Ingmar Bergman – Scener ur ett äktenskap AKA Scenes from a Marriage [TV Version] (1973)

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Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson) always seemed like the perfect couple. But when Johan suddenly leaves Marianne for another woman, they are forced to confront the disintegration of their marriage. Shot in intense, intimate close-ups by master cinematographer Sven Nykvist, the film chronicles ten years of turmoil and love that bind the couple despite their divorce and subsequent marriages. Flawless acting and dialogue portray the brutal pain and uplifting peace that accompany a lifetime of loving. Originally conceived as a six-part miniseries for Swedish television, The Criterion Collection is proud to present not only the U.S. theatrical version, but also, for the first time on video in the U.S., Ingmar Bergman’s original 5-hour television version of Scenes From a Marriage. Continue reading

Maroun Bagdadi – Liban, le pays du miel et de l’encens AKA Lebanon, the Land of Honey and Incense (1988)

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Doctor Fournier arrives in Beirut as the civil war is raging. He finds himself with a colleague working in a hospital controlled by a Shiite militia and treating the injured. Driven by his doctor’s oath, he crosses the demarcation line to treat Christian casualties of the ongoing clashes. This causes Muslims in his neighborhood to brand him a traitor. He is kidnapped to be exchanged for a fighter captured by Christian militiamen. The film is part of the TV series Médecins des hommes (Doctors of Men). It was considered the best movie in the series. Continue reading

Mike Leigh – BBC2 Playhouse: Grown-Ups (1980)

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From DVD Times:
A young working-class couple, Dick and Mandy, move into a council house, to find their old teacher living next door with his wife. Their new life is plagued by endless visits from Mandy’s lonely elder sister Gloria, a situation that finally erupts into a major catastrophe involving the neighbours. Continue reading

Cordelia Dvorak – John Berger or The Art of Looking (2016)

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John Berger: The Art of Looking
BBC Four
Sun 6 Nov 2016
10.30pm-11.25pm

Art, politics and motorcycles – on the occasion of his 90th birthday John Berger or the Art of Looking is an intimate portrait of the writer and art critic whose ground-breaking work on seeing has shaped ourunderstanding of the concept for over five decades. The film explores how paintings become narratives and stories turn into images, and rarely does anybody demonstrate this as poignantly as Berger.

Berger lived and worked for decades in a small mountain village in the French Alps, where the nearness to nature, the world of the peasants and his motorcycle, which for him deals so much with presence, inspired his drawing and writing. Continue reading

Stephen Poliakoff & Charles Sturridge – Runners (1983)

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RUNNERS (1983)
Produced in 1983, it was originally headed for a cinema release but apparently that never happened and it ended up being shown as a TV movie only.

In Stephen Poliakoff’s first film script, Tom Lindsay (James Fox) searches for his 13-year-old daughter, Rachel (Kate Hardie), two years after she ran away from their Midlands home. After an anonymous tip-off, he spots her, but the reunion is not what he has expected or hoped for…. Continue reading