Alberto Lattuada – Così come sei AKA Stay as you are (1978)

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PLOT:
A May-December romance.
Roué Giulio Marengo, a Roman landscape architect unhappy in his marriage, meets Francesca, a young and beautiful Florentine, and then learns she might be his daughter. He resolves to keep his hands off but can’t seem to stay away, and she’s eager for a lover who’s a father figure. He’s happy to be a kid, so he tries to find out who her father is; his wife knows that something is up; his daughter, who’s Francesca’s age and is pregnant, encourages the affair.
Should he tell Francesca his fears that it might be incest? If he tells her and she doesn’t care, what next? And what of his wife, who still wants to be married? Francesca takes control. Continue reading

Chantal Akerman, Bernard Dubois, Philippe Garrel, Frederic Mitterand, Vincent Nordon, Philippe Venault – Paris vu par… vingt ans après (1984)

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Directors:
Chantal Akerman, Bernard Dubois, Philippe Garrel, Frederic Mitterand, Vincent Nordon, Philippe Venault

“Two young French filmmakers, Bernard Dubois and Philippe Venault, had the provocative idea of making a follow-up to the 1964 anthology film, Paris vu par, that became a manifesto for the emerging directors of the New Wave. Unfortunately, the unity of that movement is long gone, and this new project is wildly uneven, ranging from the brilliant (Chantal Akerman’s opening sketch, J’ai faim, j’ai froid, is an entire coming-of-age film compressed into 12 frenetic, hilarious, and ultimately touching minutes) to the intriguing (Philippe Garrel’s Rue Fontaine offers a rare Stateside opportunity to see the work of this acclaimed avant-gardist, whose work suggests a crossing of John Cassavetes with early German expressionism) to the mediocre (the segments by Dubois, Venault, and Frederic Mitterrand) to the unwatchable (Vincent Nordon’s Paris-Plage, certainly the longest 13 minutes in film history). A sad lesson emerges–that the French have no more new ideas than we do–but the Akerman itself is worth it all.” -Jonathan Rosenbaum Continue reading

Chantal Akerman – Demain On Demenage aka Tomorrow We Move (2004)

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Director Chantal Akerman helmed this offbeat comedy about a mother and daughter who find themselves living together again for the first time in many years. Still reeling emotionally from the recent death of her husband, Catherine (Aurore Clément) has chosen to leave her old home and move in with her grown daughter, Charlotte (Sylvie Testud). While Charlotte is sympathetic, she’s something less than enthusiastic; her mother’s mood swings and the clutter of her collected belongings are cramping her home and her style, and when Catherine decides to revive her career as a piano teacher, the constant parade of youngsters bludgeoning the keyboard makes it all but impossible for Charlotte to complete her latest writing project. Catherine and Charlotte decide to look for more spacious living quarters, while Charlotte is also in search of her own office space. As a steady stream of prospective tenants check out their home, Charlotte makes friends with a pregnant woman looking for a new flat (Natacha Régnier), while her search for a space of her own brings Charlotte a relationship with a like-minded realtor (Jean-Pierre Marielle) and an unlikely collaborator in Michelle (Elsa Zylberstein), a poet who enjoys tinkering with Charlotte’s prose. Continue reading

? – Brothers and Sisters in Love – (2008)

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Synopsis
Most societies consider incest to be the ultimate taboo. Yet, a strange phenomenon called ‘Genetic Sexual Attraction’ has been known to affect adults who meet long-lost blood relatives for the first time.

This program features several brother/sister couples (along with one mother/son couple) who’ve developed sexual relationships and insist on maintaining them in spite of pressure from society and, sometimes, criminal prosecution. Continue reading

Johan van der Keuken – Amsterdam Global Village + Amsterdam afterbeat (1996)

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From an interview about this film, conducted by Serge Toubiana,

Is Amsterdam Global Village intended to be the portrait of a city? Can one in fact portray a city?
– I don’t think you can portray anything, but you can build a city through film, using both fictional and direct cinema techniques, which I purposely blend. The constructivist concept is very important to me. At the end of the film, there is a dedication to my friend, the writer Bert Schierbeek, who died this year. Bert Schierbeek wrote: “I always felt that life was made up of 777 stories going on at the same time.” So I thought we could do 777 four-hour films about Amsterdam, even if it’s a small city. But you have to make choices, take risks. When you film you have to disregard certain realities in order to recreate something physical on the screen. In that way, it’s possible to portray a city. Continue reading

Richard Brooks – The Brothers Karamazov (1958)

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Ryevsk, Russia, 1870. Tensions abound in the Karamazov family. Fyodor is a wealthy libertine who holds his purse strings tightly. His four grown sons include Dmitri, the eldest, an elegant officer, always broke and at odds with his father, betrothed to Katya, herself lovely and rich. The other brothers include a sterile aesthete, a factotum who is a bastard, and a monk. Family tensions erupt when Dmitri falls in love with one of his father’s mistresses, the coquette Grushenka. Two brothers see Dmitri’s jealousy of their father as an opportunity to inherit sooner. Acts of violence lead to the story’s conclusion: trials of honor, conscience, forgiveness, and redemption. Continue reading

Thea Sharrock – ‘As You Like It’ at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (2010)

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Rosalind, the daughter of a banished duke, falls in love with Orlando at a wrestling match, but her usurping uncle, jealous of her popularity, banishes her from court. Disguised as a boy she seeks out her father and his friends in the Forest of Arden. Here she meets Orlando again and, under the guise of a young man, counsels him in the art of love.

Directed by Thea Sharrock
Designed by Dick Bird
Music composed by Stephen Warbeck
Choreographed by Fin Walker

Recorded live at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, in October 2009. Continue reading