Thriller

Carol Reed – The Third Man (1949)

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Synopsis:
Carol Reed reached the peak of his form with this classic noir, an elegy for American innocence and European elegance. Joseph Cotten, in fine form, stars as unemployed pulp-novelist Holly Martins. When he arrives in post-WWII Vienna on the promise of a job from his old friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles), he finds that Lime has recently died in a dubious car accident. Against the advice of British sector authority Major Calloway (Trevor Howard), who accuses Lime of criminal behavior, the indignant Martins decides to stay to investigate his friend’s death. He searches this city of rubble-strewn streets and bombed-out buildings, earnestly questioning Lime’s associates, a cynical, war-weary collection of black-market hustlers. At length, he realizes that the stories he’s hearing are so full of contradiction, he’s getting nowhere. Yet, he’s entranced by Lime’s beautiful girlfriend, Anna Schmidt (Alida Valli), who, unlike the others, seems to have loved Harry. Read More »

Alberto Rodríguez – La isla mínima AKA Marshland (2014)

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Quote:
With Unit 7, Alberto Rodriguez paid homage to his native Seville whilst producing a fine urban thriller. Now he does the same for rural Spain, moving an hour south to the marshlands of Andalucia. While 7 was explosive, Marshland is noirishly tense on different levels, its tight focus on character, its realism, it’s sense of place and its social critique adding up to a grippingly intense whole — and that’s not to mention it’s satisfyingly twisting plotline. Though puzzlingly it’s been overlooked by the Spanish Film Academy as the country’s foreign film nomination, Marshland merits international exposure as an example of both one of the year’s best Spanish-language films and of how to fold significance into genre. Read More »

Alan J. Pakula – Klute (1971)

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A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute. Read More »

Alexandre Stockler – Cama de Gato AKA Cat’s Cradle (2002)

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Three young hedonistic sociopaths find themselves in deep, deep trouble in Alexandre Stockler’s ugly 2002 teen drama Cat’s Cradle. Longtime pals and recent high school graduates Gabriel (Cainan Baladez), Cristiano (Caio Blat), and Francisco (Rodrigo Bolzan) are all from privileged Sao Paulo households, and as such, spend the vast majority of their time seeking entertainment in any way, shape, or form. The depths of their depravity become fully apparent when the trio captures and gang rapes a young woman — who dies in the midst of this horrific crime. In a panic, the gang of rapists/murderers try to cover up their crime and quickly discover that the cover-up is oftentimes more egregious than the initial crime, with more death and mayhem following suit. Cat’s Cradle marked the first film of the newly formed TRAUMA (Trying to Realize Anything Urgently and with a Minimum of Audacity) school of filmmaking, a so-called “ironic Latin American response to Dogma 95” co-founded by director Stockler. ~ Ryan Shriver, All Movie Guide Read More »

Claudio Guerín & Juan Antonio Bardem – La campana del infierno AKA A Bell from Hell (1973)

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A young man is released from an asylum and returns home for revenge on his aunt and her three daughters, who had him declared insane in order to steal his inheritance. Read More »

Eric Rohmer – Bérénice (1954)

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Shot in 16mm, Berenice is Rohmer’s first finished film. The film is based on a story by Edgar Allen Poe about a man who becomes obsessed with his fiancé’s teeth. The film was shot at Andre Bazin’s house by Jacques Rivette. Rivette also edited the film. Read More »

Sebastián Schindel – El patron, radiografia de un crimen AKA The Boss, Anatomy of a Crime (2014)

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A humble peon find a job in a big city butcher shop. His boss, a sinister character, introduces him to the meat business while subject him, by means of pressure and extortion to slavery. The boss overwhelming cruelty will inevitably lead to tragedy. Read More »