact-based Argentinean story through the stylized lens of a horror film. Laced with dread that builds to a thoroughly gripping third act, it should do well with art house audiences who like their history lessons to come with a shot of adrenaline. Continue reading

Mikhail Lukachevsky – Urun kun AKA A White Day (2013)

On a frozen dark night in remote Siberia, a group of strangers travel home together in a van. When the driver refuses to stop for an elder, a darkening shadow looms over what could possibly be the most tragic night of their lives. This dramatic and thrilling feature with its poetic pacing and exquisite cinematography is easily one of Lukachevskyi’s finest works.

Winner — Best Dramatic Feature — 15th International Film Festival of Indigenous Peoples ImagineNATIVE in Toronto Continue reading

Georges Lautner – La route de Salina AKA Road to Salina (1970)

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From IMDb:
Jonas (Walker Jr) is on the road to Salina. He stops at a gas station/restaurant and its owner, Mara (Hayworth), is struck by his resemblance to her dead son, Rocky (Porel). He decides to stay on and meets Mara’s friend Warren (Begley) and Rocky’s sister Billie (Famer), but dark facts are to be revealed about the death of Rocky. Continue reading

Yoshihiro Nakamura – Shirayuki hime satsujin jiken AKA The Snow White Murder Case (2014)

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Plot:
Yuji Akahoshi (Gou Ayano) for a television show. He receives a phone call from an old high school friend, Risako Kano (Misako Renbutsu). She tells him that her co-worker at a cosmetics compay was stabbed to death and then doused in flames. Yuji Akahoshi decides to interview workers at the company and others that knew the victim, Noriko Miki (Nanao), for his television show.

Yuji Akahoshi soon discovers that another co-worker, Miki Shirono (Mao Inoue) disappeared the same night of the murder. She was last seen running to the train station shortly after Noriko Miki’s death. Yuji attempts to unravel the mystery of Miki Shirono. Continue reading

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