Joseph McGrath – 30 Is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia (1968)

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Plot: Rupert Street, a piano player and composer, decides to write a musical and marry before he reaches his thirtieth birthday. One minor problem: he’ll be 30 in six weeks… Written by Homme A. Piest

British musician/composer Rupert Street is turning thirty on September 13th, six weeks away. He sees turning thirty as a milestone which will define the success or failure of his life. As such, he plans to write a stage musical by then, even signing a contract with his agent Oscar to hire the necessary crew to stage it by his birthday. The other goal for his thirtieth birthday is to get married, despite having no potential “Mrs. Street” in his life. He is hoping that it will be Louise Hammond, a young woman who has just moved into the same rooming house in which he lives. His hope is despite Louise already having a boyfriend named Paul and she stating early in their meeting that she has no intention of getting married. As Rupert pursues both his six week goals, they seem incompatible as he needs to spend quality time on both to get both. But things change closer to September 13th when reaching one goal seem predicated on achieving the other. Written by Huggo Continue reading

Orson Welles – Around the World with Orson Welles (1955) (HD)

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Sean Axmaker, Keyframe wrote:
When handed the raw materials from an unfinished documentary about Elmyr de Hory, an art forger whose life was being written up by biographer Clifford Irving, Orson Welles took the opportunity to make something far beyond the concept of the traditional documentary. F for Fake has been called the Orson Welles’ first essay film, a true enough statement if you limit the accounting to feature films, but he had been doing short-form non-fiction since 1955, when he made Around the World with Orson Welles (a.k.a. Around the World) for British television. Continue reading

Terence Fisher – The Brides of Dracula (1960)

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The vampire Baron Meinster (David Peel) terrorizes a girl’s academy, and it’s up to Dr. Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) to stop him…

Following the phenomenal success of their 1958 version of Dracula (released in the U.S. as Horror Of Dracula), Hammer Studios mulled over the idea for the inevitable sequel. 1960’s The Brides Of Dracula is misleadingly titled, in that Dracula himself never appears, but it’s a worthy follow-up that, for many fans, actually eclipses the original. Precisely why Dracula doesn’t factor into the narrative is open to speculation. Hammer was obviously looking to capitalize on their biggest success, so why not bring back Christopher Lee to essay the role that made him famous? Some sources indicate that Lee refused a sequel, fearing that he’d become typecast in the role just as Bela Lugosi had been before him. Yet other sources, including Lee himself, refute this claim. Regardless, despite its title, Brides Of Dracula charts the exploits of Dracula’s disciple, Baron Meinster. Establishing continuity between the two films is the heroic/obsessed Dr. Van Helsing, played once again by Peter Cushing. Continue reading

Jerzy Skolimowski – Moonlighting (1982)

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Quote:
Nowak (Irons) leads a small team of Polish building contractors, hired by a wealthy Pole to illegally refurbish his London home. They slip into England under false pretenses and squat in the house as they work on it–but shortly after they arrive, the military take over Poland and declare martial law (this real event happened in December of 1981). Only Nowak speaks English, so only he knows this has happened; fearing that if the others find out, they’ll stop working, he decides not to tell them. As he starts stealing and scamming to stretch their rapidly vanishing money, Nowak grows increasingly paranoid and mentally fragile. Moonlighting is a political allegory and a psychological portrait, but thanks to Irons’ sympathetic performance, the movie is also rivetingly suspenseful. Continue reading

Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here (2017)

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Quote:
Balancing between feverish dreamlike hallucinations of a tormented past and a grim disoriented reality, the grizzled Joe–a traumatised Gulf War veteran and now an unflinching hired gun who lives with his frail elderly mother–has just finished yet another successful job. With an infernal reputation of being a brutal man of results, the specialised in recovering missing teens enforcer will embark on a blood-drenched rescue mission, when Nina, the innocent 13-year-old daughter of an ambitious New York senator, never returns home. But amidst half-baked leads and a desperate desire to shake off his shoulders the heavy burden of a personal hell, Joe’s frenzied plummet into the depths of Tartarus is inevitable, and every step Joe takes to flee the pain, brings him closer to the horrors of insanity. In the end, what is real, and what is a dream? Can there be a new chapter in Joe’s life when he keeps running around in circles? Continue reading

Michael Apted – The Triple Echo (1972)

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Adapted from a novel by HE Bates (The Purple Plain, The Darling Buds of May, My Uncle Silas, Love for Lydia) and set in an isolated Wiltshire farm in 1942.
Alice has been living alone in the country, since her husband was taken prisoner by the Japanese a half-year earlier. One day a young soldier, Barton, comes along and during a tender moment she invites him in for tea. When time comes for Barton to rejoin his regiment, he decides to go AWOL and stay with Alice. So as not to be discovered he starts donning female clothes. Just as Barton is becoming tired of his equivocal role, a stray tank comes rolling down the hill with a sergeant in it. Next day he’s back again, trying to catch a glimpse of Barton, whom he believes to be Alice’s sister. Continue reading