Steve Collins – Gretchen (2006)

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Quote:
The feature debut from writer-director Steve Collins is a hilarious, compassionate look at youthful trauma, misguided affections and the discovery of self worth. Gawky and disregarded, Gretchen Finkle (Courtney Davis) is a high school senior with zero social prospects, save for her sleazy, would-be rebel boyfriend Ricky (John Merriman). The discovery of his infidelity leads Gretchen to a devastated reassessment of her priorities and aims in life. Winner of the L.A. Film Festival’s ‘Best Narrative Feature’ award and featuring remarkable performances by Davis, Merriman, Becky Ann Baker (Freaks & Geeks) and Stephen Root (Office Space, DodgeBall), ‘Gretchen’ balances soul-searching melancholy with a sprightly wit and deadpan comic invention to become a standout among recent independent features. Continue reading

Andrzej Zulawski – Fidelite (2000)

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Quote:
“Taking his cue from “La Princesse de Cleves”, France’s first serious historical novel, director Andrzej Zulawski boots it into the modern world and filters this story of fidelity versus desire through an ever-earnest – and very modish – photographer (Sophie Marceau) who is hired by a sleaze-merchant to add class to one of his scandal-sheets. She falls for the charming gaucheness of an editor (Pascal Greggory) but becomes hooked on a blunt, loutish photographer who looks unnervingly like a perfectly-realised mix of Liam and Noel Gallagher.” (Reviewed by Michael Thomson – bbc.co.uk/films/2000/11/28/la_fidelite_2000_review.shtml) Continue reading

Jean Negulesco – Three Strangers (1946)

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Plot Synopsis from allmovie.com by Hal Erickson

On the eve of the Chinese New Year, three strangers make a pact before a small statue of the Chinese goddess of Destiny. The strangers are Crystal Shackleford (Geraldine Fitzgerald), married to a wealthy philanderer; Jerome Artbutny (Sidney Greenstreet), an outwardly respectable judge; and Johnny West (Peter Lorre), a seedy sneak thief. The threesome agree to purchase a sweepstakes ticket and share whatever winnings might accrue. Alas, the pact brings little more than misfortune for all concerned. Jerome steals funds from a client, then kills Crystal (with the goddess statue!) when she refuses to hand over her sweepstakes winnings. Johnny and his girlfriend Icy (Joan Lorring) decide to abandon their life of crime, but when it is revealed that the ticket is a winner, he sets fire to it to avoid having his name tied to the crime. If it seems strange that Peter Lorre ends up the romantic lead in Three Strangers, remember that the film’s director, Jean Negulesco, thought Lorre was the finest actor who ever lived–and as a result, he fought tooth and nail with Warner Bros. to cast Lorre in this film. Continue reading

Ingo Niermann & Erick Niedling – The Future of Art (2011)

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A film that came with a book in the same name, The Future of Art; A manual.
The film contains documentary and interviews on acclaimed artists about the direction of art towards the future.

with:

Marina Abramovic
Thomas Bayrle
Olaf Breuning
Genesis and lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge
Olafur Elaisson
Harald Falckenberg
Boris Groys
Damien Hirst
Gregor Jansen
Terence Koh
Gabriel Von Loebell
Marcos Lutyens
Philomene Magers
Antje Majewski
Hans Ulrich Obrist
Thomas Olbricht
Friedrich Petzel
Tobias Rehberger
Hans Georg Wagner
Continue reading

Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Loong Boonmee raleuk chat AKA Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)

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Quote:
Confession: my only previous exposure to Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the Thai director who’s one of the most lauded auteurs currently working, was a DVD copy of Tropical Malady, which frankly bored my pants off. Watching Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives on the big screen at the New York Film Festival’s Alice Tully Hall, it occurred to me almost immediately that waiting to see anything by Weerasethakul on DVD is a terrible idea. For Uncle Boonmee, the large theater screen works like a window onto a bigger world populated by larger-than-actual-size memories and myths. And the photography is not the kind of crisp, high-contrast work that translates well to home video (though Blu-ray might do OK by it) — shots taken within the Thai jungle, for instance, are unfailingly dense and moody, with different and ever-darker shades of green layered on top of each other like thick brush strokes in an oil painting. Sometimes it feels as if the whole film were shot at twilight, or using day-for-night shooting and processing trickery. Continue reading

George Cukor – A Bill of Divorcement (1932)

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Plot:

After spending fifteen years in an asylum, Hilary Fairfield escapes from the institution after regaining his sanity. He finds that things at home are different than when he left them. His wife has divorced him and is already planning her next marriage, and his daughter has grown up throughout the years and is planning to marry as well. Continue reading