Rafi Pitts – ShekarChi AKA The Hunter (2010)

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synopsis
A man turns to violence after losing those he loves most in this taut drama from Iran. Ali (Rafi Pitts) is a reformed criminal who lives in a small flat in Tehran with his wife Sara (Mitra Hajjar) and their young daughter Saba (Saba Yaghoobi). While he’s grateful for the chance to support his family honestly, Ali doesn’t much care for his job as a night watchman or the noise and stress of city life; Ali heads off to the woods and clears his mind by hunting as often as he can. One day, Ali comes home from work to an empty apartment; he has no idea when his family has gone, and when they don’t return, he goes to the police. After a long and frustrating wait, Ali learns that Sara was killed by stray gunfire during a skirmish between protesters and police, and Saba is missing and feared dead. Ali snaps and uses his hunting rifle to kill a pair of police officers; when the authorities give chase, Ali heads to the woods while the police try to find him in the forest he knows better than the city. Shekarchi (aka The Hunter) was an official selection at the 2010 Berlin international Film Festival. Continue reading

Bruno Dumont – Coincoin et les z’inhumains AKA CoinCoin and the Extra-Human (2018)

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Coincoin and the Extra Humans review: Bruno Dumont raises a stink in a small town

| Sight & Sound

Ben Nicholson 15 August 2018

There was something rotten in the soil of northern France in Bruno Dumont’s blackly comic mini-series, P’tit Quinquin (2014). A four-episode television mystery that was also released as a single feature film, it was a confounding and macabre parody of a procedural police drama filled with unexpected (for the famously serious filmmaker), and often uncomfortable, laughs. It followed a bumbling duo of gendarmes as they investigated a sequence of grisly deaths in the environs of a small town as a group of mischievous kids, led by the eponymous Quinquin, watched on. Continue reading

Paul Krasny – Terror Among Us (1981)

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Plot:
With Dandy Don Meredith in the cast, the made-for-TV movie Terror Among Us bears a resemblance to the 1970s series Police Story. Meredith plays a police sergeant who is desperately trying to track down serial rapist Ted Shackleford. Newly paroled, Shackleford may very well carry out the threats he’s made on the five women who testified against him. Meredith enlists the aid of parole officer Jennifer Salt to stop the wave of terror before it begins. Terror Among Us first aired January 12, 1981. Continue reading

Hugo Santiago – Invasión (1969)

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nvasion is the legend of a city, real or imagined, under attack by powerful enemies and defended by a handful of men who may not be heroes. They will carry on their struggle to the finish, unaware that the battle is endless.

“Two analogous experiences, distant from each other, now live in my memory. The oldest has been with me since 1923: I’m referring to that afternoon when I held in my hands the first copy of my first book. The other, the recent one, is the emotion I felt when I saw Invasion on the screen. A printed book is not so different from a manuscript; a film is a visible projection, detailed, heard, enriched, and magical os something dreamed, barely descried. As I am one of the authors, I cannot allow myself to priase it. I would like to leave in writing, however, that Invasion es loke no other film, and it might well be the first of a new fantastic genre” –Jorge Luis Borges, Buenos Aires, April 1969 Continue reading

Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz – Ich seh, Ich seh AKA Goodnight Mommy (2014)

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In the heat of the summer. A lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields. Nine-year-old twin brothers are waiting for their mother. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before. The children start to doubt that this woman is actually their mother. It emerges an existential struggle for identity and fundamental trust. Continue reading

Roman Polanski – The Ninth Gate (1999)

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Plot :
Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) is a New York City rare-book dealer motivated solely by financial gain. Wealthy book collector Boris Balkan (Frank Langella) hires Corso to authenticate his recently acquired copy of the seventeenth-century author Aristide Torchia’s book The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows, reputedly a version of a book whose author was the devil himself. The book contains nine engravings that, when correctly interpreted and the legends properly spoken, will raise the Devil. Since two other copies exist, Balkan suspects that the book might be a forgery, and asks Corso to travel to Europe determine whether his or any of the other two are genuine and, if so, to acquire them for Balkan, at any cost or by any means. 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