Eriprando Visconti – La Orca (1976)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

IMDb review:

Kidnapping movies were really big in the 1970’s, especially after several high-profile cases like Patty Hearst. The Italian exploitation industry is notorious for taking its cues from the US movies, but that may not have been the case here since there was even a bigger kidnapping problem in Italy (eventually leading to the kidnap and murder of a former prime minister by the notorious Red Brigades). The kidnappers in this movie though are pretty low-rent types, barely connected to the Mafia. Their victim is a very spoiled, but perhaps not especially rich, teenage girl (Rena Neihaus) whose parents seem unable–or perhaps unwilling–to get her back (she hints at an incestuous relationship with her stepfather which might have been explored in the sequel to this “Oedipus Orca”). In this movie the youngest, most handsome kidnapper (Michele Placido) falls for the girl in kind of a reverse Stockholm syndrome, with tragic results for at least one of them. The end of movie, strangely enough, is kind of reminiscent of “Last Tango in Paris” but with nowhere near the dramatic gravitas Continue reading

Francesco Rosi – Il momento della verità AKA The Moment of Truth [+Extras] (1965)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Reviews
… The Moment Of Truth is a visceral plunge into the life of a famous torero; played by real-life bullfighting legend Miguel Mateo, known as Miguelín. Charting his rise and fall with a single-minded focus on the bloody business at hand, the film is at once gritty and operatic, placing the viewer right in the thick of the ring’s action, as close to death as possible. Like all of the great Italian truth seeker’s films, this is not just an electrifying drama but also a profound and moving inquiry into a violent world – and it’s perhaps the greatest bullfighting movie ever made.
Not so much a film about the narrative; director Francesco Rosi plunges us headlong into the ritual of it all. Rosi known for his efforts in telling truthful and occasionally controversial stories in a cinema verite style puts us right down in the pit for all the violence and reverence that the sport of bullfighting entails. There’s no CGI or special effects or even a guy in a bull suit, if some gets trampled, they get trampled and the violence is on display for full effect. Continue reading

Ted Kotcheff – Wake in Fright AKA Outback [+Extras] (1971)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

DVD case blurb reads:

Awe-inspiring, brutal and stunning, Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundayabba planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney. But his one night stretches to five and he plunges headlong toward his own destruction. When the alcohol-induced mist lifts, the educated John Grant is no more. Instead there is a self-loathing man in a desolate wasteland, dirty red-eyed, sitting against a tree and looking at a rifle with one bullet left…

Believed lost for many years, Wake in Fright has been painstakingly restored by Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive and AtLab Deluxe, and is presented in its original uncompromising form. Continue reading

Dharmasiri Bandaranayake – Suddilage Kathawa (1984)

http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/9864/10179214.png

A masterpiece of Sri Lankan cinema, “Suddilage Kathawa” or “A Woman in a Whirlpool” is the third film by Dharmasiri Bandaranayake. Swarna Mallawarachi plays the role of Suddi who is married to Romiel, a hired assassin played by Cyril Wickramage. Suddi’s life becomes complex when her husband ends up in prison and she is forced to have multiple affairs in order to support herself. Joe Abeywickrama plays the role of the village head whose brother-in-law is a shop owner played by Sommie Rathnayake. Observe how the lives of these characters are intricately nested around love, hate, deception, crime and murder. Witness the facets that greed takes in this exceptional feauture film, beautifully shot and portrayed by accomplished cinematographer Udaya Perera. Continue reading

Gustaf Edgren – Valborgsmassoafton AKA Walpurgis Night (1935)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:

‘Lena Bergstrom works in an office and is unhappily in love with her boss, Johan Borg. She decides to quit. Borg’s wife won’t have any children, and when she becomes pregnant she has an illegal abortion. For some reason, Lena’s father believes that it is Lena who has had an abortion.’
– Mattias Thuresson (IMDb) Continue reading

Jean-Pierre Limosin – Abbas Kiarostami – Verités et songes (1994)

http://i44.tinypic.com/2mw7cw9.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Description: This documentary by French director Jean-Pierre Limosin is the first Spanish edition of the renowned “Cinéma, de notre temps” series. In this episode, Abbas Kiarostami talks about his life and work. Summarising his approach to filmaking, Kiarostami said:

“A filmmaker has to be conscious about his responsibility. I always wish to remind the audience that they are watching a film. You see, it is very dangerous to make the audience more emotionally engaged than they need to be. In the darkness of the cinema, people are so innocent. It makes them feel that everything is closer and stronger. That is why we should not make them even more emotional: People need to think when they watch films, not to be robbed of their reason … I make half movies. The rest is up to the audience to create for themselves.” Continue reading

Cecil B. DeMille – The Cheat (1915)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Description: One of the early De Mille’s melodramas: love triangle, fruvolous wife, demonic Japanese tempter… But besides all that melodramatic rubbish it’s one of the most innovative films of the era. De Mille actively experimented with lighting, cutting, and framing to extend narrative technique. “The Cheat” featured probably the first use of so called “psychological editing: cutting not between two simultaneous events but to show the drift of a character’s thoughts. A must see. Continue reading