Nacho Vigalondo – Los cronocrímenes aka Timecrimes (2007)

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Plot Outline :
Hector (Karra Elejalde) is spending a few days in the countryside with his girlfriend, Clara (Candela Fernández), when he sees something that catches his attention while playing with his binoculars. Looking at a nearby house near a wooded area, Hector spies a beautiful woman taking her clothes off, and decides to take a stroll and give her a closer look. However, when he arrives at the house several minutes later, the woman is lying in the grass and appears to either be dead or passed out. Continue reading

Oliver Hirschbiegel – Das Experiment (2001)

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Plot:
The movie is based on the infamous “Stanford Prison Experiment” conducted in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For two weeks 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards. The ‘prisoners’ are locked up and have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the ‘guards’ are told simply to retain order without using physical violence. Everybody is free to quit at any time, thereby forfeiting payment. In the beginning the mood between both groups is insecure and rather emphatic. But soon quarrels arise and the wardens employ ever more drastic sanctions to confirm their authority. Continue reading

Christopher Doyle – Warsaw Dark (2009)

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Quote:
Warsaw, night, a club by the river. Ojka – young and beautiful prostitute runs out to the parking lot. Wolski-fat, aging politician follows her, lured by her charm. None of the realizes that Ojka is only a bait, and Wolski is going to die in a few minutes…This is a begging of the movie with the study of strange relationship between various elements. The movie is a good description of a new, yet complicated Polish reality. Many interesting characters that appear on screen make the film vivid and real. It is also universal-as an intense, electrifying love story. Also, as a description of journey that begins in total darkness and ends in somewhere brighter light of hope. Continue reading

Maroun Bagdadi – Hors la vie AKA Out of Life (1991)

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Patrick Perrault, a photo-journalist covering the war in Beirut in the late 1980s, is himself caught up in the hostilities when one day he is picked up and bundled into a car at gun-point. Blind-folded, he is taken to an unknown location where he discovers that he is being taken hostage by Lebanese guerrillas. Robbed of his passport, stripped and forced to change into a pair of damp pyjamas, he is locked up in a cell from which there is no escape. And he is told that if he takes of his blindfold to see his captors he will be shot dead immediately. So begins his long and brutal nightmare… Continue reading

Joseph L. Mankiewicz – The Quiet American (1958)

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Plot:
In this adaptation of Graham Greene’s prophetic novel about U.S. foreign policy failure in pre-war Indochina, Audie Murphy plays an innocent Young American opposite the older, cynical Brit Michael Redgrave. They play out their widely different views on the prospects stuggle for the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people in their competition over a young woman. Murphy wants to reform her and make her a typical middle class American housewife; Redgrave accepts her inability to formulate or retain a political ideal and while promising her no real future, he objects to Murphy’s attempts to change her. It’s not clear whether Murphy is just what he appears – a bungling Yankee do-gooder – or a deliberate agent of U.S. covert operations, but he ends up an expendable pawn in the end. Continue reading

Raoul Ruiz – Ce jour-là AKA That Day (2003)

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Quote:
Auspiciously set in the nebulous and indeterminate milieu of “Switzerland, in the near future”, Raoul Ruiz’s eccentric, surreal fable opens to the shot of an abstracted and dotty young woman named Livia (Elsa Zylberstein) sitting on a park bench overlooking a fog obscured dirt road that is curiously located near the entrance of the San Michelle mental health institution. While jotting down a series of random, fleeting thoughts into her journal, she meets a cyclist who is abruptly thrown from his bicycle and, convinced that he is an angel (since, as her idiosyncratic theory goes, all angels on earth have fallen), proceeds to explain that tomorrow is destined to be the best day of her life, or rather – as she corrects herself – the most important day, which she comes to realize is not the same thing. Soon after the encounter, Livia is whisked away by her faithful and devoted servant Treffle (Jean-François Balmer) and brought home to the family’s country estate where a crowd of snide and unscrupulously calculating relatives amass near the front steps awaiting her father, Harald’s (Michel Piccoli) return home to celebrate his birthday. Continue reading

Robert Greene – Kate Plays Christine (2016)

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Actress Kate Lyn Sheil prepares to portray the role of Christine Chubbuck, a real-life news reporter who took her own life on national television in 1974.

rogerebert.com wrote:
Movie publicity is filled with buzzwords about acting, “transformation” in particular, but it’s sad how little practical information we viewers get about that process. It’s often wrapped up in mysticism or ignored entirely; we hear in the abstract that an actor trained as a boxer to play a boxer, or studied someone’s accent in order to play a character of a different nationality or ethnicity, but there are precious few examples of what it actually means to enter another person’s consciousness and become them for purposes of telling a story. Continue reading