Lindsay Anderson – If…. (1968)

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“A modern classic in which Anderson minutely captures both the particular ethos of a public school and the general flavour of any structured community, thus achieving a clear allegorical force without sacrificing a whit of his exploration of an essentially British institution. The impeccable logic of the conclusion is in no way diminished by having been lifted from Vigo’s Zéro de Conduite, made thirty-five years earlier.” – Time Out London Continue reading

Mike Leigh – Bleak Moments (1971)

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Synopsis:

The quiet desperate life of a secretary and her retarded sister depicted in a halting sequence of improvised fragments. The uncompromising cinematic debut of British director Mike Leigh

Review:

“Might be too bleak a look at reality for some but it nevertheless is an uncompromising way of brilliantly telling its harrowing story.” Continue reading

Ken Loach – Land and Freedom [+Extras] (1995)

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Review (Marcus Whitfield, Edinburgh University Film Society)
Ken Loach collaborates once again with Jim Allen, his partner for Days of Hope and
Hidden Agenda, on this moving story about the struggle between a group of young
political idealists fighting against the Franco regime during the Spanish Civil War. The
film received international acclaim not only for the outside perception of the British
writer and director but also for an undocumented part of Spanish history that dealt with
the ordinary men and women that took up the struggle. Continue reading

Donald Cammell – Wild Side [Director’s Cut] (1995)

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Quote:
A bank accountant, whom moonlights as a high-priced call girl, becomes embroiled in the lives of a money launderer, his seductive wife, and his bodyguard whom blackmails her to help the FBI entrap him with his latest money laundering scheme.

IMDB comment says:

Never have a Director’s cut and a released studio version been sodifferent . . .

I watched the Director’s Cut of this movie premiered August ’99, together with clips of the trash that the studio released. The studio movie is trash – completely and utterly and doesn’t even aspire to be anything better. The editing is flat and the performances look like rehearsals. The Director’s Cut (pieced together by the Editor after the Director’s suicide) is an outstanding piece of cinema. Not a frame wasted. The opening sequence shocks you into an awareness that this movie will be very different to anything you’ve seen before. Chris Walken gives one of the best performances of his career. This is exciting, original cinema that riveted my attention in every moment of its two hour authorised version. The script sparkles with wit and dry, unpretentious humour and you never quite know what is going to happen next. A sexy, stylish thriller that makes you laugh and also appreciate the beauty inside every villain. The tenacity and integrity of the Editor and Scriptwriter that saw it through to completion is a monument to the industry. Continue reading

John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Apotheosis (1970)

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Quote:
What a perfect film…..short and simple, Ono takes a camera and a boom mike onto a hot air balloon, kicks the rope, and starts the camera and lets us watch as it goes above the clouds for a 17 minute shot. Key things to notice: A roll of 16mm film films only 14 minutes yet the film runs for 17, meaning somewhere in the clouds Ono had another camera loaded and started when the first one ran out, yet somehow the splice is not noticeable and there weren’t any computers at the time to fix this sort of thing…..all i can say is optical printing tricks at its best. The last shot, as the balloon rises above the clouds, the wind silences, and the sun becomes visible, is alone worth checking out this timeless classic of experimental film. Continue reading

Andre Singer – Night Will Fall (2014)

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Synopsis:

When Allied forces liberated the Nazi concentration camps, their terrible discoveries were recorded by army cameramen, revealing for the first time the horror of what had happened.

Using British, Soviet and American footage, the Ministry of Information’s Sidney Bernstein collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock to make a film that would provide evidence of the Nazi’s unspeakable crimes. Yet, despite initial support from the British and US governments, the film was shelved. In this compelling documentary by André Singer (executive producer, The Act of Killing), the full story of the filming of the camps and the fate of Bernstein’s project, which has now been restored and completed by Imperial War Museums, can finally be told. Continue reading