Jean-Pierre Lajournade – Les Souffrances du jeune Werther (1968)

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Free adaptation of Goethe. 68’s spleen and rebellion with Garrel Brothers…

Adaptation libre du roman épistolaire éponyme et premier roman de Goethe qui fut publié anonymement et parut en 1774. Il met en scène le suicide de son héros. Il est ici transposé à l’époque contemporaine et mêle interprétations et images d’archives (d’origine non identifiée), dans une narration qui bouscule les codes classique du genre. Ce téléfilm offre une relecture critique de l’oeuvre de Goethe à travers une remise en cause de la société bourgeoise. Le film montre la révolte hors de toute dimension spectaculaire. La présentation de Werther répond à un mouvement de libération ambiant et exprime une volonté de soulèvement, par tous les canaux que propose l’art, face à une morale vieillissante et un système pesant. Ce Werther fut réalisé en 1968, année de révolte. Continue reading

Shôhei Imamura – Karayuki-san AKA The Making of a Prostitute (1975)

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A film about another kind of “unreturned soldier” than Shohei Imamura has profiled elsewhere, KARAYUKI-SAN finds the filmmaker traveling to Malaysia to interview Kikuyo Zendo, one of the countless Japanese women who were kidnapped or otherwise sold into sexual slavery in order to service the Japanese military in Southeast Asia.

74 years old at the time of filming, she offers a frank and harrowing testimony into her horrific wartime experiences, and the factors that have led her to choose exile over repatriation. Continue reading

Michael Mann – The Jericho Mile (1979)

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by Hal Erickson
Director Michael Mann co-wrote the teleplay for The Jericho Mile with Patrick J. Nolan. Peter Strauss stars as “Rain” Murphy, serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for first-degree murder. To break up the boredom of prison life, Murphy begins running laps around the prison recreation track. Prison officials take notice when Murphy runs a mile in less than four minutes. They lobby to enter Murphy into the Olympics, an act of largesse that not only pulls Murphy out of his misanthropy but also helps to unify his racially divided fellow prisoners. Originally telecast March 18, 1979, The Jericho Mile was filmed on location at Folsom Prison, with several inmates playing small roles–and talking the talk of prisoners, never mind the TV censors. Continue reading

John Carpenter – Masters of Horror: John Carpenter’s Cigarette Burns (2005)

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“I know what you want, you want to see the movie.”

John Carpenter directs this unsettling installment of the “Masters of Horror” series, following one man’s search for the holy grail of horror cinema. Hired by a millionaire collector (Udo Kier) to retrieve the infamous Le Fin du Monde — a violent movie that reportedly causes viewers to turn into homicidal maniacs after they watch it — an unsuspecting theater owner (Norman Reedus) begins to fall under the film’s spell. Continue reading

John Mackenzie – “Play for Today” Red Shift [+Extras] (1978)

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Three men at three different times in history come to Mow Top hill in search of sanctuary from their troubles. A Roman soldier, a medieval rebel and a 1970’s young man. Somehow they seem linked through a energy within the hill and an axe. Is history doomed to repeat itself or can loving another person free them?

A disturbing exploration of the inevitability of life. Under Orion’s stars, bluesilver visions torment Tom, Macey and Thomas as they struggle with age-old forces. Distanced from each other in time, and isolated from those they live among, they are yet inextricably bound together by the sacred power of the moon’s axe and each seek their own refuge at Mow Cop. Can those they love so intensely keep them clinging to reality? Or is the future evermore destined to reflect the past? Continue reading

Jean-Luc Godard – Grandeur et décadence d’un petit commerce de cinéma (1986)

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Synopsis
The director Gaspard Bazin is preparing a new feature film. For now, he is still in the casting and financing stages. He’s asking the help of Jean Almereyda, a producer once fashionable but now at low ebb, who has more and more difficulties to raise cash for his company. His wife, Eurydice, dreams of being a movie star. Between the two men, a perverse game is starting, Almereyda wishing to please his wife, but the unrepentant seducer reputation of Bazin holds him to require a part for Eurydice… Continue reading